Uncommon Signs of Depression and Anxiety


Mental health conditions are becoming increasingly common amongst the masses. From 1990 to 2017, the ratio of mental illnesses to the overall burden of illness has doubled in India. In 2017, an estimated one in seven Indians suffered from mental illnesses of varying severity, with signs of depression and anxiety being the most common. It was estimated that around 197 million Indians suffered from mental health disorders in 2017, with 46 million experiencing depression and 45 million experiencing anxiety disorders

There are standardized manuals such as ICD-10 and DSM-V that can provide structured criteria to diagnose an individual with depression and anxiety. However, there are many signs and behavioral manifestations of these disorders that are exhibited in a person early on, which may go unnoticed. 

Some of the uncommon signs of depression include:

uncommon signs of depression and anxiety – angry
  1. Feeling Irritable and angry
  2. Gaining or losing weight
  3. Sleeplessness or Lethargy
  4. Experiencing Unmanageable Feelings
  5. Harming oneself
  6. Low sexual desire 

Feeling  Irritable and angry

People can feel easily agitated in their day-to-day interactions with others, and this can be one of the reasons why they withdraw from social interactions as well. Also, they feel that others are unable to understand them.

Gaining or losing weight

People who experience signs of depression can witness a significant amount of weight loss or gain in a short span of time. 

Sleeplessness or Lethargy

One is likely to experience difficulty in getting out of bed or getting engaged in a task. People are likely to find comfort in one particular place and spend their entire day there. They might even report that they don’t feel like engaging in anything as they feel tired and would rather sleep. Some people also experience what is called “daytime fatigue.” That is, they feel lazy throughout the day, even after sufficient sleep at night. 

Experiencing Unmanageable Feelings

They may experience a bout of emotions all at once, which is not focused on one particular situation or interaction. It has also been seen that people experience a lot of anxiety and fear as well. 

 Harming oneself

People who get depressed might even engage in behaviors to hurt themselves physically as they feel incredibly helpless and hopeless about their situation. They may feel that there may not be an end to this concern and they may feel that they themselves are the main problem. 

Low sexual desire

Many people experience a partial or complete absence of pleasure and believe that they no longer find joy in life. This may also be manifested in the form of having decreased sexual urges or having none at all.

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Some of the uncommon signs of anxiety include: 

  1. Irritable
  2. Unrest or feeling tied up or on the verge
  3. Being quickly tired
  4. Concentration challenge or the mind goes blank


Feeling irritated or displaying irritable behavior is a commonly occurring symptom of anxiety that goes unnoticed. As a person’s sympathetic nervous system is aroused when they perceive danger and their body alerts them (people then may experience increased heart rate, sweating, or sensitivity) in order to protect them from any harm. However, a person who suffers from anxiety has an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which makes them sensitive to environmental cues and respond with irritation or feel irritated more easily as compared to someone else. 

signs of anxiety – feeling irritated

Unrest or feeling tied up or on the verge

People who are anxious may feel restless internally. They might even feel that they are stuck and always on the edge of things (unable to take a firm decision). This could possibly be because they are constantly worried about the future, which keeps their flight or fight mode activated.

Being quickly tired

Another sign of anxiety that people may experience is feeling drained very easily. People who have chronic anxiety may not feel rested even after sleeping and taking a break. Since they anticipate threats, they are mostly in flight or fight mode, ready for danger. This leads to using up bodily resources every now and then and contributes to fatigue.

Concentration challenge or the mind goes blank

Individuals who experience anxiety are likely to focus their cognitive energy on negative thoughts and experiences, which in turn boosts their anxiety. Thus, as they are ruminating, they have difficulty directing their attention to any other work. 

These are some of the prominent features of depression and anxiety which may go unnoticed as they are not primary indicators of these two disorders, but rather secondary manifestations. Please note that secondary manifestations alone cannot diagnose a person with a particular disease. Kindly do not label people as depressed or disordered on this basis.

If you or someone you love is experiencing something similar to what we discussed in this blog, please reach out for help from a mental health professional

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