Depression is a real problem for a large number of people worldwide. In the In the United States alone, approximately 10% of Americans are suffering from some form of major depression. With so many struggling to function, why is it so difficult to spot it in others?
As it turns out, there is a form of depression called “Smiling Depression.” Those who have it present themselves as happy on the outside, but are actually very unhappy on the inside. Despite being functioning members of society, it is a major struggle for them to perform basic tasks and find enjoyment in everyday life.
Depression is more than just a lack of excitement. While it paints everything in shades of gray, it also makes it difficult to try new things, meet new people, explore the surrounding world, and even seek help for their issues. This is because they spend the majority of their energy simply forcing themselves up in the morning, taking showers, dressing themselves, eating, meeting deadlines, and presenting useful results for others at their job.
Due to the negative stigma attached to mental illnesses like depression, many avoid explaining their situation to others out of fear of being ostracized, losing their job, or making things uncomfortable. As it turns out, though, talking about depression helps to alleviate the symptoms, promotes a sense of connection, and can help to develop bonds with others who may be struggling silently themselves.
On the outside, a person with smiling depression may be:
- An active, energetic, high-functioning individual
- Someone with a steady job and a healthy family and social life
- Acting cheerful, optimistic, and appearing happy
But on the inside, someone with smiling depression may have the following symptoms:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Low self esteem
- Frequently tired; Frequent desire to lay down
- Lack of appetite or excessive eating
- Disinterest in any hobbies or activities
Depression Treatment Options
Overcoming any form of depression is a task that must include persistent, repeated changes to your mental and physical behavior. Much of long-standing depression is the result of a negative feedback loop that develops into a bigger problem. When most depressed people are asked if their depression has gotten better or worse since it started, they usually explain that it has gotten worse. This is because of a lack of positive reinforcement, which causes the individual to develop extra feelings of guilt, frustration, and even anger towards themselves and others. These blurry, negative feelings add to the already overwhelming depression and just make things worse.
To overcome this vicious cycle, remind yourself that instead of submitting to your feelings of sadness, you should act, you really want act, and that you can act against them in a constructive manner.
When a problem arises, or you feel yourself becoming depressed, instead of giving into your feelings helplessness, observe your problem objectively, split it into actionable and realistic pieces and make a plan to either overcome them or to wasting energy focusing on them.
By actively providing yourself with positive feedback, you will re-learn how to respond to things in a more useful and positive way replacing your old destructive behavior with new constructive behavior.
In addition to being mindful and taking responsibility of your condition, it may also be beneficial to supplement your treatment with psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, and even ketamine infusions for severe cases.
Contact South Sound Health & Wellness
Treatments like ketamine infusions are a lifesaver for those suffering from chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and more. If you or a loved one is struggling, please contact South Sound Health & Wellness for a free consultation.