There will be two main types of people reading this article — Those finding themselves better equipped to understand some of the people they love, and those who see their own reflections in these habits. Depression often goes unseen, unrecognized, and undiagnosed.

A person with concealed depression is someone who is conditioned to deal with their inner demons in a way that doesn’t make them clearly visible. They may or may not be diagnosed, and this may or may not be something they’ve shared with even their closest of companions. The problem is that the world becomes darkest when we all stop being able to understand each other. We tend to believe that hardship is worn openly upon one’s chest like a battle scare, but many of these wounds do not easily reveal themselves to those that do not take the time to look.

1. They make seem completely normal to the outside world. Personalities vary among those living with mental illness. There is no one-size-fits-all depression.

The idea that those with depression all have one similarly dreary personality is false. Depression is more than just a mood. Those who live with depression have learned to alter their apparent moods, and may even be some of the most seemingly “happy” people that you know. Personalities can vary. Often those with depression try to stick with the positive and public parts of their demeanors regardless of what they’re going through on the inside. No one wants to bring others down, even if that means hiding how he or she is truly feeling.

2. They have habitual remedies.

There are serious ways to treat depression, including therapy and medication. However, in addition to these remedies there are lifestyle habits that those with depression use to treat their everyday state-of-mind. This can be in the form of music, exercise, driving, walks, or basically anything they know can get themselves out of a sinking set of emotions. Concealed depression has a lot to do with the ways people try to personally conquer their own demons.

3.They have trouble with abandonment.

Anyone who has experienced depression understands the burden it can be. It can also be a burden for those closest to them. Sometimes when you let someone in enough to see the struggles you have, they walk the other way. Though it’s hard to blame these people for leaving, it creates a serious feeling of abandonment for those with depression. It forges a need for secrecy, out of fear of the recession of those they love. There is nothing more heartbreaking than finding out your ugliest layer of self is too ugly for someone you love to handle.

4. They are pros at “cover-up” stories.

This can be for anything from the cuts on their arms to the reason they skipped dinner. People who live with different forms of depression experience various hardships that can at times impede the normalcy of their daily lives. In these low instances, they know what to say to avoid attention from others to those displays of pain. Often they don’t want to recognize that they are hitting a low point either, so they know how to hide it.

5. They have abnormal sleeping and eating habits.

This may seem like a small sign or factor, but it has a grave effect. Those who live with depression in an unrevealing way can sometimes only let the little signs show. Sleeping too much or too little are textbook examples. The same goes goes for eating too little or too much. Sleep and nutrition are two critical elements to health. They are also two elements that the human mind can attempt to control. Depression creates a suffocating lack of control, and being able to control at least something, can be all a person has. Sleep can be nearly impossible, or it can be the only escape. The same goes for eating.

6. They understand substances differently.

A person who handles their depression also knows how to monitor what they put into their body. They know alcohol is a depressant, and drinking it over an extended period of time can create a mental state of low that they are less equipped to handle than the average person. They know that caffeine and sugar are uppers for their moods. They know what medications do what. They know what doesn’t mix well. They know all of this because altering their state of mind in any way is much more of a responsibility than it may be for other people.

7. They exhibit a very involved perception of life and death.

Not every person with depression has felt suicidal. However, depression often invokes a unique and complex thought process about life in general. Facing one’s mortality often comes at moments of desperation. It happens when you are furiously seeking answers to all of life’s questions. Being drug in and out of horrible mindsets will cause these kind of thoughts to be more frequent.

8. They are often uniquely talented and expressive.

Many of the most inspired and life-changing artists, musicians, and leaders of this world were also plagued by mental illness. I use the word “plagued” in a contradicting fashion, because having a serious depth of emotions can also lead to profound greatness. People who live with depression that may not be visible to the naked-eye, often express themselves in incredible ways. They are in touch with the good and bad pieces of their souls. They are able to formulate and illustrate beauty through the shadows of the emotions they carry.

9. They are always searching for a purpose.

Everyone wants a purpose in life. We want to know that what we are doing is worthwhile. We want to know that we are moving in the right direction. Those who live with unseen depression want this as well, and in a way that attempts to satisfy something inside of them that may always be hungry for more. Feelings of inadequacy and fear are no stranger to the depressed mind. People with hidden depression are almost always trying to compensate in their life for the frailties that they have inside. They may change directions often. They may become incredibly involved in the pursuit of true happiness. They are also striving and searching for more.

