'Smiling depression' is very real, and it's more dangerous than you think
Chances are, you haven't heard about 'smiling depression'. And that is exactly the reason why this type of depression can be so dangerous.
Smiling depression is exactly what it sounds like, a type of depression wherein the person suffering appears happy and well to others, basically smiling through the pain.
It can be anyone you know
The thing about smiling depression is that it doesn't always manifest as depression to other people. From the outside, someone with smiling depression can seem to be well-adjusted and fully in control of their lives, but inside they're facing a lot of inner turmoil and conflict.
Some might not even realise that they're depressed. That's how unpredictable smiling depression can be.
People suffering from smiling depression can be anyone you know. They can be your boss, your best friend, established professionals with a lot of success in their careers, etc.
That's why smiling depression can be very scary, and in some cases, it's actually more dangerous compared to the depression that people are usually aware of.
There are no red flags
There aren't really any clear hallmarks of smiling depression aside from sadness or a general feeling that "something isn't right". That's why in some cases, people with smiling depression don't know that they have it, or they're in denial about it since they rationalise that they're okay in life, and that they're not really sad.
Suicide is always a clear and present danger to anyone suffering from depression. In the case of depression with classic symptoms, there are red flags when someone depressed feels suicidal.
In the case of smiling depression however, the scary thing is that there are no red flags, which is why you hear about suicide cases wherein the people close to the person that died say that he or she was always happy to be with, and they didn't know that there was a problem.
This is why it's up to us to be more aware when it comes to mental illnesses, and we should do what we can to remove the stigma that society has associated towards people with mental illnesses, and those who choose to seek help.
Seeking help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you want yourself to be better, not only for your own sake, but also for your loved ones.
What you need to know about mental illnesses
For a lot of people, the term "mental illness" is loaded with a lot of misinformation, and sadly, prejudice. Most people associate mental illness with being "crazy" or with being "not right in the head".
Those are also reasons why people with mental illness choose to sometimes forego treatment, or actively deny that they have an illness.
This is why it's very important for us to be more aware and be more open about mental illnesses. Here are some things that you should know about mental illnesses:
- Educate yourself about mental illnesses. Educating yourself more about mental illnesses is the key to being more understanding towards people suffering from a mental illness.
- If you have friends or loved ones suffering from a mental illness, be open and understanding towards them. Don't treat anyone suffering from a mental illness any different; treat them with love, respect, and understanding. What they need more than anything is support from their loved ones, and the knowledge that they won't be treated any differently.
- Be patient with people suffering from a mental illness. Sometimes, people suffering from a mental illness can be hard to deal with. We have to understand that in most cases, it's their illness that's making them behave a certain way, so we have to be more patient towards them.
- If you think that you're suffering from a mental illness, don't be afraid to seek help. In case you feel that you might be suffering from an illness yourself, then don't be afraid to seek help from a psychiatrist, or seek counseling. Taking steps so that you can get better helps a lot.
- Stay positive. If you're a person suffering from a mental illness or if you know someone with a mental illness, it's very important to always stay positive. Keeping positive is the simplest thing that you can do to deal with a mental illness. Know that no matter what happens, you will get better, even if things don't seem that way at the moment. Things always turn out for the best.
Republished with the permission of theAsianparent Singapore