The Symptom of Depression That Nobody Talks About

What happens when you feel as if nothing interests you? What about when you feel like nothing you do is of any importance? What happens is that you stop feeling useful. This is really dangerous. Find out what the symptom of depression is that you've probably never been told about.
The Symptom of Depression That Nobody Talks About
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 08 November, 2022

The writer CS Lewis said that mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain. However, in reality, it’s more common and also more difficult to bear. Among the most silent sufferings of the human being is undoubtedly depression. This mood disorder is like a really complex puzzle made up of many variables and personal circumstances.

Depression isn’t easy to define or prevent. You might have good basic tools and a highly resilient attitude but sometimes, certain experiences, and even your social context, can break you. In fact, according to WHO data, almost 3.8 percent of the population has to deal with this mental condition. The figures could even be higher since not everyone seeks help and receives a diagnosis.

Moreover, depression is still misunderstood by society. Some relate it to a lack of proactivity, weakness, and fallibility. Indeed, we usually have an incomplete vision of this disorder, associating it only with sadness and lack of energy.

Nevertheless, there are certain factors in depression that are often overlooked. We’re going to take a look at one of them; boredom.

If you feel nothing interests you, nothing attracts your attention, and what you were previously passionate about now exhausts you, don’t hesitate to ask for expert help.

Tired man thinking about the symptom of depression that no one talks about
Although for most people, boredom is a fleeting and trivial feeling, there are those who live trapped in this loop.

Chronic boredom and depression

The symptom of depression that’s often overlooked is chronic boredom. It’s natural to be bored occasionally. In fact, this type of emotion can be useful as it urges you to change. For children, it’s actually necessary. That’s because the child who feels bored ends up promoting their critical thinking and self-sufficiency skills.

However, this state has a highly problematic and pathological reverse side. This is the fact that people who suffer from chronic boredom have a higher risk of suffering from depression. They also risk suffering from anxiety and a higher risk of developing addictions to substances (alcohol, drugs) or behavioral addictions, such as gambling.

Research conducted by Alliant International University in California (USA) claims that boredom is an aversive feeling of tiredness, restlessness, and frustration that can be extremely harmful when it becomes chronic. In effect, the bored individual no longer has any incentives in their daily routine and starts to feel disconnected from reality. This can be problematic.

Depression goes beyond a face blurred by sadness, hopelessness, or the need for isolation. In fact, there are factors that make up this psychological disorder that are often overlooked.

When hopelessness meets persistent boredom

What happens when you can no longer entertain yourself with your hobbies? What happens when, in addition, you feel that there’s nothing important for you to do? Perhaps you’re unemployed and feel frustrated by not receiving any job offers. You no longer enjoy the things you used to, in fact, you’re not interested in anything. It isn’t hard to recognize that this type of situation increases the risk of suffering from a depressive disorder.

However, boredom by itself won’t cause you to suffer from a psychological disorder. Multiple factors converge in depression, such as anguish, hopelessness, negativity, guilt, insomnia, eating disorders, etc.

Chronic boredom includes apathy, anhedonia, and abulia. You experience the absence of pleasure, a loss of interest and motivation, and feelings of impotence when it comes to carrying out any task. It’s a diffuse and oppressive feeling in which you feel that your life has become completely stagnant.

Existential boredom: doubting your importance in the world

“What am I doing here? What’s my role? What should I be doing now?” If you’re dealing with a mental health problem, you ask yourself constant questions. But these questions are full of poison because they eat away at you and dampen your mood even more. In addition, they increase your despair.

Therefore, chronic or existential boredom should always be taken into account when it comes to depression. The writer and former director of primary care at the University of Chicago (USA) Alex Lickerman, coined this term, defining it as the inability to find anything interesting in life.

If you don’t enjoy your hobbies and nothing is interesting to you, you end up doubting your place and your importance in the world. Thinking this way denotes a red line that you must never cross since it’s the moment when you’re confronted with the dangerous idea that your life has no meaning.

Our highly stimulated society can leave us feeling overwhelmed and bored. This is a reality that many young people experience.

Patient in therapy working on the symptom of depression
Psychological therapy is highly effective in treating all the symptoms associated with depression, such as boredom and hopelessness.

How to deal with the symptom of depression that nobody talks about?

The symptom of depression that we don’t talk about much is more important than we think. “To be bored is to kiss death”, said the writer Ramón Gómez de la Serna. And, today, young people are increasingly bored. New technologies and social media subject them to a state of overload of stimuli in which it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed and also apathetic.

Gradually, their realities stop containing novel stimuli. Add to this an uncertain future and it means they’re more likely to develop an anxiety disorder or depression at some point. If you’re in this scenario, what can you do? Next, we’ll look at some strategies.

Helpful strategies

  • Look for support. Tell your friends, partner, or family how you feel. Explain your feelings of emptiness and boredom. Explain that it’s not something occasional but a constant feeling and you’re feeling increasingly worse.
  • Request psychological support. As we’ve already explained, chronic boredom is combined with more variables that could suggest depression. Therefore, getting a diagnosis and tools to manage what’s happening to you is extremely important.
  • Start new activities and reformulate your goals. You must look for new incentives. This may be really difficult as, when apathy takes you over, it’s difficult to find new motivators. However, nothing is more important than getting active and starting new tasks. That’s how you vary your emotional focus.

To conclude, if you stand still and allow feelings of indolence, disappointment, and constant boredom to engulf you, you won’t move forward. That said, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to make sure you talk to someone and let yourself be helped. The abyss of frustration that has you trapped will eventually go away.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.