When we think of people who struggle with depression, we often imagine them snuggled in bed, sad, and incapable of doing their day-to-day activities. However, not every depressed person experiences depression in the same way.
There are people who don’t even realize they are depressed because they seem to be doing just fine while managing their daily activities. They can be smiling all day, be energetic and positive around others but be depressed at the same time.
In my experience, it is usually those who have the biggest smiles and are the most positive ones when you meet them that carry depression in their heart.
That’s why it is so difficult to tell that they are struggling with depression. And those smiling souls who are depressed inside may not be aware themselves or they don’t want to talk about it and give a name to their condition because they don’t want others to see them as “weak” or feel sorry about them.
The smile is just a façade for all the hurt and sadness that is in their heart. It’s a defense mechanism and a try to hide their real feelings. The immense sadness may be about a loss of a loved person, failed relationship, career problems, or a feeling that they lack a purpose in life.
The people who hide sadness behind their smile use their smile and cheerfulness to mask their problems. Therefore, they usually obtain a full-time job, exercise, go out with friends, or run a household. Whenever they have their “mask” on – everything seems perfect.
However, no one knows that behind that mask, there is a person who suffers from sadness, low self-esteem, panic attacks, insomnia, or even suicidal thoughts…
When it comes to suicide, these people are more likely to commit suicide than those individuals who suffer from classic depression. Why? Because they have the energy to plan the deed and follow through it. That’s why this kind of depression is so dangerous and life-threatening.
The good news is that they can be cured. If you know someone who suffers from depression but hides it behind their wide smile – you can help them heal. Depression is a treatable mental condition and it can be healed through psychotherapy or counseling which will free the individual from their depressive state of mind and the sadness.
If you suspect your loved one is depressed but they keep on denying it, please understand that that behavior is normal. Because oftentimes, those people who are not aware of their condition may become defensive when they hear the word “depression.” Therefore, bear in mind that they may see your advice that they should go to therapy as a sign of weakness and rebel against it.
If that happens, you can always try to be there for them and encourage them to open up to you. You can start first by opening yourself up to them and talk about your feelings and struggles. In that way, you’ll inspire them to talk about themselves.
It always feels good when you have someone who supports you, someone you can confide in, someone who is always there by your side when you need them.
Please share this post and spread the awareness! There are many people who silently battle depression and who desperately need love and support. Let us be there for each other.