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7 Things People With Hidden Depression Do

7 Things People With Hidden Depression Do

People who feel depressed are usually easy enough to spot: they may be gloomy, sad, and listless. But what about those who have hidden depression? They may an be extrovert and good company! This is the problem with concealed depression as these sufferers are experts in disguising the real situation. How can we spot them, and how can we help? Here are 10 typical things that people with hidden depression do to help us understand that something is not quite right.

1. They may be outgoing and cheerful

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that depression was hard to spot when people had a cheerful disposition, especially if they were elderly. The research team had thought that the introverts would be the ones who would have difficulty in coming out about their depression but it seems that the opposite may be true. We should not take it for granted that a cheerful and sociable person may be immune from depression. We should be on the look out for some indicative signs and above all, we should always be empathic listeners.

2. They may hide their depression

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    There is some interesting research on the attitude that Europeans and Australians have towards depression. There is so much stigma attached to depression in Australia that many sufferers are determined not to reveal it at all. They may feel embarrassed or simply fear that they may lose their job – reflected in the number of sick days taken because of mental health problems. The figures show that Australians were taking off 14 days for a bout of depression compared to an average of 36 days for Europeans.

    3. They may need healing or closure from some past trauma

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      Imagine the perfect hostess: she has great kids, a rewarding career and a stable marriage. It still may be that there is a painful episode in that person’s life which has never been properly healed. Psychologists have an acronym for this type of person which is the PHDP (Perfectly-Hidden-Depressed Person). The outward display of confidence and happiness is in sharp contrast to what is going on inside. The problem is often ignored, especially by the sufferer who may end up committing suicide. The tragedy is that nobody was ever able to spot the signs, or that the sufferer never had the courage to talk to someone. We should always listen carefully when a friend or loved one talks to us about exhaustion and anxiety.

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      4. They may have abnormal eating habits

      Most experts now believe that there may be a strong link between eating disorders and depression. These are two separate illnesses; though one may lead to the other, or they may arise simultaneously. More and more men are suffering from eating disorders. There may be many causes such as media pressures, body image/exercise, and depression. If you notice that a loved one has appetite changes, try to talk to her/him about them and urge them to get treatment. Hidden depression may well be the trigger here.

      5. They may be non-committal about their happiness

      Very often, people with hidden depression display a lack of enthusiasm for things they used to love doing. If the person claims that they are certainly not depressed but they just don’t care anymore, this may well be a sign that something is amiss. If you read Eve Wood’s book, 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life, you will find more examples of how discovering self-empowerment can be the answer to coming to terms with depression and anxiety. There are also useful chapters on how counseling, medication, or alternative treatments are possible treatment options. Getting the person to talk about their problems is usually the first step in seeking treatment.

      6. They may display irritation and anger

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        We usually associate depression with apathy, helplessness, melancholic thoughts and crying. But there are other symptoms of depression which often go undetected because they are simply dismissed as temporary outbursts. They are assumed to be just blips on a person’s radar and can be safely ignored – the truth is that angry outbursts and being irritable are often manifestations of depression. Many men choose this way of expressing their depression.

        7. They may not be getting enough sleep

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          If your loved one is complaining about not getting enough sleep (or even oversleeping), it could be a warning sign that there is something wrong. These sleep problems may be just the outward sign of a deeper and more troubling cause which could be anxiety, lethargy or depression. Sleep problems and depression are very often closely connected. It is always worth probing gently to find out what the cause might be, if the person is prepared to open up.

          Many cases of depression go undetected and untreated, often with tragic results. Between 10% to 15% of people with severe, untreated depression commit suicide. As we have seen above, people may hide it or fake it. Sometimes, they just keep it a dark secret which they never want to reveal. In addition, there are those who have a different public image from their own private and tormented selves. The challenge is to look out for possible signs and help the person to get treatment.

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          photo credit: Pinterest

          Featured photo credit: Sad child./anthony kelly via flickr.com

          More by this author

          Robert Locke

          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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          Last Updated on May 28, 2020

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

          You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

          Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

          You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

          Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

          1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

          If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

          Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

          When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

          Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

          So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

          Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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          2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

          Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

          Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

          • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
          • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
          • Answer a few Superpower Questions

          Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

          3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

          Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

          The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

          You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

          Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

          Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

          4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

          The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

          Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

          To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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          This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

          5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

          Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

          Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

          • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
          • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
          • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

          The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

          Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

          6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

          I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

          To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

          Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

          A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

          Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

          Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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          7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

          Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

          Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

          What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

          Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

          8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

          Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

          Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

          What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

          These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

          9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

          Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

          This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

          Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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          “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

          10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

          Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

          Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

          You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

          You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

          Final Thoughts

          Eleanor Roosevelt said,

          “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

          Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

          By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

          If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

          This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

          Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

          More About Success in Life

          Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

          Reference

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