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Most people imagine depression equals “really sad," and unless you've experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it's different for everyone.


To find out how depression shows itself in ways other people can't see, we asked The Mighty mental health community to share one thing people don't realize they're doing because they have depression.

Here's what they had to say:

1. “In social situations, some people don't realize I withdraw or don't speak much because of depression. Instead, they think I'm being rude or purposefully antisocial." — Laura B.

2. “I struggle to get out of bed, sometimes for hours. Then just the thought of taking a shower is exhausting. If I manage to do that, I am ready for a nap. People don't understand, but anxiety and depression is exhausting, much like an actual physical fight with a professional boxer." — Juli J.

3. “Agreeing to social plans but canceling last minute. Using an excuse but really you just chickened out. It makes you think your friends don't actually want to see you, they just feel bad. Obligation." — Brynne L.

4. “Hiding in my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it, but not like other people. I don't socialize, I play games or browse online stores to distract myself from my negative thoughts. It's my safe bubble." — Eveline L.

5. “Going to bed at 9 p.m. and sleeping throughout the night until 10 or 11 a.m." — Karissa D.

6. “Isolating myself, not living up to my potential at work due to lack of interest in anything, making self-deprecating jokes. I've said many times before, 'I laugh, so that I don't cry.' Unfortunately, it's all too true." — Kelly K.

man dealing with depressionman sitting on chair covering his eyesPhoto by christopher lemercier on Unsplash

7. “When I reach out when I'm depressed it's 'cause I am wanting to have someone to tell me I'm not alone. Not because I want attention." — Tina B.

8. “I don't like talking on the phone. I prefer to text. Less pressure there. Also being anti-social. Not because I don't like being around people, but because I'm pretty sure everyone can't stand me." — Meghan B.

9. “I overcompensate in my work environment… and I work front line at a Fitness Centre, so I feel the need to portray an 'extra happy, bubbly personality.' As soon as I walk out the doors at the end of the day, I feel myself 'fall.' It's exhausting… I am a professional at hiding it." — Lynda H.

10. “The excessive drinking. Most people assume I'm trying to be the 'life of the party' or just like drinking in general. I often get praised for it. But my issues are much deeper than that." — Teresa A.

11. “Hiding out in my room for hours at a time watching Netflix or Hulu to distract my mind or taking frequent trips to the bathroom or into another room at social gatherings because social situations sometimes get to me." — Kelci F.

12. “Saying I'm tired or don't feel good… they don't realize how much depression can affect you physically as well as emotionally." — Lauren G.

more at instagram @joshrh19

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

13. “Answering slowly. It makes my brain run slower, and I can't think of the answers to the questions as quickly. Especially when someone is asking what I want to do — I don't really want anything. I isolate myself so I don't have to be forced into a situation where I have to respond because it's exhausting." — Erin W.

14. “Sometimes I'll forget to eat all day. I can feel my stomach growling but don't have the willpower to get up and make something to eat." — Kenzi I.

15. “I don't talk much in large groups of people, especially when I first meet them. I withdraw because of my anxiety and depression. People think I'm 'stuck up.' I'm actually scared out of my mind worrying they don't like me, or that they think I'm 'crazy' by just looking at me…" — Hanni W.

16. “Not keeping in touch with anyone, bad personal hygiene and extremely bad reactions to seemingly trivial things." — Jenny B.

17. “Being angry, mean or rude to people I love without realizing it in the moment. I realize my actions and words later and feel awful I had taken out my anger on people who don't deserve it." — Christie C.

18. “Purposely working on the holidays so I can avoid spending time with family. It's overwhelming to be around them and to talk about the future and life so I avoid it." — Aislinn G.

19. “My house is a huge mess." — Cynthia H.

20. “I volunteer for everything, from going to PTO meetings to babysitting to cleaning someone else's house for them. I surround myself with situations and obligations that force me to get out of bed and get out of the house because if I'm not needed, I won't be wanted." — Carleigh W.


This story was originally published on The Mighty and originally appeared here on 07.21.17

A couple having a hard time with a therapist.

When you’re single, your best friend is often your wingman or wingwoman when you go out looking for a partner. They’re great at giving an honest take on whether someone is right for you or not.