10. They at some times will release subtle cries for help.

Even a person who knows how to live with the burden of their own mind can need help. Outcries from people you aren’t expecting are easily overlooked. Sometimes it isn’t safe for people to be on their own with their depression; as much as they say differently. Sometimes they will reach out. Sometimes they will open up. These moments are the most crucial, because they are especially powerful. They are what builds a bridge between people who have different levels of emotions and mindsets. They are what creates a closeness and trust among friends and lovers that isn’t always easy if some feel they have to camouflage their true selves.

11. They seek love and acceptance, as every person does. 

Shielding the world from one’s personal demons is not done so for the sake of dishonesty. People who live with depression in a private and undisclosed way do so for protection. This is for the protection of their hearts. This is for the protection of the people around them. This is for the protection of the success of their dreams. Some of those reading this may have felt an eery connection to these habits. Whether you have been treated for depression, or you simply have treated yourself, you know how easy it is to feel alone. I entitled this article about those with unseen depression, but the truth is that most depression goes unseen by our human nature. We live in a world that encourages us to hide what is dark and unpleasant. We don’t have to.

The most important habit and motivation of those with unseen depression to understand is that they search for love and acceptance. We all do. The only way to gain it is to spread it. Never turn away from a person who seems to be struggling. Love when it’s difficult. Cry when you need to. Reach out when someone closes the door. Open your heart, even if it feels terrifying to do so. If we keep forcing the bad to go unseen, the good will also go unseen.

What's your reaction?


  • Beyond the picket fence
    Posted December 16, 2014 1:41 am 0Likes

    Very poignant. My mother has depression although no one would know. I appreciate her honesty with me. I am always reading about it to arm myself with information. Thanks for your post.

  • Katie
    Posted December 16, 2014 7:47 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on Tick Tock and commented:
    Important post! Mental illness is way more common than most people think and it doesn’t always look like what many would expect, which is one of the reasons it often goes ignored.

  • Maggie Costello
    Posted December 21, 2014 10:23 pm 0Likes

    When I first read this, I was unsure of what to think. I suffer from my depression and I am no stranger to any of these concepts. I can honestly say every thing you listed is habitual for me and reading this made me excited a bit, that people actually notice, and they are trying to understand. I too often am treated differently, people constantly walking on egg shells around me, but really all I want is to be treated like everyone else. We all have issues to deal with, some greater than others, but we learn how to deal and move on.
    Thank you.

  • Little Miss Texas Blog
    Posted December 29, 2014 6:51 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on Calee Paskett.

  • Ali
    Posted December 30, 2014 1:26 pm 0Likes

    its crazy how true this all is…i love all your posts lex.

  • Sascha
    Posted January 8, 2015 9:29 pm 0Likes

    I was diagnosed with severe depression and to this day I am struggle to convince my family and friends. For so long depression has been seen in one way and one way only. Dark, gloomy, in bed all day, that’s what people see when they think of depression. The best way I have learned to describe me and my depression is ” Functional”. When I was first diagnosed my daughter was three years old. I had no choice but to function, now I have two children, and as mommy you have to function. It was literally taking my breath away as I was reading each line, its almost as if you had the blue print to my soul….So thank you, a young woman a world away found a way to understand aspects of myself that those closest to me cant and may never understand. Its a huge sense of comfort to know you aren’t alone in this fight.

    • Amy Keddy
      Posted March 19, 2015 12:49 pm 0Likes

      Hello Sascha,
      Hoping you can contact me about your comment below. My company is working on a documentary about gratitude and we would love to include a line from your post below. You would not be identified in the video. I can be reached at
      Amy Keddy

  • Angel
    Posted January 11, 2015 6:50 pm 0Likes

    Do what do you do to help someone like this or what is a person to do if they recognize this in themselves? What do you do?

    • Amy Keddy
      Posted March 19, 2015 12:43 pm 0Likes

      Hello Sascha,
      Hoping you can contact me about your comment below. My company is working on a documentary about gratitude and we would love to include a line from your post below. You would not be identified in the video. I can be reached at
      Amy Keddy

  • Deb
    Posted January 13, 2015 6:43 am 0Likes

    Wow…every word of this hit home with me. I hide my depression because I want to appear competent to those around me. Depression and its impact on me feels like a failure and I don’t want people to know I have failed. Even when my depression is in remission, I am reminded of it often. For example, I can’t keep my living space organized when depressed and each time I go downhill, it gets worse. When I am well, the state of my living space is overwhelming. I’m afraid to start organizing because I am sure I will fail. This is something I hide from those around me by not allowing them to visit me in my home. It is easier to hide depression than to try to help someone understand it. The concept is so foreign to many people and I feel that these people are so fortunate.

