Depression Can Look Like Many Other Mental and Physical Illnesses
Depression is a complex disorder. You might be aware of common signs of depression, such as sadness, hopelessness, moodiness, reduced energy, difficulty concentrating, and a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. But depression can also manifest in unexpected ways like pain, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite, and weight changes. Depression symptoms also differ widely from person to person. Conditions that zap your energy may be mistaken for depression. Things like anemia, certain vitamin deficiencies, hypothyroidism, and even diabetes may disguise themselves as depression by causing fatigue, irritability, and weight loss. Chronic fatigue disorder is also frequently misdiagnosed as depression.
Unfortunately, like other mental health conditions, depression may initially be diagnosed as the wrong mental health issue. This is because mental health symptoms overlap across conditions. For example, anxiety is sometimes a symptom of depression, resulting in people with anxiety being misdiagnosed with depression and vice versa. Similarly, bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating low periods of depression and high periods of mania, where you feel energetic and euphoric. As a result, the disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as simply depression.