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6 Signs I Might Be Hiding a Depressive Episode

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Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

When depression hits, the last thing I want to do is ‘burden’ anyone around me by asking for help. Instead, I find ways to cover up the signs I’m depressed. I know the storm will pass soon and in the meantime, this is how I fake “being OK.”

1. I’ve been biting my nails. A lot.

A few of them might be bleeding. I might have a fun bandage on one of them, so if you ask about it, we’ll talk about the cartoon character on my finger, not the actual injury. I might be wearing fake nails so you’ll tell me how nice they look, but I’ll take them off at home so I can bite my nails again.

2. Food is my greatest enemy and my best friend.

Most of the time, I don’t feel I deserve to eat. I’ll avoid quiet rooms so others can’t hear my stomach growling. You’ll see me go home for lunch in the middle of the workday so you don’t know I’m not eating. When 3 a.m. rolls around, I’ll eat everything I can find in my house in the hopes it will bring me just a little bit of comfort.

3. Sleep is annoying.

It doesn’t happen at night when I need it to, but creeps up randomly in the middle of the day. If I’m running 15 minutes late, I probably had to park at a gas station to sleep for a few minutes so I wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel.

4. Everything slows down.

I’m not moving at full speed. I think, talk and walk more slowly than usual. I’m more forgetful. It’s much easier for my thoughts to become derailed. I’m probably pretty reliant on caffeine at this point so I can keep up. If I’m looking at my phone while you’re talking to me, I’m probably taking notes so I won’t forget everything you say.

5. I’ll give you all my time, money and energy.

I know you’ll use it better than I’m able to use it right now. I have no idea how to make myself happy, so I’ll focus on making you happy instead so you won’t notice I’m not OK.

6. You won’t see my car.

When a group of people is organizing a carpool, I hope I don’t have to drive or can find an excuse to drive alone. My car is a reflection of my state of mind; it’s filled with fast food garbage, crumpled receipts, shoes, clothes and anything else I can’t bring myself to actually bring into my house or throw away. If you see my car, you’ll see my mind… and you’ll never look at me the same way again.

Photo by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash

Originally published: February 11, 2019
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