They can also be an important sounding board for determining whether you’re in a healthy relationship. They know you and your spouse, so they can see it when things aren’t going right. Whether they are comfortable telling you or if you really want to know their honest opinion is another story.

A Reddit user named Anita recently asked the AskReddit online forum about the obvious signs that a friend is in a bad relationship or headed for a divorce. “What are some signs that your married friend doesn’t have a good marriage?” Anita asked, and the question received nearly 2,000 responses in just 3 days.


Evidently, there are a lot of dead giveaways that people in bad relationships broadcast out to the world.

The major takeaway is people know their friends are stuck in a bad relationship or headed toward the end when the couple openly makes snide comments in front of each other at social engagements. Another big red flag is when one partner goes out of their way to avoid the other by working later, surrounding themselves with friends, or sleeping on the couch.

Here are 16 of the most prominent signs that scream “your married friend doesn’t have a good marriage.”

1.

"When my husband died, some friends admitted that they were a little jealous." — EmmyMcD

2.

"Never wants to go home, doesn’t like bringing their spouse as plus one, speaking poorly of spouse, future plans sound more 'I' than 'We,' and lack of excitement around the holidays." — Peaceatthebeach

3.

"An occasional joke at their expense is one thing. My wife and I do it, but you could really insert anyone's name in the joke. But when they criticize their SO for the same, personal thing nonstop, it starts to get telling. Like constantly telling everyone your wife is a shitty cook." — CaptainAwesome06

4.

"They continually complain about their spouse in front of others. Or disparage them." — Mahaloth

5.

"When they advise their single friends to stay single." — Deneenxo

6.

"Ummm, his wife came into the office one day and he introduced her to me as 'his future ex-wife' with a sly smile. Yeah, they're divorced now." — HibouWho

7.

"Look at their face when they get a cell phone call and see that it's from their spouse. Tells you everything." — No-Conclusion8653

8.

"Just... bickering. Passive-aggressive little digs and being generally annoyed with one another. It is WEIRD to me that so many couples I know just kinda pick at each other constantly. They just don't seem to enjoy each other's company at all." — Lizard Possum

9.

"I promise, when you learn this, you’ll see it everywhere and you’ll realize how f**ked up most people in relationships are. Contempt. The one thing to look for in bad relationships is contempt. This comes from Malcom Gladwell’s 'Blink,' where he talks about Dr. John Gottman’s work on relationships and marriage. I’m not going to say much on these two gentlemen’s qualifications, as I can’t really speak to them, but I can tell you that the takeaway has impacted my perspective and experience profoundly.

Gottman came to believe there are 4 horsemen of the apocalypse when it comes to marriage: criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness, and contempt—and contempt is the most powerful one. Contempt means more than just being annoyed with someone. It’s deeper than disrespect. It is complete disregard to the level of disgust for the other's attempt to be. Contempt means you feel yourself superior to your partner and feel no obligation to care about them. You’ll see it in these examples: a wife who won’t let her husband care for the children. A husband who insults his wife’s housework while redoing it. An eye roll behind their back. Passive aggression. Sarcasm. Jokes at their expense. Gottman’s research indicates that contempt can predict divorce with about 90% accuracy. This jibes with my experience." — PAdogooder

10.

"When one of them is out and their spouse does not stop calling them." — BansheeShriek

11.

"They flirt a lot. A lot of unhappily married people I know are quick to flirt with anyone who seems interested because they want to feel that spark again." — FlatulentDwarf

12.

"When their identity is the 'person who is mean to their spouse.' I was at a party this weekend and there was a woman who just bad-mouthed her husband and talked about how nice it was to be away from him and the kids for the night. That’s like her shtick…she talks about how her kids and husband are shitty. It’s such a gross personality, and it’s relatively common. It shouldn’t be common at all." — SpacemanPete

13.

"If they're plastering social media with how HAPPY they are, and they're SO IN LOVE, and THEY'RE GOING TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER, that's a sure sign that things are in the process of going sideways." — wildlowerwolves

14.

