Everyone thinks i’m happy but I’m depressed 

In this article we will discuss, what it means to be depressed but having no one else be aware of it, what it’s called, the symptoms and getting help. 

What does it mean?

This condition is often referred to as “smiling depression”, although it is not officially included in the DSM and isn’t a diagnostic term .You could be smiling, doing everything on your to-do-list but deep down inside you can’t feel good.

From the outside, someone suffering from smiling depression would appear happy or content to others. On the inside, though, they would be suffering from depression’s distressing symptoms.

Depression affects people differently and manifests itself in a variety of ways, the most notable of which is intense, lasting sadness. Other common signs and symptoms include:

  • Alterations in appetite, weight, and sleeping patterns
  • Tiredness or sluggishness
  • Feelings of hopelessness, low self-worth, and a lack of self-esteem
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities

Some or all of the abovementioned symptoms may be present in someone with smiling depression, but they are usually — if not entirely — missing in public. A person with smiling depression may appear like follows to someone on the outside:

  • A person who is active and high-functioning
  • A someone who has a stable employment, a happy family, and an active social life
  • A person who appears to be joyful, upbeat, and usually happy

If you’re depressed yet continue to grin and put on a brave face, you might feel:

  • It’s as if showing indications of depression is a sign of weakness.
  • Revealing your actual feelings would be a burden to everyone
  • That you don’t suffer from depression since you’re “fine”
  • Others have it worse, so what are you complaining about?
  • That the world would be a better place if you didn’t exist

Having extremely low energy and finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning is a common depression symptom. Energy levels may not be impacted in smiling depression (except when a person is alone).

As a result, the risk of suicide may be increased. Suicidal thoughts are common in those suffering from major depression, but many lack the energy to act on them. Someone with smiling sadness, on the other hand, could have the drive and motivation to keep going.

Why a person may feel the need to hide their depression

It’s common for people to keep their depression hidden. People hide their depressive symptoms for a variety of personal and professional reasons, ranging from wanting to protect their privacy to fearing criticism from others. Explore why people try to disguise their depression.

Denial

Smiling depression can be caused by a person’s denial of their depression. They may believe that as long as they smile, they are not depressed. Many people are unable to admit that they may have a problem. It’s easier for them to act as though everything is OK than to admit how they genuinely feel.

Implications 

People are sometimes concerned about the emotional and professional consequences of depression.  A comedian or lawyer, for example, may be apprehensive that their employer will question their capacity to perform their duties. Someone may be concerned that if they confess that they are depressed, their partner will abandon them. Instead of risking being judged or penalised for their depression, they hide behind a grin.

Feeling like a burden

Depression and guilt are often seen together.  As a result, many people don’t want to burden others with their problems. This is especially true for persons who are accustomed to caring for others rather than being cared for by others. They don’t know how to call for help, so they keep their problems to themselves.

Fear of appearing weak

People with smiling depression are sometimes afraid that if they show their depression, people would take advantage of them. They are frightened not only that others would perceive them as weak and fragile, but also that others will use their sadness against them. They’d rather put on a strong appearance than acknowledge they’re in need of help.

Perfectionism 

The art of looking perfect has often been mastered by perfectionists. For many people, this means masking whatever discomfort or troubles they are having. As a result, admitting to depression would imply that their lives are less than ideal, and they just cannot do so.

Unrealistic views of happiness 

Happiness is portrayed in an unrealistic way on social media. Many individuals enjoy looking at photographs of cheerful people on social media. As a result, individuals begin to assume that they are the only ones suffering from mental illness.  They may feel more lonely than ever, leading them to conceal their problems.

Guilt

Because depression is sometimes accompanied with guilt, some people do not believe they should be depressed. They may believe they have a good life and should not be upset.

They also believe that they must be doing something incorrectly or that they are to fault for their depression. As a result, individuals feel guilty and even ashamed about their depression. As a result, they hide it beneath a smile.

Embarrassment 

Depression is viewed by some as a character fault or a sign of weakness. They may even believe they should be able to “snap out of it,” and if they can’t, they fear something is wrong with them. As a result, individuals may feel ashamed of their depression since they believe they should be able to handle it on their own.

Who might be at risk for developing this condition?

Expectations

We all have unrealistic expectations of ourselves to be better or stronger from time to time. Outside expectations – from coworkers, parents, siblings, children, or friends — also have an impact.

