The Lesser-Known Symptoms of Depression


[♪ INTRO ] Hopefully, by now we all know that depression
is about more than sadness. But even if your idea of depression also includes
things like hopelessness or apathy, what about irritability or anger? Does depression make you think of overwhelming
guilt? What about memory loss? Because those are all symptoms, too. There’s a lot we still don’t understand
about depression, especially when it comes to what’s happening on the cellular level. But we know that when it comes to the experience
of depression, the disorder often shows itself in the form of unhealthy psychological processes. It turns out that some of those thought processes
— specifically, self-blame and rumination — can lead to symptoms people might not
realize are signs of depression. And that’s too bad, because the result is
that we misunderstand those who are suffering from it, sometimes including ourselves. Freud, wrong as he was about a lot of things,
pointed out that depression was different from simple sadness because it was associated
with guilt, and today psychologists consider self-blame a key symptom of depression. When something bad happens, depressed people
tend to blame themselves, and see it as a reflection of their self-worth as a whole. An example researchers sometimes use is thinking
that if you fail at a sports match, it means you’re a total failure. What’s weird is that this only applies to
yourself — depressed people don’t usually assign blame to others the same way. Turns out the unusual amount of guilt — and
only applying it to yourself — might come from two regions of the brain that don’t
activate together the way they should. In a 2012 study, researchers scanned the brains
of 25 people who’d previously had depression and 22 people who didn’t. When the people who’d never been depressed
read descriptions of themselves doing something wrong, it activated both the part of their
brain associated with guilt and the part that deals with morality and what’s socially
appropriate. In people who’d been depressed, that second
part wasn’t activated as strongly. This was a small study, so we can’t draw
too many conclusions from it. But based on the results, the authors suggested
that people who are more prone to depression don’t get an accurate picture of what they
did wrong, so they just feel guilty about everything. So that’s one unhealthy thought pattern
that can cause symptoms beyond plain old sadness or apathy. Another is rumination. And it’s a big one. Rumination is, basically, brooding — usually
unintentionally. Part of problem-solving involves analyzing
the factors surrounding the problem, and that applies to negative emotional experiences,
too. But rumination takes that way too far. It’s getting stuck thinking about everything
that led to and resulted from a negative experience, and it’s strongly linked to both depression
and anxiety. It can also explain some of the less straightforward
signs of depression, like memory problems. Of all the symptoms of depression, memory
problems might seem the most surprising, because we tend to classify depression as emotional,
and memory as more a mechanical part of the mind. But this is just a false dichotomy, that’s
not how the brain works. Depressive disorders often include problems
with cognitive function: the ability to clearly understand, process, and respond to information. And researchers think that has a lot to do
with rumination eating up all your brainpower. You need cognitive resources to pay attention
and remember things, and when people with depression are using those resources to brood,
they have trouble redirecting them toward the task at hand. They end up struggling with episodic memory,
which is the recollection of specific events that happened to you, and working memory,
which is how you hold onto information that you’re currently using to process other
information. Those are both pretty important! It becomes a vicious cycle, where the only
way to break out of this pattern of rumination is to redirect your mental resources toward
something that might make you feel better. But that’s exactly what rumination makes
it so much harder to do! So people get stuck. Rumination can also lead to another common
symptom of depression: anger and irritability, which appears in more than half of patients,
although it’s only used to diagnose the disorder in kids and teens. But it can be a sign of particularly severe
depression. At its core, rumination is a coping strategy
people use to help regulate their emotions — it’s just not a very good one. Instead of feeling better, when people brood
on something that made them angry, they tend to spend more time … angry. We still have more to learn about how unhealthy
thought patterns like self-blame and rumination contribute to depression and its symptoms. But as we study them, we’re discovering
that they can explain a lot. And there’s some good news here, too. Self-blame may have to do with brain regions
not activating the way they should, and rumination may feel like getting stuck. But researchers point out that unhealthy thought
patterns like these are exactly what psychotherapy is meant to help with. Cognitive behavioral therapy, especially,
is designed to identify the connections between thought patterns and behaviors, and reshape
those thought patterns in a healthier way. So yes, depression is a complicated, difficult
illness. But there are therapies and treatments that
can help. And recognizing the different ways depression
manifests itself is an important step toward getting that help and doing this research. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Psych. If you’re interested in learning more about
the science of depression, you can check out our video on common misconceptions about antidepressants. And don’t forget to subscribe! [♪ OUTRO ]