"I’ve known two different couples that off and on fought a lot around me at certain points, which isn’t obviously a great sign. The fighting stopped, but what I realized after a while that may be worse is that they didn’t interact at all unless absolutely necessary. I’m mostly oblivious, so it took my wife pointing it out to notice that both of these couples never really talk to each other besides mandatory stuff like plans or the kids. No casual conversations, no eye contact, no touching each other; literally no interaction that’s not necessary for the family to function. I suppose it’s better than fighting in public, but it’s kind of weird once you notice it." — Non_Clever_User_Name

15.

"He games all day and the boys are always over. She sits in the bedroom and is on her phone all day. Because they are both so glued to the screens. I was the one that saw their daughter take her first steps (didn't even realize it until my buddy saw his daughter standing next to him and went nuts). But hey they have been together now almost for 10 years and still haven't broken up, but at the same time I wouldn't call that living." — RootlessForest

16.

"When they don’t care what the other person is doing or where they are. Basically, two people who live separate lives and live like roommates." — LucyInTheSky

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston have starred in three movies together, “Just Go with It” (2011), “Murder Mystery” (2019) and “Murder Mystery 2” (2023), and their chemistry is undeniable. They probably work so well together on screen because they’ve been friends in real life since they were in their 20s.

Aniston revealed their closeness in an anecdote she shared in WSJ Magazine. "Aniston, who does not have children and has spoken openly about her struggles with fertility treatment, says Sandler and his wife [Jackie Sandler] send her flowers every Mother's Day,” the profile’s author, Ellen Gamerman, writes.


It’s a touching move for the Sandlers to reach out to Aniston on a day that must be hard for her. Last year, she opened up about her struggles to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with Allure.

IVF can be a very challenging process for a woman to go through. It involves invasive procedures and hormonal fluctuations and can be a real emotional rollercoaster. On top of that, Aniston was the subject of baby bump tabloid speculation for years and was often criticized for being “selfish” and choosing her career over motherhood.

“I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” Aniston said about a time in her life a few years ago. “I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese tea, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

We can all take a page out of the preschool friendship-making handbook.

A lot of adults find it hard to make friends past a certain age, and science even confirms that forming friendship bonds as grownups is more challenging than when we were kids.

"Sociologists have kind of identified the ingredients that need to be in place for us to make friends organically, and they are continuous unplanned interaction and shared vulnerability," University of Maryland psychologist Marisa Franco told Boston NPR station, WBUR, adding that environments with those elements are harder to come by as adults.

"Continuous unplanned interaction" and "shared vulnerability" may sound daunting, but maybe we're just making it all too complicated.


As a sweet interaction captured between preschoolers shows, making friends doesn't have to be as hard as we make it. In fact, their conversation is pretty much a masterclass in friendship-making.

Check out this adorable budding friendship captured by mom Katy-Robin Garton and shared on her Instagram:

While most adults probably wouldn't feel comfortable asking a brand-new friend if they want to hold hands, the rest of the interaction contains some solid elements of building a relationship with someone.

First of all, research shows that walking together, especially in nature, makes conversation easier. And doesn't have to be in the beautiful Montana scenery of this video—just being outdoors in general helps.

Secondly, listen to how the kiddos ask and respond to questions. The little girl asked if the boy took naps (a totally a legit question for grownups to ask one another, by the way). But then she shared a bit about her family, tied it to a question about him and his age, and then built on his answer by sharing a bit more about herself. That kind of give-and-take is how people start getting to know each other.

And then, of course, the sweet compliment! "I like your glasses." So simple, but everyone loves a compliment. And the way she so graciously received it and with such self-assured confidence: "Me too." Now they've established that they share some tastes in common.

Finally, the "Ah, dog poop!" which is just funny. (But also, she's watching out for them both—friends gotta have one another's backs, right?)

Naturally, people are loving it.

"My god, these littles are glorious. My faith in the future of humanity has been restored 🌱🙌🏾💫💕🎆," wrote one commenter.

"They will literally have this same conversation when they’re 90. 'You take naps anymore?' 'You know you’re older than my cousin, he’s 93…,' 'I’m 93 and a half…'😂😂😂" shared another.

"I can’t even. The next time I try to make a new friend I’ll lead with “do you wanna hold my hand?” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️" wrote another.

Seriously, there's a lot we can learn from observing little ones who learn and connect without all the baggage we grownups often bring to the table. When it comes to friendship, perhaps we should take a page out of these preschoolers' book. They seem to have the basics pretty well figured out already.