The term smiling depression may seem like an accidental turn of phrase or an oxymoron, but it is a dangerous health condition suffered by many Americans. Smiling depression is characterized by a happy appearance on the outside while the person is truly suffering from depression on the inside. Individuals who suffer from this condition are often successful, might be married, and have active social lives. This type of depression is particularly dangerous because the symptoms are not visible. Sufferers of smiling depression may be at a higher risk of taking their own life because they tend to rarely share their feelings or simply because they have the energy or motivation to follow through with an attempt. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of smiling depression and to seek help as soon as possible.
Loss Of Interest In Enjoyable Activities
A loss of interest in enjoyable activities or hobbies is a trademark symptom of depression. However, it may be less obvious in those suffering from smiling depression. In social situations, they may be the life of the party, but inside they are not truly enjoying themselves. Social activities may even be a way of avoiding real issues or feelings of sadness. This symptom may only become noticeable to those who are watching closely. The person suffering may decline invitations to events they would ordinarily attend. Sadness or tiredness may be observed when they are unaware anyone is watching. Lulls between social events may be particularly troublesome as there are fewer distractions as well.
Keep reading to discover another common symptom of this particular form of depression to look out for.
Lethargy Or Fatigue
Tiredness is a common sign of depression. It is associated with the individual feeling too exhausted to get out of bed to attend work or partake in everyday life. Lethargy or fatigue often presents differently in someone with smiling depression. This individual in question may even be an overachiever, seeming to have boundless amounts of energy and excel in all areas of life. However, when they are alone, exhaustion takes over. If someone suffering from smiling depression has significant time to spend alone, that time may be spent asleep.
This symptom shows a clear link between depression and perfectionism. Those suffering from smiling depression often balance their self-esteem on perfection. Fatigue may feel like weakness and cause rebound depression. Visual cues of this symptom may occur when the person shows difficulty completing everyday tasks or changes in their appearance as exhaustion can cause cognitive tasks to become difficult and basic hygiene too much of an effort.
Reveal how smiling depression can affect one’s sleeping patterns now.
Shifts In Sleeping Habits
Whether a person realizes they suffer from depression or not, shifts in sleeping habits are a significant red flag. The connection between sleep and depression may not be shown with constant fatigue. Someone who is usually a sound sleeper may suddenly have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Although some people feel tired all day, restlessness occurs when they lay down to go to sleep. Opposingly, an individual who has always functioned well on a few hours of sleep each night, may have trouble waking in the morning or find naps necessary during the day.
Sleep disturbances may occur before other symptoms of depression. For instance, those with insomnia may be ten times more likely to experience depression than those without a sleeping disorder. Insomnia results in less restorative sleep and a lack of energy to face the day. Sleeping patterns may change naturally in winter when the days become shorter. The changes in daylight can trigger an upset in the body’s natural sleeping rhythm resulting in increased or seasonal depression.
Uncover the next sign of smiling depression to be aware of now.
Changes In Appetite
Major changes in one’s appetite can be a sign of depression. Sadness and lack of enjoyment can make favorite foods less enjoyable to consume. The fatigue that accompanies depression can make preparing food or even the effort of consuming a meal, seem like too much effort. Eating habits may not be immediately noticeable. However, skipping meals or leaving a large serving of food behind may be an early warning sign. For instance, a friend who picks at a favorite meal when they are not ill may be suffering from depression.
On the other hand, some individuals eat more when they feel depressed. This might be an effort to comfort or avoid feelings of sadness. Food might be a comforting reminder of happier times or the feeling of a full stomach can be physically satisfying. These changes may not always be noticeable to the observer, but changes in weight can be a sign. Considerable weight gain or loss for no reason is a symptom of depression regardless of how happy someone might seem.
Continue reading to explore another significant symptom of smiling depression.
Feelings Of Hopelessness
Feeling hopeless or sad is the general definition of depression. While some patients share these symptoms regularly, other variations may be less obvious. For someone suffering from smiling depression, voicing these feelings may seem like a weakness. Guilt for even noticing such feelings can result in feelings of worthlessness that compound depression. Feelings of hopelessness are a leading reason why a person may take their own life when they are suffering from depression. If they go unnoticed, the person may not seek help during their darkest hours.
Hopelessness in those suffering from smiling depression may seem more like general negative thinking. Someone with an optimistic attitude may suddenly begin speaking out about negative things that do not really affect them. If someone can look at a predominantly good experience and only see the worst part of it, depression may be lurking behind their smile.
Get to know more about the indicators of smiling depression now.
Feel Showing Signs Would Be Showing Weakness
An individual with smiling depression may feel like showing signs would be showing weakness. They may feel like others will judge them for not being strong enough to overcome their sadness and other depression symptoms. They may also feel like showing signs and asking for help would make them vulnerable, which can increase their anxiety. Many individuals who experience these feelings have struggled to receive support for depression in the past. They may have internalized a feeling that they need to be strong at all times. It’s impossible to go through life without ever needing help with anything though. Humans are social creatures by nature, and connecting is an important part of the recovery process.
Learn about more symptoms of smiling depression now.
Others Have It Worse (What Is There To Complain About?)
One common thought is that if others have it worse, what is there to complain about? Individuals dealing with this kind of depression may believe they don’t have a right to sadness or to struggle if they’ve had the privilege of a relatively easy life. While finding the good things about one’s life is an important part of dealing with depression, they shouldn’t be used to invalidate the depression itself. Depression can happen to anyone regardless of their life circumstances. In fact, some depression may not even be triggered by external situations. Though depression may develop as a result of someone being unhappy with their life, it can also develop for no discernible reason, such as by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Discover why smiling depression is so serious now.
Why Smiling Depression Is So Serious
Smiling depression is a serious condition for a number of reasons. Individuals who continue to smile through these feelings and pretend to be happy are less likely to reach out for help. This could be motivated by not wanting to burden others or being afraid of judgment. When individuals with smiling depression don’t seek help, their condition can get progressively worse. Those with untreated depression have a higher risk of suicide. In addition, individuals with depression have limited energy, and putting energy into keeping up a facade of happiness is absolutely exhausting, and it can make symptoms worse. It’s also complicated to diagnose smiling depression since the condition presents with symptoms that conflict with traditional depression presentation.
Be aware of these signs and do not hesitate to seek help for yourself or a loved one today.