Many of us have been brought up to conceal our true feelings and because we don’t want to burden others with our problems, we suffer in silence.
Those with hidden depression most often than not mask the symptoms with fake smiles and a happy face hoping it will fade out with time. While in some cases it may work, for many it drags out feelings of sadness and loneliness.
A person with concealed depression is someone who is conditioned to deal with their inner demons in a way that doesn’t make them clearly visible.
While it may not be obvious to the clueless mind, there are certain signs that can unmask concealed depression. Below are signs to be on the lookout for.
- You’re concerned about others but don’t allow others into your inner space
According to studies, people with perfectly hidden depression (PHD), are very good at caring for others and they do it genuinely. But when it comes to themselves, they build an emotional wall that few would even realize something is wrong with them. In short, they never allow anyone to sense their vulnerability. They don’t allow anyone to see their pain even though they could be on the verge of suicide which makes it dangerous.
- They discount pain or hurt
Naturally, human beings have the ability to be hurt, sad, disappointed, afraid or angry about something and put those feelings away until a time when they can deal with them better. This is called compartmentalization. This too applies to feelings of happiness and joy. However, those with hidden depression tend to over-compartmentalize.
According to Dr Margaret Rutherford, they have developed very strong boxes that they habitually lock painful feelings in, and shove them back into dark recesses of their minds. This allows them to discount, deny or dismiss the impact of life experiences that caused pain in the past, or the present.
- Obsessed with perfectionism
Being a perfectionist is one thing and doing your best is another. PHD survivors tend to silently berate and critic themselves silently if they are not at the top or the best at all times. So long as it is a pursuit that means a lot to them they have to be the best. Short of that and their inner voices constantly put them down.
- Difficulty accepting and expressing painful emotions
When it comes to painful emotions, they would rather run than face them. Anger is typically avoided. Sadness is banished to the back of the closet. Disappointment is for whiners. They find it hard to express their feelings though words and for those with severe hidden depression may have trouble displaying any emotions at all.
- They become philosophical
People with masked depression will gravitate towards philosophical topics which they normally don’t talk about. These may include the meaning of life, life after death, a new spiritual awakening or what their life has amounted to. In some instances, they may bring up topics about pain and other dark issues. This signals a person struggling with serious dark thoughts internally that they dare not share.