  • Cheryl
    Posted January 14, 2015 12:04 pm 0Likes

    I have been treated for depression for many years. Last winter, after a series of events I won’t bore you with, I spiraled into the darkest place I’d ever been; it was impossible to hide my depression from anyone. After a change in meds and sessions with my therapist, I am now way, way past that time but still don’t feel “right.” This article describes my current state very well. Is is possible to have been successfully treated for major depression but still have concealed depression?

  • epanouirtoujours
    Posted January 18, 2015 4:20 pm 0Likes

    Number 1 on your listical: #nailedit

    Thanks for helping spread awareness to others on the sometimes subtle complexities of depression.

  • Teresa
    Posted January 19, 2015 12:04 am 0Likes

    This is new to me but sounds just like me. I use to be better at covering it up, but I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing. I guess it’s good I now know this is what’s wrong with me. It doesn’t change anything and I’ve always told others to pick up and move on don’t dig things up to make yourself suffer. But I have always been a mother figure and as I get older people don’t want that. I don’t know how else to be so I have been closing off. I’m a Christian and I know I should be able to read the word and I know what I need to do to have fulfilment in my life. I just need to do it. My mind gets in the way and my flesh. I’ve always fought my weight. Now I am fat, feel mean, don’t want to do anything with anyone. Anyway enough chat thank you for this post I learned a lot about myself and know what to ask for. With the Love of Christ from a suffering depressed young loving grandma. Grammy Sugar /Teresa

  • Joanne
    Posted January 19, 2015 4:46 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for your ‘spot on’ article. This article could help loved ones of those suffering.

  • Nick Hunt
    Posted January 21, 2015 1:47 pm 0Likes

    This is one of the most amazingly insightful articles I have ever read. It has opened my eyes to parts of my own condition that no professional that I have consulted has ever identified. Where on earth someone so young has aquired this I would love to know however, I am grateful to have come across this.
    Bless you. x

  • Liz
    Posted January 27, 2015 11:40 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on Hope Is An Anchor.

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  • jake
    Posted March 15, 2015 8:29 pm 0Likes

    I’ve never related so much to an article before. I’m relieved someone knows how I feel and how I act because of those feelings, but I still wish I could relate this much to another human- either be a therapist, doctor, or equivalent peer- because I have yet to find somebody who can explain these very things like you did, as if they were written for me. Anyways, Thank You!!!

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  • wifemombeautifulsoul
    Posted March 21, 2015 8:24 pm 0Likes

    Everytime I read this I want to share it with people and say, “Here! This is me! If you want to understand me…just read it. Please” So thank you for writing this. Wearing masks and constantly covering up the scars on the inside and outside is exhasuting and I feel like I’m two different people sometimes. I share this on FB all the time. I just want people to know that not everyone is as happy as the face that they’re wearing. =]

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    Posted April 10, 2015 11:45 pm 0Likes

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, let alone
    the content!

  • Trackback: 11 vanor hos personer med dold depression | Sir_Pierre's Godispåse
  • aradhya
    Posted May 22, 2015 9:41 am 0Likes

    Getting out of depression doesn’t really needs any medication. Believe me. I have tried on myself. Simply by changing the way of thinking, I came out from a state of constant depression and now feel totally fit. Positive literature from Pt. Sri Ram Sharma Acharya helped me to cure my unhealthy thinking style. So, I would suggest everyone to go through his literature which is full of positive strength and energy. You can find his writings here-

  • deeennkay
    Posted July 1, 2015 4:46 am 0Likes

    Thank you – this makes so much sense. Sharing this on my facebook account in the hope of spreading this message wider!

  • Marie
    Posted July 1, 2015 11:32 am 0Likes

    ****APPLAUSE****!!!!!! This hit the nail right on the head. I don’t think it just applies to clinical depression. I’m ADHD and have had PTSD and exacerbated anxiety. Lots and lots of people with ADHD feel very misunderstood and it can be very isolating. We are desperate for our friends and family and coworkers to understand us, or even if they don’t completely, love us and accept us and appreciate us for who we are and help us be better. The problem often is that they want us to be better first and then love us. But it doesn’t really go that way most of the time, does it? We need the love and acceptance to have the safety to face the hardest things. We all have junk. We are all imperfect. We all have value. Best line in the article is in the last paragraph– “The only way to gain it is to spread it.” If only we all could get out of our glass houses and stop throwing stones and just be kinder, gentler, more accepting and loving of other people, wherever they are at, we could f-ing change the world. Makes me want to to take this article and turn it into a slide show with John Lennon’s “Imagine” playing in the background. Lexi, this is an exceptional piece of work. Keep sharing.

    • mel
      Posted July 11, 2015 11:24 am 0Likes

      Thank you Marie. My 7 yr old has ADHD and I’m am constantly trying to find ways to understand.

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