1. You do everything and anything to try and hide it.
Depression is extremely isolating but while that may make you think others push you away, the truth is that when you're depressed you are most often the one pushing people away. However, when you're at work or amongst friends and family you put on a show. You've convinced yourself for these hours away from isolation that you're fine so you plaster that fake smile on your face and make small talk. And it works, your friends, family, and coworkers probably envy your enthusiasm and positivity all the while no one knows the darkness inside you, rotting away, leaving you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
2. You revise and redo everything.
Most people with depression experience a sense of perfectionism that probably contributes significantly to the depression. It may be a paper for school, a memo for work, a spread sheet in excel, but you'll find yourself never satisfied and constantly redoing your project.
3. You take it out on those you love most
Nobody wants to do this but after a day of anger, frustration, and sadness building inside you behind your mask, you're bound to explode at some point. Unfortunately you probably lash out at the first person you see in your safe place and it's most likely someone you love dearly. Your mom, your sister, your boyfriend... they probably didn't even do anything wrong but you're like a ticking time bomb.
4. You cancel plans, whether you want to go or not.
Most likely there's a huge push inside of you telling you how badly you want to go to that get together, that dinner, or that party. Yet depression holds you back. You cancel, you no-show, you stay home and hide. No matter how enticing or exciting the event seems, the desire within you to be alone is so much stronger.
5. You self-medicate
The most common medication of choice is alcohol. It's widely known that alcohol is a depressant and will ultimately make your depression worse more than anything but it also possesses the ability to make you forget, to numb your body and mind, and help you temporarily not swim helplessly in a sea of darkness. Chances are you don't stop with one glass of wine or a couple beers. You drink to forget, so you drink until you forget.
6. Everything aches, everything hurts.
Even though depression is a mental illness, it can affect your physical body as well. Just like anxiety can make your head spin and heart pound, depression can make your body ache. Your body feels like 1,000 pounds, crushing down constantly. It's like a soul-crushing feeling but it's not in your head. Your body really hurts.
7. You can't stay awake
Well, not when you're supposed to. Your sleep schedule is completely nonsensical. At night your insomnia owns you and every other point in the day, afternoon, evening... you're exhausted and you can barely keep your eyes open. It would sound like it's just a vicious cycle but the truth is that at night when you should be sleeping, that's when your mind is racing and it won't let up. During the day you can't function properly and your body gives out, urging and begging you to sleep. It doesn't help that during the day your depression steals your motivation, leaving you exhausted.
8. You eat literally everything.
If you can see it, you'll probably eat it. Overeating is a common coping mechanism that is most likely connected to the empty feeling depression controls your life with. Eating can fill a void, chase away dark feelings, and the content, full feeling is more euphoric and pleasant than the typical darkness and pain that seems to constantly chase you.
9. You also simultaneously lose your appetite.
Depression brings it's friends along, except it's friends are jerks and they take away your enthusiasm for anything and motivation to do anything, and a lot of times that includes necessities like eating. While sometimes you may over eat, it's also very likely you go long periods of time not eating at all because the desire to eat just simply isn't there.
10. Perfect on the outside, broken on the inside.
There's a perfectionist in you and the compulsive need to appear perfectly fine is impossible to ignore. You smile, you laugh, you tell people you're fine. You create a false persona of happiness and light while you silently suffer alone on the inside.
11. You cry for no reason.
Sure, sometimes everything makes you cry. But a lot of times, nothing makes you cry and you cry anyway. Maybe you're fine one minute but the next you're in tears, devastated. Maybe you just woke up because of the wet, cold tears on your face. But you're not sure why. It just is.
The truth is that depression is a real disease, an illness. It cannot be wished away. It cannot be ignored. It's not your fault. There is help out there, there are resources and people who care. You are not alone. You are never alone and none of this is your fault.