It is believed that with depression a person is not able to lead a familiar lifestyle, and even more so to joke and laugh. We tell whether this is really so and what kind of depression doctors call “smiling.”
What is smiling depression?
According to clinical psychologist Heidi McKinsey, this is the same depression, but with masked, implicit symptoms. People with a “smiling depression” can get up every morning, get dressed, come to work and chat with other people, without revealing their true state.
“Smiling depression” is not an official diagnosis, this term is not in any list of mental disorders. However, in clinical practice, doctors use it to indicate mild forms of the disease. In fact, this is an alternative name for functional depression or persistent depressive disorder.
The list of symptoms includes constant depression, problems with sleep, changes in appetite, feelings of hopelessness and constant fatigue, panic attacks and loss of interest in everything, including favorite activities that used to be fun.
Why do doctors use this term?
It is believed that depression is when you lie face-to-face with the whole day. Of course, this also happens, but many people with a depressive disorder are able to work, take care of the family, even smile, laugh and not lose their sense of humor. All this does not fit into the stereotype. As a result, a person may not even realize that he needs the help of a specialist. According to psychiatrist Karen Stewart, it’s easier for people to associate with the concept of “smiling depression” – which means they are more likely to recognize the problem and see a doctor.
How do you know if you have depression?
There is no clear answer to this question, but there are many signs and symptoms that are worth paying attention to. According to McKinsey, if at the end of each day you feel squeezed like a lemon, it is not clear why, perhaps the reason is precisely because all the energy goes into fighting the depressive state. Here’s how it can manifest.
- You have to make serious efforts to get out of bed in the morning, put on makeup, comb your hair and drag yourself to work. Once in place, you are able to play the role of a satisfied employee – chatting with colleagues, taking an interest in their plans for the weekend and going to dinner for company with everyone – but at the same time you feel exhausted and detached.
- You cope with all the tasks at work (although it’s hard for you to maintain focus), but when you finally get home, fall into bed or fall asleep on the couch, because you don’t even have the strength to eat.
- You have ceased to take care of yourself: you skip training, eat anything and refuse to meet with friends, because energy is only enough for the necessary minimum of things.
- You constantly feel guilty or shame about being depressed all the time and unable to find the strength in yourself for anything.
- You do not plan to part with life, but thoughts of a possible sudden death (for example, in a car accident) do not upset you and do not scare you.
What to do if you suspect depression in yourself?
Sign up with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Depression is not a state of mind or a trait of character: it is a disease that requires qualified help. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe medication. Here you immediately need to be patient: choosing the right antidepressant sometimes takes time.
It should be borne in mind that a psychiatrist treats a breakdown in the body, without delving into the causes, but it is also advisable to understand them. A psychologist will help with this. By the way, if in doubt that your condition requires medical intervention, you can start not with a doctor, but with a consultation with a competent psychologist. If necessary, he will redirect you to the right specialist.