Because May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I think this topic of Smiling Depression is something that should be addressed. When you hear the word depressed it is often thought of those people who can’t get out of bed, and shut out the world — and yes that is very true and real for a lot of people.
However, have you ever heard of the term “smiling depression”? I can relate to this because I often do it myself. It is typically described as people who put on a fake smile to cover up the painful and raw emotions of depression. Their life may seem so perfect from the outside, but internally they are suffering.
Often these are the people who do not seek help for their depression, but when you fake happiness for so long, you can become numb and never seek help. This is why it is so crucial to be kind to our family, friends, neighbors, etc. A lot of these people can function on a daily basis, and can be more prone to suicide because of the abilities to follow through and plan events; and this is the harsh reality of depression. This is why getting help, even if it not medical help, but just talking to someone is so important.
This facade is a defense mechanism, and it is used to prevent feeling the sadness that depression causes. However, it does not exactly work. Other symptoms of smiling depression can be anxiety, fear, anger, fatigue, irritability, hopelessness, insomnia, and lack of enjoyment in activities; and these are just a few.
Never assume that there is no one to help, because there is. Never assume you don’t deserve help, because YOU do. Never think that people are going to judge you for opening up, they will not. It is okay to not be okay, you will get there. Recovery is possible. You have to be willing to take the first step to get there. Sometimes it comes in waves, and one day you may feel fine, that is not enough to talk yourself out of getting help. You can get help, you do not need permission. Do not feel embarrassed.
Mental Health is so important, and getting yourself help when you need it is crucial, and never be scared to ask, please. I have included some resources below:
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
To understand more: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help
Find a therapist/counselor: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists