Individuals who experience traumatic experiences or have a history of personal struggle with abuse or neglect can often develop an ongoing depression that interferes with their lives.
This level of depression can vary in severity, and the symptoms can come and go with time. Others may experience a low level of anxiety and a constant feeling of depression. On the extreme end, some individuals will find that their depression and anxiety symptoms are debilitating – keeping them from experiencing a thriving and productive lifestyle.
For many men, women, and children suffering from depression, the inability to understand or comprehend their current mental health state will force them into a state of stoic struggle. They may feel that they must simply “toughen up” and attempt to push through their pain with a happy face. While friends, family, and coworkers around them may feel that there is nothing wrong, under the surface, a debilitating depression is preventing the individual from enjoying their life.
The Difficulty In Trying To Hide Depression
The latest studies show that millions of Americans struggle with a form of depression every day. With mental health becoming a severe health issue for so many across the country, it is essential that those suffering understand their mental health – and the dangers of hiding depression. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments available for depression, individuals can know how to help overcome their depression with guidance from a skilled psychologist or therapist.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for many who struggle with depression that remains hidden from those around them. Many individuals will simply live with their depression for weeks, months, or years – never showing or allowing the depression to rise above the surface in a way that forces them to reckon with their mental health.
The reasons that many hide their depression can vary. Some feel that they have a lack of support to get help. Others fear that admission will cost them in their personal or vocational lives.
Many simply choose to push down their feelings of depression and avoid sharing them with others. It is here that many will find that they have entered a dangerous place with their mental health, as they fall into a category of depression often referred to as experiencing “Smiling Depression.”
Understanding Smiling Depression
Individuals who suffer from a form of ongoing depression that prevents them from living a thriving and flourishing life – yet hide their symptoms from those who live life with them every day – are now considered to struggle with Smiling Depression.
Someone with smiling Depression is defined as someone who experiences the symptoms of depression, yet those who live and work with them have no idea that they are suffering. By hiding their suffering behind a smile, these individuals often don’t receive the help or care that they need to find hope and healing from their depression.
Unfortunately, many realize that someone has been suffering from smiling depression only once it is too late to help. Consider the numerous high-profile celebrities who have taken their own lives unexpectedly. Many of these men and women were seen as carefree, happy individuals, many of whom experienced successful comedy careers. It is only when tragedy strikes that it comes to the public eye that they were suffering for years with debilitating depression or anxiety.
The Difficulty of Diagnosing Smiling Depression
In the latest diagnostic manuals, the concept of Smiling Depression does not yet have a specific definition or therapy model. This can make the diagnosis and treatment of Smiling Depression difficult.
Without a proper means to quickly identify Smiling Depression, a diagnosis will often require time spent with a trained mental health expert. Those suffering may not even see that they have depression, as they have become accustomed to putting on a smiling face and simply pushing through their daily lives – ignoring the pain hidden inside.
Those who are enduring Smiling Depression may find that they are often seen as suffernig from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Proper diagnoses of depression should only be made with the help of a trained and experienced psychologist. These professionals can help individuals work through their background and current symptoms to find the best way forward.
How To Know If You May Have Smiling Depression
So with the diagnosis being so tricky, how can one know if they or someone they love is suffering from Smiling Depression? This struggle is often referred to as someone who is “hiding behind a smile.” – so those who suffer are often hiding their symptoms with both verbal and physical cues that they are fine.
Understanding whether or not an individual may have Smiling Depression often begins with learning how depression itself is diagnosed:
Know The Signs & Symptoms Of Depression
To better understand Smiling Depression, it is crucial to start by defining the signs and symptoms of depression.
For millions of individuals across the globe, depression can take various forms and can appear across a spectrum of diagnosable types. The severity of depression can be consistent or varied depending on the type. However, many of the symptoms are common across all kinds – including Smiling Depression. This is why knowing how to notice the signs of depression in an individual can help them receive help for Smiling Depression.
Knowing the primary signs of depression and identifying them can help you know when it may be time to see a professional psychologist in the Berkeley area for help.
At its core, it is essential to know that depression is a mental illness that can potentially interfere with one’s ability to live and enjoy life. Not only can depression impact how you see yourself and your situation, but ongoing depression can lead to a deterioration of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
This is why seeking the help of a psychologist Berkeley is so essential when you begin to notice the symptoms of depression appearing in your life or the life of a loved one.