Whether you have unrealistic expectations for yourself or those of others, you may feel compelled to hide your sentiments if they don’t appear to fit those expectations. Due to the impossible high standards they hold themselves to, someone with perfectionism may be even more at danger.

Social media 

We can be lured into an alternate reality where everyone’s lives are going so well in an age where up to 69 percent of the US population uses social media. Is it true, though, that things are going so well?

Many people may be unwilling or unable to publish images of themselves when they are at their worst, preferring instead to share just their happy moments with the rest of the world. This can lead to a lack of reality, allowing smiling sadness to flourish.

Judgement 

Higher levels of stigma may also have an influence in particular cultures or families. Expression of emotions, for example, may be interpreted as “seeking for attention” or as a sign of weakness or laziness.

If you’re told to “Just get over it” or “You’re not trying hard enough” to feel better, you’ll be less likely to express these feelings in the future.

This is especially true for men who are being judged for their masculinity and who may have been taught that “real men” don’t cry. Men are significantly less likely than women to seek mental health treatment.

Someone who is afraid of being criticised for their depressive symptoms is more inclined to put up a front and keep their feelings to themselves.

Major life changes 

Smiling depression, like other varieties of depression, can be triggered by an event, such as a broken relationship or the loss of a job. It might also be felt as a continual state. 

How is it diagnosed?

Smiling depression comes with antithetical (conflicting) symptoms to those of classic depression, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source. This could make the diagnosis more difficult.

Another challenge in detecting smiling depression is that many people are unaware they are depressed or refuse to get help.

It’s critical to seek therapy as soon as possible if you suspect you have depression.

You will need to see a medical expert to be diagnosed. Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms as well as any major life changes that have happened.

They may also recommend you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist if you need medication, or a psychologist or other mental health professional who specialises in psychotherapy if you need psychotherapy.

To be diagnosed with severe depressive disorder, you must have had a depressed episode that lasted more than two weeks and lasted most of the day, almost every day. These symptoms have an impact on how you feel, think, and go about daily tasks like sleeping, eating, and working.

Risk of suicide 

Suicide and death are common ideas in those who are depressed. However, those suffering from clinical depression may lack the energy to make a strategy and carry it through. While everybody suffering from depression is at danger of suicide, those suffering with smiling depression may be at an even higher risk because to their excellent functioning.

Individuals with smiling depression frequently have enough stamina to act on suicidal ideas. Individuals with smiling depression, on the other hand, are frequently untreated. In addition, untreated depression can worsen over time, increasing the risk of suicide.

Getting help

Medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle modifications are used to treat this type of depression, which is comparable to other established therapies for major depressive disorder.

The most crucial step in obtaining treatment for smiling depression is to confide in someone. It might be a coworker, a friend, or a family member.

Speaking with a professional about your depression symptoms can be quite beneficial, as a specialist can assist you in developing specific coping methods and tactics for negative thought patterns. If they think you’d benefit from drugs or a support group, they’ll tell you.

How to help someone that you think is suffering from this condition?

Share your concerns if you suspect someone you know is suffering from smiling depression. Normalize mental health issues and inform them about available resources. Provide both emotional and practical assistance.

For example, you might provide a ride to a medical appointment, or you might even offer to attend the appointment with them, depending on the nature of your friendship. Also, point them in the direction of community resources. Inform them of any mental health assistance that might be accessible.

If a loved one refuses to seek help, you may want to consult a therapist on your own. Talking to someone can help you manage your stress while also reinforcing skills for helping someone you care about.

Conclusion

In this article we discussed, what everyone thinks i’m happy but i’m depressed means, why people may feel the need to hide their depression, who is at risk for developing this condition, how to get help an how to help someone you think is suffering from this condition. 

FQAs 

What is it called when people fake depression?

Malingering is the practise of inventing symptoms of depression (or another mental health issue) to avoid work, military service, or jury duty, or to get something like prescription drugs.

What does depression do to your looks?

Because the chemicals connected with depression can inhibit your body from repairing inflammation in cells, long-term depression has catastrophic repercussions on your skin. “These hormones impair sleep, which can be seen on our faces as large, puffy eyes and a dull or lifeless complexion,” Dr. Wechsler explains.

Who is most likely to suffer from depression?

 People between the ages of 45 and 65 are most likely to suffer from major depression. “Persons in their forties and fifties are near the top of the depression bell curve, but people at the very young and very old ends of the curve, the very young and very old, may be at increased risk for severe depression,” Walch says

 What is the most serious form of depression?

Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder.

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/smiling-depression#treatments

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-smiling-depression-4775918

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