World Mental Health Day 2019: What is ‘Smiling’ Depression? 7 Signs of the Invisible Illness
Smiling depression (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

“So, you are depressed? But you don’t look depressed.” That’s the common contention of people who are convinced that you have to look a certain way to be depressed. It’s misinformed but understandable. Usually, depression is associated with sadness, low energy and a lack of interest in everyday life. So if people look upbeat and happy, they may have a hard time convincing others that they are depressed. But no two depressions are alike. And they can vary from person to person. A person may seem healthy, happy and “put together” on the outset, carrying. But he or she may have high-functioning depression, also known as “smiling depression” unofficially. World Mental Health Day 2019 falls on October 10, Thursday. The day is observed to create better awareness and to dispel myths about mental illnesses. On this day, let's understand what lies beneath the smiling facade of the depressed. What You Should NEVER Tell a Depressed, Suicidal Person.

Smiling or high-functioning depression is used to describe someone whose outward appearance doesn’t give away his or her mental condition. It may seem that the perform is of sound mental health but may be suffering silently. They may be trying hard to keep up appearances while dealing with the symptoms of their illness in private. But eventually, the mask slips and the symptoms of hidden depression may come to the fore. Here are some signs of smiling depression. How Someone's Language Can Show Signs of Suicidal Tendencies.

1. Changes in Appetite

One of the most typical signs of silent depression is changing food habits. Eating more or less than usual is a red flag. The depressed sometimes turn to food to seek solace. But some may experience a loss of appetite and turn away from food altogether. Foods That Are Good for Your Mental Well-Being.

2. Loss of Energy

Depression can be draining, and fatigue as a symptom is seen in 90 percent of depressed individuals. People who have smiling depression may face sleep deficit, lack of appetite or drug side effects that lead to a loss of energy.

3. Substance Abuse

Excessive dependence on any addictive substance – from alcohol to drugs – could be a sign of depression. Abusing substances is a way to cope with the stress of dealing with depression and putting on a sane face.

4. Withdrawal from Hobbies

Giving up on hobbies is a sign of hidden depression. The person may slowly withdraw from or any activity that gave him or her immense joy.

5. Aches and Pains

Depression may manifest in the person as inexplicable and constant pains. In addition to fatigue and change in eating habits, individuals with smiling depression may experience headache, digestive problems, chronic pain and backache.

6. Short Fuse

Irritability and anger are tell-tale signs of hidden or smiling depression. Mood changes are quite common in people with depression. If the person is making attempts to conceal his or her mental state, he or she may try to express anger passively.

7. Low Sex Drive

Depression can lead to loss of pleasure in any activity, including sex. Fatigue, low energy levels and low self-esteem compound the problem.

Smiling depression is seen quite commonly, although it is not officially classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Many people also object to the term “smiling” with depression, saying that the term doesn’t acknowledge the many facets of depression. They prefer more acceptable terms like “hidden depression” and “high-functioning depression” in its place.