It has been observed that of late, articles on ‘smiling depression’ have crept up as part of popular literature and the number of Google searches pertaining to this condition have also increased dramatically. The term “smiling depression” refers to an individual who appears to be happy to others at an outward level, while internally they may be suffering from depressive symptoms.
Although smiling depression is not a technical term used by psychologists, the closest medical term for this condition is atypical depression. A lot of people experiencing a low mood and loss of interest in their day to day activities, manage to hide their condition by successfully masking the symptoms. A lot of them, in fact, may be particularly vulnerable to suicide also.
It is quite challenging to spot individuals suffering from smiling depression. Outwardly, they do not seem to have a reason to be sad, they greet people with a smile, and may even be capable of carrying out pleasant conversations. However, on the inside, they feel down and hopeless, and sometimes, may even contemplate suicide.
Symptoms of smiling depression
Even though individuals suffering from this condition put up a happy disposition externally, they can also sometimes feel their moods being actually uplifted. They feel this mood lift as an outcome of experiencing some positive incidents in their day to day lives. For instance, if they receive an unexpected text from someone they have been really pining to hear from, or when they are appreciated at work, they tend to feel positive for a short duration of time before slumping back to their depressed state.
Some other indicators of this type of depression entail experiencing heaviness in arms and legs, being easily affected by criticism or rejection, and overeating. People suffering from smiling depression are more susceptible to be depressed during evenings as compared to the other parts of the day and they also feel like sleeping longer than usual.
Causes of smiling depression
It is extremely difficult to determine the exact factors that cause this kind of depression. However, it is usually seen that low mood can stem from a number of factors such as issues at work, relationship problems, and feeling as if there is no purpose or meaning in life.
Smiling depression is more prevalent in individuals who possess a certain mental attitude. For instance, it is particularly common in people expecting failure in most of the things they do, have difficulty overcoming embarrassing situations, and tend to ponder more upon negative situations.
Around one in 10 individuals undergo depression and 15 to 40 percent of these individuals suffer from atypical depression that is similar to the condition of ‘smiling depression’. This kind of depression usually shows up at an early stage in life and lasts for a longer duration.
Smiling depression is treatable
If an individual is suffering from smiling depression, it is imperative that they seek help. One of the best ways of doing this is to be aware that such a condition exists and is serious. A study conducted by the Rutgers University in the U.S. revealed that people taking up some form of physical activity and meditation at least two times a week, noticed a 40 percent drop in their state of depression, within eight weeks of starting exercise.
With the help of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), people suffering from this condition can learn to change their thought patterns and behavior. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist stated that the key element behind possessing a good mental health is to have some goal in life. People can seek meaning in life by diverting their focus from themselves and redirecting it to something more meaningful.
So people with smiling depression must seek a valuable goal in life and continue measuring the progress they made towards achieving the same. This attitude can have a positive bearing on an individual’s mental health in the long run keeping them away from depression or any other types of mental disorders.
Seeking help for depression
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects more than 7.5 percent Americans in the age group of 12 years and above. With the help of a comprehensive depression treatment plan, coupled with medications, therapies, or both, any kind of clinical depression can be effectively managed.
If you or a loved one are looking for a reliable depression treatment facility, get in touch with Medical Concierge. Our team of medical experts offers all the required assistance to help you overcome the disorder. Call our 24/7 helpline (877) 636-0042 or chat online with our counselor for more information about our credible depression rehab centers and how you can achieve lasting recovery.