Smiling depression is one of the worst kinds of depression. It involves smiling through the pain and appearing happy to others while keeping the hurt inside. It is a serious depressive disorder and due to its atypical symptoms, many people are not aware they have it, so they don’t ask for help.
Moreover, people who suffer from smiling depression are usually very successful in life, they have partners, are accomplished, employed, and well educated. The façade they show to others is well put together. But inside, they are breaking.
The problem is that neither of these people appears depressed. Also, they don’t feel like they need help because they feel they shouldn’t be depressed since they have everything to be happy. But they are not.
The thing is, sometimes we don’t understand that no matter how much we have and who we are, we can still have depression. It is a clinical matter that can be treated but only if it’s recognized in time.
Here’s what you should do if you or someone you know and care for suffers from smiling depression.
1. Acknowledging its existence
This is the most difficult thing for people struggling with smiling depression. This is because those people who are suffering usually brush aside their feelings and act like nothing is happening. Even more so, they might not even be aware of their condition, or they don’t want to admit how they feel due to their fears of being judged and considered weak by others.
However, having persistent feelings of loneliness, sadness, hopelessness, and despair can be a sign of emotional distress. They are not feelings of weakness. In fact, they all signal that we need to ask for support and help from others.
2. Talking with someone you trust
This is another hard thing to do for anyone suffering from smiling depression because these people are accustomed to keep everything to themselves. They do it so because they think that neither their friends nor their family can understand them.
Yes, no one can take away the pain from you. But, sometimes we are so accustomed to being alone and have our feelings bottled up that we underestimate the healing power of having someone to talk to. Therefore, talk to your closest ones whenever you feel depressed and be patient. The change won’t happen overnight, but you’ll get there.
3. Take care of your self-esteem
Fluctuations in self-esteem are a normal thing. However, when we are in a bad place, we tend to become extra critical and with that, we kick our self-esteem to the curb.
Instead, you should think of your self-esteem as your emotional immune system and nurture it constantly in order to get it stronger. You can do this by writing a letter to yourself expressing gratitude, support, and compassion as you would offer to a friend who is struggling with self-criticism and a lack of confidence.
4. If you are trying to help a friend, listen to them and try to understand them
And always remember that you can’t take away their pain and make them feel better instantly. In fact, don’t even try to make things better. Just listen and make them feel understood. Make them feel loved and cared for. Just let them talk and express their feelings. You can later ask them if you can do something for them.
Listen carefully to them and express your concern. You can motivate them to go to therapy and promise them that you’ll be there with them during the process. Compassion goes a long way. But, if they aren’t open to the idea, don’t insist. Just being their moral support can be enough for them to feel better.
5. Keep in mind that no one is perfect
Smiling depression can get triggered by the mere belief that you are not good enough. And while it is an amazing thing to have high standards for yourself, it is also important to check if you’ve set the bar too high.
Because depression oftentimes goes hand in hand with the unrealistic goals and demand we put on ourselves. Therefore, understanding that you are only human, with virtues and flaws will soften your condition and make you feel better.
No one is perfect. Neither are you. But that doesn’t stop you from being a real, whole, and solid person. Someone who is in touch with themselves and their true nature.
Share this post and spread the awareness of smiling depression. Help yourself or help someone you know heal today. <3