“Smiling depression” isn’t recognized as a condition but it is instead a term that is used to describe people who are experiencing depression inside but appear perfectly happy and content on the outside. Typically, depression is associated with feelings of sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and despair. Not everyone is experiencing depression in the same way. It varies from person to person. Some might not even realize or acknowledge their symptoms of depression, especially if they are managing their day-to-day life well. People who are active don’t appear to be depressed and don’t necessarily think they need help. It is one of the reasons which makes smiling depression challenging to treat.
Depression affects everyone differently and has a variety of symptoms. The most distinguished one is the deep, prolonged sadness. Classic symptoms of depression also include changes in appetite, weight loss, sleep disruption, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, low self-worth, loss of interest in pleasurable things. Someone with smiling depression may be experiencing all these symptoms, but not showing them in public. To someone looking from the outside, a person with a smiling depression might seem like an active, cheerful, optimistic and happy individual but it is just a façade. These people are not showing their feelings because they think that showing signs of depression in public can be perceived as a sign of weakness.
What can trigger smiling depression?
Smiling depression can be triggered by situations like failed relationships, career challenges, loss of a job, etc. It can also be reinforced by thinking that you are not good enough, despite everything you do and are. It is good to have high standards for yourself, but it is also essential to remember not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself. Try to have self-compassion. Remember all the achievements you have made, and don’t forget that nobody’s perfect.
Suicide can be a particular threat to individuals suffering from smiling depression. Typically, people suffering from classic depression might have suicidal thoughts, but not the energy to fulfill them. However, those hurting from smiling depression can follow their plans through. This is why smiling depression can be more dangerous than a classic form of severe depression. Therefore, if any of your friends, relatives, co-workers or just a person you know seems to be suffering from this condition make sure to give them some attention and care, and if it’s you who’s experiencing smiling depression remember that there is hope. You can find help with medications, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out for support to your friends and loved ones.
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