Have you seen the public service announcement on depression in which the sad woman hides behind a smiling face mask? Although it is an advertisement, the use of a “mask” to hide depression can resonate with many people with this condition. The depressed person wants to hide his mental health problem, as it is often embarrassing to him.
According to statistics published by the American Anxiety and Depression Association, at least 16.1 million adults annually struggle with depression in the United States. It usually manifests around the age of 32 and is more common in women than men.
The article also mentions that those who are depressed they are more likely to have anxiety problems as well. Although there are no cures, depression and anxiety are very treatable. Unfortunately, only about 39.6 percent of those diagnosed seek treatment.
Ways a depressed person tends to hide their depression
It’s a shame that mental illnesses like depression continue to be a stigma in the 21st century. No wonder there are so many people reluctant to discuss their problems and try to hide them. Here are ten ways depressed people often disguise their condition.
A depressed person You may be trying to hide behind a large smiling mask. As they interact with their loved ones, friends, and coworkers, they seem all smiles and laughter. However, his happiness is just a ruse.
They are quite adept at disguising the dark feelings within your mind. A depressed person often finds their mental illness embarrassing or feels that it makes them look weak. They feel secure behind their smiling facade and refuse to reveal what lies beneath the insincerity.
2. Your empathy is in overdrive
Empathy is a beautiful virtue that must be cultivated from birth. According to a study published by Frontiers in psychology, children model empathy and other norms early on from parents and other caregivers. Empathy goes a step beyond sympathy because it reflects the emotions of the person who is suffering.
Some of the telltale emotions of depression are deep sadness, despair, and hopelessness that won’t go away. If you consider the law of attraction, it makes sense that a depressed person can attract other hurt people. Your empathy can be so intense for others that it can make your depressive symptoms worse.
3. They always have the perfect excuses
Don’t worry if a depressed person gropes for an excuse for their erratic behavior. They often spend hours of sleepless nights creating negative scenarios and rehearsing what they would say or do. Their reasons are usually so detailed that they make the cover-up more obvious.
They can instantly tell why they missed the dinner invitation or forget to call when they promised they would. These excuses are especially concerning if the person is usually trustworthy and trustworthy. Your depressed friend or loved one is desperately asking for help behind smoke and mirrors.
4. They automatically consider the worst case scenario
Unfortunately, people who are depressed tend to live in a negative atmosphere. A study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests a link between pessimism and depression. Study participants who were depressed were more likely to be pessimistic about future situations.
That probably doesn’t mean that all pessimistic people are clinically depressed. Some people have a negative attitude that makes relationship with them difficult. Some depressed people can always consider the worst case scenario, so they are not taken by surprise if this happens.
5. They seek love and attention chronically
It might be easy to assume that people who hide their depressive feelings are dishonest and untrustworthy. These assumptions are not only unfair, they are also inaccurate. A depressed person is not trying to keep a devious secret from you.
Instead, they want love and attention just like everyone else, and they don’t want to make a bad impression. Unfortunately, they so often feel sorry for your attempts to hide their problems that they can get lost in the process. Such problems can lead to a trail of broken relationships and a deeper longing for acceptance and love.
6. Their brains never rest
In the laws of motion and physics, depressing something means preventing or slowing it down. This can also occur with psychological depression, where your movements, emotions, and thought processes may be slower than usual.
However, you may notice that depressed people rarely take a break from their thoughts. Their minds can regularly play through the worst scenarios that usually never happen. Also, they continually ruminate on the past and create anxious thoughts for the future.
It is normal to have an occasional disruption in your sleep patterns. An article published by the Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Your body needs this time to properly recover and rejuvenate.
Depressed people often experience erratic sleep problems. If they don’t get enough sleep, have insomnia, or if they sleep too much, it’s called hypersomnia. Even if their healthcare provider rules out underlying conditions, some people may refuse to accept depression as a reason for their sleep problems.
8. Either they overeat or they don’t eat enough
Our bodies need a variety of healthy, whole foods to survive and thrive. Those who are emotional eaters may tend to eat more when they are depressed. The aromas and flavors of certain foods can evoke fond memories, so overeating can be a temporary bandage to manage your despair.
On the other hand, some depressed people lose interest in food. They no longer like to prepare meals and nothing sounds tasty to them. Whether depression tries to camouflage itself with overeating or binge eating, both can contribute to a dangerous eating disorder.
9. Your emotions are scattered
When you think of a friend or loved one who is depressed, you may only consider their sad and desperate emotions. However, those who try to disguise their depression can display a wide variety of emotions. Often times, your feelings are intermittent and inappropriate for the situation.
At times they may appear almost dizzy to prevent others from detecting depressed feelings. You may also notice that your anger is more intense. Anger is probably one of the easiest feelings to express.
These scattered emotions are especially revealing if the person is normally level-headed and emotionally stable. Usually, when depressed people are alone, they can plunge into their misery without others knowing. Unfortunately, they can lose touch with their emotions the further they slip into untreated depression.
10. They often hide behind talent and humor
Everybody loves a comic. When you listen to comics or watch them on TV, it’s easy to assume that these are the happiest people in the world. However, live interviews and biographies of some of the world’s most beloved funny people tell a different story.
Do you think of some iconic comics that you remember that hid their pain and substance abuse behind the laughs? It is sad to realize that many of these incredibly talented people developed their gifts early due to child abuse, bullying, and underlying mental illness. Some of these troubled comedians have died prematurely in recent years due to accidental overdoses or intentional suicide.
Early loss of actor and comedian Robin Williams perhaps better represents this concept.
What if you are the depressed person?
Yes, trying to figure out how to help a friend or loved one keep their depression a secret is problematic. What if your eyes are the ones looking through the smiling mask and hiding your despair? If you wear it too long, you may forget your true reflection in the mirror.
Do any of these ploys sound familiar to you? Are you wasting your time, energy, and resources trying to disguise your depression? The longer you deny the problem and leave it untreated, the more critical your mental health condition will become.
• Looking for assistance
People who are depressed can be so adept at hiding their condition that they often cheat on their closest family and friends. If you notice some of these tactics to camouflage true feelings in your friends or loved ones, you should reach out to them.
Instead of judging or accusing them, talk to them about how they feel. Let them know some of your observations and you should assure them that it is a normal and treatable condition. Don’t be surprised if your friend or loved one becomes defensive or angry if you encroach on their comfort zone.
However, they may respond immediately and want to talk about their issues. You can help them find help to treat their depression. Remember to reassure them by telling them that you will hold their hand as they go on the healing journey together.
The good news is that depression can usually be treated successfully. The first step is to remove your mask, be yourself, and ask for help. With proper treatment and counseling, depressed person You can overcome these mental health obstacles and enjoy life again.