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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 October 14, 2020

          Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

          Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

          Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

          “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

          It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

          You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

          Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

          Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

          Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

          1. Make a Gratitude List

          In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

          Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

          Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

          What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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          The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

          Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

          2. Write in a Journal

          Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

          All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

          Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

          However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

          3. Meditate

          Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

          Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

          Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

          Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

          Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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          Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

          Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

          4. Do Child’s Pose

          Yoga Outlet says:

          “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

          When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

          It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

          To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

          Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

             

            Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

            5. Try Positive Self-Talk

            Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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            When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

            Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

            When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

            When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

            Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

            6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

            Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

            You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

            It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

            Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

            If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

            7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

            “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

            If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

            You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

            When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

            If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

            Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

            Final Thoughts

            If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

            Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

            You can invest in yourself via self-care.

            You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

            More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

            Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

            Reference

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