More than one-third of Scots are shunning loved ones to spend time alone as new research suggests thousands of us could be ignoring warning signs of depression.

Despite appearing to get on with our everyday lives, up to 36 per cent of Scots are experiencing symptoms which could suggest underlying depression and anxiety, according to a new study.

Findings showed that 35% of Scots would describe themselves as less confident than they once were, while 30% said they no longer enjoyed work as much as they used to. 

One-quarter of Scots admitted to feeling more anxious in social situations which previously did not phase them, while more than one-fifth confessed to often cancelling plans so they do not have to interact with other people.

Meanwhile, 20% said they slept more than they needed to, while 22% admitted to finding basic functions like showering more difficult than usual.

The research, titled The Happiness Index, by depression treatment firm Smart TMS, found an increase in the number of “normalised” behaviours, which could indicate struggles with mental health.

While depression has previously been characterised by seemingly more serious symptoms, including suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable mood swings and dependence on medication, it can also present with a range of far more “normalised” behaviours – including a lack of motivation to shower, spend time with children and family or simply get on with the day.

The firm said the research, which was carried out across 2,000 people in the UK, demonstrates that millions could be suffering from undiagnosed symptoms of isolating depression-like behaviour.

National figures told how 23% of people in the UK have experienced symptoms of what they think is undiagnosed depression for many years, while a further 14% have left a long-term mental health issue untreated over many years in order to avoid prescription drugs.