100 comments

  1. Some of the more well known symptoms of depression are:
    An overwhelming urge to post slightly cryptic comments on Facebook, hoping that "friends" will respond immediately with "You OK hun?.."
    A sudden and overwhelming desire to find a university sanctioned safe space, and interact only with those of a similarly left wing bias.
    Feeling slightly stressed by everyday events and instantly assuming thet you're suffering from "Depression and anxiety", when what you've actually got is "Tummy butterflies"……..

  2. I thought I was just stupid for forgetting so much, but now I know it is likely related to my depression. I feel a bit better now that I know the issue.

  3. Have you experienced depression? Anyone who hasn't may have logic but logic is never the same as the real thing.

  4. Me: Feels guilty for having all the symptoms associated with depression and has anxiety Nah I can’t have it my brain if just overreacting and lying to itself I’m not depressed because I’m just faking and it would invalidate anyone actually with it.

  5. Hmm. Wathching this and seeing the symptoms of depression has confirmed that I'm depressed and have been since age 7. Sh!t. Now what?

  6. I have poor concentration, suicidal thoughts, an empty feeling, constantly stressed, an overwhelming sense of guilt, irritability, weight gain, zero self confidence, lack of motivation, and my grades have become lower. But I do enjoy watching TV or YouTube, so therefore I am just a moody teenager. I will be fine, because I'm about to enter adulthood in a couple of days. 🙃

  7. Honestly, I never considered that my anger could stem from depression. I just thought I was a horrible person.

  8. Oh my god, I just assumed the rumination was something I’d always naturally done. This is really helpful especially since I thought I lowkey fully understood my own illnesses. Bringing this up in therapy. Genuine thank you

  9. Chronic Depression sucks ass at times, I end up faking a lot of emotions throughout the day. Sometimes it lightens up though, but one soft touch can bring it back down. Another thing is that I got silent rage, that type that doesn’t show itself fully till I start to snap, I might end up physically hurting someone severely some day. Even though my anger is intense and it feels like it would be so damn good to go ballistic on someone, I got a surprising amount of willpower to keep me from going there.
    And to put the icing on the Depression cake I have the lowest of low on the self-esteem scale and many disrupting thoughts.

    Overall it’s pretty lit.
    ✌︎(-‿-)✌︎

  10. I can totally confirm. Memory is the one thing I'm recognized for among my friends, they always come to me when they've forgotten how something happened.
    That said, I barely remember anything of my two years of extreme depression they only appear as tiny spots of light where I remember feeling like garbage.

  11. the overwhelming guilt and bad memory hit me so hard- i feel guilty about literally everything even if i know i did nothing wrong, like any time i could have ever maybe inconvenienced someone i feel like i killed someone . also before i was depressed i swear i was so much smarter.

  12. the memory loss is what really kills me. old friends will call back to something we did one day and i just wont remember it. i just have spots from day-to-day life that really stood out to me, and the rest is blurry. it sounds like something we did, and i play along, but really i can’t remember anything and it scares me. i just want my life back.

  13. Oh so that was eye opening…… Not!

    Nothing I hadn’t worked out myself here by age 5. Seriously don’t waste your time…. 😔

  14. I wish i had memory loss, my memory is my enemy. Empty, guilty memory of a life of hurting others. My memory puts me in a hole i struggle to get out of even on anti depressants.

