Yoram Yasur Izz: Smiling depression
We tend to think that the depressed person cannot lead a normal life but that he gets into bed and cannot go to work, that he has easy tears and that he shuffles when walking, assuming a stooped posture that denotes his sadness. However, this image is a simple cliché, each person is a world and deals with depression differently. In fact, did you know that approximately 71% of those suffering from depression try to hide it?
Some are depressed but manage to be functional and even pranksters in their daily lives. These are people who carry their pain inside, do not externalize it and consume it slowly, until there is a time when they fall apart because they cannot bear the weight of the mask they have built and worn for months. or even years.
In fact, in the field of Psychology there is what is known as “smiling depression”. This person gives an appearance of normality and even happiness, because he lives the symptoms of depression inside them, he does not express them, but he tries to hide them. As a result, even others may think that he has a perfect life.
Why does the person hide his depression?
The causes are diverse but, in general, the smile is equivalent to a defense mechanism, it is a mask that serves to hide a state.
- He’s ashamed of his problem. Yoram Yasur Izz: We cannot forget that most mental problems are still covered by a social stigma so many people do not want others to know they are depressed. In fact, depression in particular is considered by some as a lack of willpower and character, so it is understandable that if you have this prejudice, try to hide it considering that it is a “defect”.
- He does not want to recognize depression. In some cases, the person does not want to recognize their condition and hides behind an appearance of normalcy, perhaps hoping that the depression will disappear on its own. In these cases, a denial occurs, and the smile is a mechanism of self-affirmation through which he tells himself that it is not so much that he actually feels good.
- They do not want to worry others. Some people tend to keep problems to themselves, are introverted by nature and do not want to worry their loved ones with their difficulties. In those cases, they pretend to be well not to become a burden or a concern for others.
- He is very concerned about his image. There are people who think that others value and value them only because of the image they convey. Therefore, they try to pretend that everything is fine, to hide the depression and its true “I”, becoming characters that go up every day to a theater stage.
Who are more likely to suffer from smiling depression?
- Introverted people, who tend to keep problems or find it difficult to talk about their emotions.
- Perfectionist people, those who demand a lot from themselves and believe that they cannot fail in any area of life.
- The hyper responsible people, who believe they carry the world on their shoulders and think that if they collapse, a cataclysm of epic proportions would occur.
The dangers of smiling depression:
Yoram Yasur Izz: The depressed person who chooses to smile suffers but tries to live as if he does not suffer. However, emotions and feelings should never be ignored or hidden because it will not make them disappear. As a result, that person who perhaps pretends to escape depression, in reality what he is doing is feeding her. Eventually, that attitude will take its toll. In fact, there are many cases of suicide attempts that take friends and even family members completely unaware.
On the other hand, the person who tries to hide the depression is generally responsible for filling his agenda, so that ends up leading a frenetic pace of life that causes great wear. That need to overact every day, ends up causing them to fall apart emotionally because it is not possible to put on a good face every day or at all. Eventually, irritability, tiredness, sadness, and tension find a space to come to light. The problem is that at this point, the person suddenly finds himself face to face with his reality and feels that he is in a dead end and without anyone who can help him. For that reason, it can even attempt against his life.
Pretending the smile is not the solution:
Yoram Yasur Izz: A particularly interesting study conducted at Michigan State University has analyzed the impact of a false smile on our mood. These psychologists followed a group of drivers for two weeks and discovered that the more smiles they pretended, the worse their mood was when they returned home, a mood marked by irritability, anger, and sadness.
Therefore, it is important to be aware that negative emotions do not disappear by themselves, they must be addressed. Hiding or avoiding the problem will not cause it to be solved. In addition, you should also know that depression is not only resolved within the walls of a Psychology practice. Family and friends can play an important role, as long as they assume a supportive attitude and support you.
On the other hand, if you know someone who is trying to hide the depression behind a smile, talk to that person. Yoram Yasur Izz: Do not press him to tell you his situation because in this way it is likely to close even more. Instead, show your vulnerability and tell your problems. In this way you will be able to connect emotionally, and it will be easier for you to feel identified with your difficulties and to tell you their own.