13 Little Habits That Could Be Signs Of Depression

by Lindsay E. Mack

What comes to mind when you think about depression? You may recall a friend who seemed hopeless and tearful most of the time, because outward signs of sadness are common indicators of depression. However, it's also important to know the little habits you that could be signs of depression, because the condition does not always present in an obvious way.

In fact, the most insidious aspect of depression may be its irregularity. For every person who can't find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, there's another one who becomes a workaholic. Sometimes the same root cause can present itself in very different ways. With that in mind, it's smart to be on the lookout for the subtle signs in yourself and others. Everything from habitual feelings of fatigue to a severe phone addiction can point to depression.

It's also important to remember that depression is a common condition. According to Mental Health America, approximately 6.7 percent of American adults experience major depression each year. If you or a loved one has concerns about depression, help is available. A visit to your physician or a mental health professional is crucial for a proper diagnosis and treatment options. You don't have to suffer alone.


Phone Addiction

It's tempting to spend every spare moment staring at a phone. According to WebMD, however, people who turn to their phones constantly may be exhibiting signs of depression. The article noted that, for those suffering from depression, phone becomes a way to escape the stresses of reality.



A person who strives to do everything the right way must be a motivated super-achiever, right? Not necessarily. According to Everyday Health, there appears to be a connection between perfectionism and depression. People who set impossible standards for their own achievement tend to feel depressed when those standards are (inevitably) not met.


Mindless Busyness

Keeping busy is not always a healthy trait. According to a 2016 study in Plos One, symptoms of depression were correlated to workaholic behavior. For some people, a state of constant activity can become an addictive way to drown out negative feelings.


Sleeping Issues

Sure, many people have trouble getting to sleep now and then. But for people with depression, sleeping too much or too little is a common struggle, according to Psychology Today. Problems with depression may be the underlying cause of these concerns.


Extreme Fatigue

For many people, an average day consists of endless work and family obligations. It's no wonder you feel a little burned out. But according to Healthline, some people with depression feel too tired to do any activity, no matter how little effort it would take.


Concentration Problems

Feeling scattered? An inability to focus is often connected to depression. In fact, according to Everyday Health, depression may impair the brain's ability to take in information, making it much more difficult to concentrate.



For some people, depression means an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. For others, though, depression shows up as a short fuse. According to the website for Psychology Today, irritability is an often overlooked symptom of depression. Being annoyed by everyone and everything is not a pleasant experience, after all.



Sure, everyone needs a little alone time now and then. But according to Bustle, social withdrawal is a common byproduct of depression. If the idea of hanging out with anyone, even a best friend, is troublesome, then depression may be to blame.


Persistent Aches & Pains

The mind-body connection is very real. According to Harvard Health Publications, depression sometimes manifests as physical aches and pains. That persistent physical pain may be related to mental illness.


Thinking Too Much

Overthinking every decision can be exhausting. According to the website for The Today Show, excessive worry can signify depression. It's easy to fall into a pattern of reflecting on those negative feelings too much.



Depression can make even the simplest decisions feel impossible. As noted in Prevention, depression slows down the cognitive processes used in decision-making. So even choosing whether to get out of bed in the morning turns into a chore.


Neglecting Self-Care

Does it feel like brushing your teeth is an impossible obstacle? This is not uncommon with people experiencing depression. Showering, grooming, and even eating can take a hit when a person is depressed, according to Good Therapy. These basic activities can feel overwhelming.


Lack Of Expression

Failing to physically express much emotion is another warning sign. According to Indy100, people who are depressed may present a flat facial expression. Instead of an animated human being, they may seem like a person wearing a mask.