While the symptoms of depression can vary in appearance and severity, there are several common signs that you will want to take note of should they appear suddenly or continue for a time without relenting:
- A new and unusual sense of sadness
- A depressed mood that lingers for longer than two weeks consistently
- New or continuing loss of interest or pleasure in everyday life and activities
- An increase or decrease in appetite that remains over time
- Rapid weight gain or loss that is unexpected
- Inability to fall asleep or wanting to sleep too much
- A sudden sense of increased fatigue and energy to engage with individuals
- An ongoing sense of shame, guilt, and hopeless
- Difficulty focusing on tasks and finishing projects
- Sudden or ongoing ruminating on death or contemplating suicide
Building a working understanding of the signs and symptoms of depression can help individuals suffering from Smiling Depression know when they should seek help. For those who live and work with someone who may be suffering from Smiling Depression, knowing the breadth of possible symptoms is essential for ensuring that you notice the signs that someone may be trying desperately to hide from others behind their smile.
If you are not feeling these symptoms but have begun to notice these symptoms in a loved one or friend, you may wish to step in and help offer aid in seeking the help of a psychologist Berkeley.
Finding The Depression Behind Smiling Depression
So how does one move from a depression diagnosis to Smiling Depression? The key is to notice the symptoms that are common with both atypical depression and Smiling Depression – as well as the telltale signs that come with this specific type of day-to-day suffering.
Those who struggle with this “walking depression” often report many similar issues present in those diagnosed with a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). These symptoms can include many depression symptoms such as hopelessness, irritability, sadness, trouble sleeping, and more.
Smiling Depression can eventually lead to losing interest in everyday activities, withdrawing from personal relationships, and even contemplating suicide. When symptoms reach this severity, it is essential that those suffering find help from a trained psychologist Berkeley.
Herein lies the difficulty with diagnosing Smiling Depression. Many who have become experts at hiding their depression under a happy or funny attitude and demeanor. They may be seen as “having it all together” – yet are often harboring depressive signs and symptoms just under the surface.
Why do many hide their suffering? Individuals with Smiling Depression may hide their struggle due to many reasons:
- The shame of being seen as too weak or “broken” in their mental health
- A deep fear of being a burden to their loved ones in their suffering
- Denial of their actual suffering and inability to comprehend the possibility of depression
- A thought that difficulty in daily life is a normal part of living
When individuals convince themselves that they are not suffering from depression, it can be increasingly difficult for them to reach out and find help from a friend, family member, or a skilled psychologist or therapist trained in healing.
Untreated Smiling Depression & Its Dangers
When Smiling Depression goes untreated by a professional, the risks of danger and worsening suffering will only rise- and can continue toward increasingly difficult situations. Individuals who suffer from Smiling Depression without receiving professional treatment often further isolate themselves from those they love and trust. They will quickly discover that the light of hope continues to dim as they move further and further away from help.
In the worst cases, those unwilling to face their current situation with depression may find that they start to question their self-worth, value, and willingness to continue moving forward in their personal and vocational lives.
With the most extreme and severe cases, Smiling Depression can cause individuals to begin to harbor thoughts or contemplation of self-harm or suicide. Individuals who are not aware of their depression, as well as others near them, may not feel that they have the ability or resources available to help those in dire circumstances.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of depression, it is important to quickly seek professional mental health help immediately to prevent tragedy.
Find Help For Smiling Depression With A Professional Psychologist In Berkeley
No matter the reasons one is experiencing depression, the most important truth is that hope and healing are possible. The ongoing struggle to constantly “put on a smile” can lead to blocking the true feelings of hopelessness. Pushing down those struggles and symptoms that rest just under the surface can ultimately lead to a worsening of your experience – and put yourself and others in danger.
Smiling Depression can become a set of chains for those suffering. Unable to express their true selves, those with Smiling Depression may not find the path to hope that is available with the help of a skilled and trained psychologist or counselor. Further, those who stifle their feelings and emotions of depression find it hard to discover the place to open up and be their true selves – if only they can find and take the first step toward healing.
Are you interested in learning how you can meet with a trained and experienced therapist for Smiling Depression? I invite you to contact me today. As a local depression psychologist Berkeley, I can show you how a professional therapist can help you find hope and healing from Smiling Depression and a host of other struggles.
At my practice, I utilize leading therapy treatment methods that can help those suffering from Smiling Depression find the hope and healing they need to get back to their fulfilling lives. With treatments that move at a patient’s unique speed and tailored to their circumstances, working with a professional for depression can be a key way to heal.
Partnering with a professional to treat depression can help those suffering treat their symptoms and work through the underlying issues that may be related to or leading to their depression. Together, we will find the best methods that fit your circumstances and needs and encourage you and your loved ones to come together to find healing from depression.