  15. Me be like: lmao i cant have depression, im prob just faking it to make myself feel better
    Also me be like: cant remember things, has anger issues, ruminating all the time

  16. The worst part is that it's such a taboo topic in our society, people don't get educated on what positive and negative thinking patterns are and what a good mental health actually is. Because of that people often don't realize when they slip in unhealthy thinking and how to get out of it.
    And people are afraid to talk about it, I know I am because my family wouldn't believe me and it would hurt too much to get told that all the pain you're feeling is you getting worked up over nothing or you faking it. I still can't get myself to visit a therapist again because I couldn't explain the times I would be gone and where I was without them noticing.

  17. Don't forget about that one symptom that literally is a nightmare to those with a lot of deadline; Feeling really tired

  18. To all the people who are depressed. Don't give up on yourself. I used to be depressed for years but I had my breakthrough. And this is for you too be it through seeing a therapist or seeking God's help or something else, you'll get through this.

  19. I don’t know, I check off everything listed here, and I feel sad for no good reason easily but at the same time I don’t believe that I have depression. If anything, it feels uncomfortable to even consider that I have depression because its like I’m belittling the condition and its wrong. It feels even more wrong to hear nice things because I know it’s untrue, and I hate all the cheery stuff.

  20. Would this include the very stubborn thought pattern that when a small task must be done (let's say re-organizing my clothes) I have huge difficulty starting this task, because it feels like it'll take so much effort and take all day, while in actuality, it only takes 15 minutes? I have this with everything, where I feel that "the time or circumstances isn't/aren't right". It could possibly have come from high school days and some family members, where others overly criticized everything I did AND didn't do, but I never understood why. My brain seems to have developed according to this "survival mode" and it makes it very hard to get stuff done. Note: as soon as I get started, the feeling goes away. Maybe more of an anxiety thing, but it does lead to depression.

  21. Huhh…
    I am pretty sure I have depression and don't blame myself for anything. Also…
    We have a moral part in the brain ?!

  22. So, according to my own analyzis:

    -Small, but existing sense of worthlessness most of time, which expands into a huge blob every time a minor mistake happens;

    -Staying in my bed all day, doing nothing and blaming myself later;

    -Sleeping up to 3 hours in the afternoon, not getting things done, and blaming myself again.

    -Memory loss, which is by far the worst, as I often have problems remembering who I used to be, what I did last week, how to structure sentences, and doing maths (Which was the subject I was best at).

    -Problems with conversations. I don't know how to properly prolong them, and have a constant fear of talking, which led to me not making many new friends. This gets even worse, as I had a HUGE group of trustful friends before, and all of them say I was a pretty cool guy, even if a little impatient and hot-headed.

    -Problems with completing even the simplest of tasks (Can't take a pill without dropping it on the floor first, picking it up, noticing I forgot my water, looking for it in the whole house only to realize that it's obviously in the fridge…)

    -Daydreaming constantly about the adventures and success I want to have, thus not concentrating on what I need to do in order to achieve that.

    -Compulsive gaming with friends, and getting sad if they aren't online.

    -Constant insecurity and overchecking of facts, to "make sure it is correct"

    Damn… I think I might have developed very serious depression and social anxiety in the last four years… now the hard part is looking my dad in the eye and saying "I'm depressed, I want help"…

  23. I find myself being irritable (though mostly with myself), horrible guilt, and self-blame the moment anything goes wrong- if I actually do something wrong, so much as drop something, it's like a wave of self-hatred and loathing.
    I don't think my memory is completely ruined by depression, I just…Have a really bad memory, so does my mother- it's so bad I can't ever remember things I should be used to by now like homework, or remembering to write down homework in class as it's assigned- which makes everything worse when I don't do it since school is supposed to be the thing I excel in for my grandfather.
    And god do I zone out/disassociate often. I can be in a conversation and in a second be in my own world without realizing it. And oh boy does anxiety not help.
    If I'm not feeling like a helpless wit, then I'm often not feeling much at all. A bad nothing, but a nothing nonetheless… Like if nothing could actually have feelings, it'd feel bad.

