The Dangers of Hidden Depression
People often hide their depression well. We don’t want to worry our loved ones. We fear being judged and stigmatized—even now when mental illness is much better understood and accepted than in decades past. We may see our disease as a weakness, something that we need to tackle alone. Maybe we’re in denial, hiding our depression not only from others but from ourselves.
As a result, some people have what’s called “smiling” or “hidden” depression. These people have two sides: the one they show to the world, and the one that emerges when they’re alone with their thoughts. They come across to others as happy, bubbly, and productive, but inwardly they’re struggling with symptoms like sadness, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in things that used to be important. These people may not even realize they have depression, or they may be working hard to keep their illness a secret.
Dealing with Hidden Depression
Unfortunately, as with other mental illnesses, trying to tackle depression by yourself only makes it worse. While talking to others about our feelings makes them more manageable, isolating ourselves turns our brains into echo chambers for negative thoughts. It’s critical to have a support structure of people we can safely talk to and lean on them when needed.
This means overcoming our pride and fear to share our experiences with others. It means asking for help—which is hard for many of us and harder still when that help is needed in a sensitive area like mental health. It also means reaching out to those who seem to be struggling—or not. Sometimes, the last person you’d expect is the one who needs the most help. Reach out to your friends and loved ones, ask them how they’re doing, and let them know it’s okay not to be okay. To battle depression as a society, we have to normalize these types of conversations.
Craft, R. (2023, March 9). The Dangers of Hidden Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, March 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2023/3/the-dangers-of-hidden-depression
Author: Rachel Craft
Public education is aided by raising awareness of mental health issues. Also check out psychiatric care medicine
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