Most people assume that the depressed have to look sad, be crying, or laying in the corner, begging for death, however, that simply isn’t the case. Actually, depression can present in many different ways, and believe it or not, some of the most depressed people in the world appear happy.
Considered to be ‘Smiling Depression’ this happens when someone who is severely depressed is seemingly happy, and functions at a much higher level (or appears to be) on the outside.
Think of actor Robin Williams, a man that most people would have assumed to be happy. While his smile and lifestyle would have made him seem to be in perfect mental health, ultimately, we found that he was not.
And this is exactly why smiling depression is one of the most dangerous forms of depression. They may seem happy, but when they are alone, their despair, their hopelessness, and their dark thoughts plague them, and they never seek help.
“Oftentimes, I am the only person in this individual’s immediate circle who is aware of how he or she is feeling on the inside,” said Dina Goldstein Silverman, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry.
Silverman believes that smiling depression is often to blame for suicide. And in comparison to the person who is sleeping for days, not eating, and not leaving the house, the person who has smiling depression will get a surge of energy in the days before they commit suicide.
And usually, these events happen soon after traumatic life change.
If you are living with smiling depression, please reach out and seek the help you need. It does not make you weak. Instead, it means that you are strong, but ultimately, you do not have to hold all of that weight. And also, meditation and physical activity have both been proven to have mental health benefits.
Rutger’s University says that people who had meditated and exercised were more likely to experience a drop in their depression by 40%. And cognitive behavioral therapy also helps immensely, because it teaches you how to change your thinking patterns and behavior.
However you obtain it, you can get the help you need, you only need to ask.