    I distract myself by watching youtube, but most of the time I draw. Usually it's losing myself in fanart/fiction since I can focus on an entirely different 'being' than myself.

  24. Thank you a ton. I’m 58 and was fired from a job I had over five years – not to work product but due to the high level of depression I have and working everyday with two passive aggressive lawyers who by the way fired me by text with comments that I’m imagining things and my depression causes missed days. After five plus years it was ok but bam three weeks ago fired by text. A lot more of this information needs to be out there. As a 57. year old woman fired without a thought and on medication these employers cut my health insurance same day so no meds. I’m going through a rough time with rumination and no meds. Scared.

  25. Depression makes me dip my balls into some thousand island dressin…. ya know cuz I got depression.

  26. I hate self blame. Like with the “failing a sports match” thing, I constantly bring all the blame to myself when we lose and I get angry over it and I know I’m being selfish and prideful but I still think I’m the worst player.

  27. What about blaming myself immensely for everything and hating myself so much but hating most other people even more and seeing them as even less then myself, somehow?

  28. So I say to you. Have a great day. Enjoy the unexpected moments and stick two fingers up to your troubles today.

  29. Anyone feel the vast emptiness? Things that used to excite and makes me happy me doesn't anymore, everything seems duller somehow, sometimes I just don't want to give a crap and give up.
    My memory is rather poor, and I absolutely loathe how I am.
    Damn I hate this feeling.

  30. When I was a child, helpful 'normal' people told me it was all in my head, as though ignoring it would cause it to go away. Try explaining away the very real symptoms of a full-on anxiety attack. Half a lifetime later, I found that taking some 5-HTP, and some melatonin, has made most of it 'go away'.

  31. An advice if you're depressed: music. NOT depressed one. Like, avoid Radiohead. Listen to music not necessarily superhappy but that makes you feel alive, but not angry (so avoid metal). Like hard rock, for example. Something that makes you feel strong, something that gives you inspiration, dreams and courage. It helps, a lot. Also art helps. Even just watching it. And going in nature even just a beach or a park and do sports.

  32. I have all of the symptoms, obviously,
    but the most difficult thing to solve, is how to make myself happy
    i've been playing alot of games, completing them, and a bunch of things,
    but none seem to work anyway.

  33. It's worth noting that CBT is effective on less than 50% of people though. Still seek help but don't expect a miracle cure first try. It takes time to find the right treatment.

  34. After watching this, I started to cry for the first time because of who I am. I ruminate all the time, think about every single thing that bothers me, current things or things that happened many years ago and can't let go. I'm very passive-aggressive person and get angry easily (at least in my head), like I just want to shout at people I feel annoyed and I have a habit of creating "fight scenes" in my head with them. I have really hard time of remembering things I study because the rumination and anger and useless thoughts takes all my energy and power. If I have day off I wake up very late and still want to stay in bed. That usually leads to guilt, for doing nothing and feeling worthless about everything, or when I fail or somebody is better than me, or stop doing things I used to love. If people tries to call me or text me, I might not answer for a very long time or don't call back because I have no energy to communicate with them, and that leads them to be frustrated with me and me feeling guilty.

    I've also noticed that my escape mechanism from my thoughts is compulsive habit of day dreaming, like creating stories in my head and sink into my own fantasy world. It can be many hours, just thinking and zoning out (I actually have a dream of writing a book) and if I'm interrupted I get annoyed. Usually it includes fictional or real life people I tend to become attached to, because they are the only ones I find comfort from, because I don't have to communicate with them and I don't get angry with them.

