This story was originally published on The Mighty.
Living with depression is difficult for a myriad reasons as one experiences symptoms, including weight changes, disrupted sleep patterns, disinterest, apathy, etc.
But a life with depression is evident in even more subtle ways. How is depression reflected in our everyday tasks? What tiny changes occur in the lives of those who have depression that end up dismantling their entire support system?
Here are 10 ways depression is reflected subtly in daily lives:
1. You stop using products you usually use daily.
A number of old lotions, makeup, and toiletries remain sealed, even after the expiration date.
2. Something smells bad.
The fridge is full of food gone bad. You promise to use everything the next time you go grocery shopping. But you don’t.
3. People ask if you’re sick.
You’ve begun to care less about your appearances and hygiene with each passing day. Having a “personal style” seems exhausting.
4. Your room starts to get messy.
Your personal space is cluttered and messy. It needs cleaning far more frequently than you can manage.
5. The barista can’t hear you.
The strength in your voice subsides. Ordering a coffee is a challenge with your soft voice. To make matters worse, you slur words sometimes.
6. You have no clean clothes.
That pile of laundry has been sitting in the corner for longer than you can remember. It will quite possibly sit there until your last favorite pair of shorts needs washing too.
7. The garbage is overflowing.
Your garbage can is full of wrappers from junk food. You hope no one goes dumpster-diving in your garbage; it would be embarrassing for anyone to see how many chips you eat.
8. You start getting behind with work.
Your school work, work assignments, and tasks are all past due. You tell yourself the next time around you’ll get on it first thing. But even you know you can’t.
9. You start canceling plans.
You are a master at making excuses for work, social meetings, and school. What’s the point in going when no one can hear your soft voice anyway?
10. It’s hard to get in touch with you.
Answering phone calls? Answering doors? The anxiety that sets in every time the bell or phone rings goes through the roof.
These are only some of the ways depression can be reflected in people’s lives. Not everyone is the same and neither is their depression.