  35. I don’t have sadness anymore, total loss of all emotions, memory loss, brain fog, cognitive slowness, avolition, loss of all energy. Fun times

  36. Anhedonia is one of the worst symptons I experience. Engaging in pleasurable activities like sex, reading good books, playing video games, watching series and such activities sometimes can distract you from the sadness, the self-hatred and the feelings and wishes of self-destruction, but when depression takes away even the desire and motivation to engage into those activities you are left with nothing else to do in life. I am surrounded by great books I love and want to read (I have a mini-library in my bedroom with more than 200 titles) and series on the computer I want to watch but sometimes (like right now) I don't even have forces to hold a book and open the pages because all the pleasure I would get normally from reading disappears from my mind and I see no point in reading the book while deep inside still wishing I could find the lost pleasure.

  37. Some of this sounds like ptsd. I wonder if some people with depression symptoms may have been triggered by trauma?

  38. Yeah, I've been there. Ruminating too much eats up my attention. It feels like I'm I'm sort of moving in autopilot in the background of the rumination and when I look back I can't remember what I'd just done. It's a bad head-space to be in.

  39. does anyone else get comfortable in theyre depression tho, like you dont know how else to feel so you go for that cuz atleast your used to it???

  40. thank you for this video. it's very important and tbh validating because I didn't know a lot of these were actually regular symptoms of depression—I thought I was alone in this even though I knew depression is very common

  41. It's interesting seeing so many other people like myself with "memory loss". I don't have a diagnosed short term memory loss, but I noticed I continually had to double and triple check orders at work because of how often I doubted myself. I figured I just had bad memory, thinking it's just another bug of depression makes me worry about how real this whole "I'm fine I'm probably just faking for attention" thing.

  42. I have ADHD and with having that I acquired Depression and Anxiety and while my depression doesn't look as extreme as it was in my youth it still remains a problem in my life.

  43. I find that the sadness is the most enjoyable part of it all. Sadness allows me to see so much beauty in things; it fuelds my creativity and feels so good. Unfortunately, the vast majority of my days are spent in apathy instead, with crippled memory, creativity, energy, motivation, and empathy. I feel that I have only taken minor damage to my ability to logically process reality, so I spend very little time beating myself up, but it does little good when "a good day" amounts to finding the power to get out of bed, and to sieze the ability to enjoy a video game for one of the few times in a month that I can.

    I survive by the virtue of hope – hope that I might recover, and experience life in the way that normal humans do.

  44. OMgosh, why did I click on to this…..the computer suggested I watch this because I am depressed so much as I'm watching too much idiot you tube thingies?

  45. apparently i ruminate whenever i get my exam marks because it isn't a distinction yet.
    i also cant remember things i did yesterday but i can only remember those days when i felt super liberated like being able to watch anime instead of studying all day.
    i think that im only going to get worser if i dont reach my goal.
    a bit stuck eh

  46. I really feel extremely guilty when having depressive episodes (i have had depression on and off for 10 years and if something bad happens, its easy for me to fall back, but i know how to get help). When depressed, i dont want to get out of bed and i either just sleep and eat or i am brooting forever. That then makes me feel trmendous guilt, because i should not be laying around all day and be productive. Other people dont have the priviledge and oppurtunities i have. And it mostly ends with me feeling guilty because i feel guilty (meaning i should feel appreciative of my life, because other people have it so much worse).
    I have gotten used to it and my psychologist helps me with doing small things on my episodes that really help (not all the time, but mostly). My depression comes back way easier when im stressed and its hard to admit that maybe i will never be able to be as productive as other people (the first year of university i feel into a massive depression mostly caused by stress because i was working a lot part-time and i had to realize that i need more time than others for my mental health).l

  47. I love these videos but hate watching them because after I watch them every time I feel guilty for no reason my brain goes “ur just acting like this because you watched this video and ur trying to get attention”

  48. so i’ve been overthinking about how abnormally terrible my memory is, and ironically it’s because of my overthinking…🙃 y’all-

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