Treatment For Smiling Depression
Someone with smiling depression might officially be diagnosed with depression with atypical features. For instance, looking happy isnt typical of someone who feels depressed.
But just like other types of depression, smiling depression is treatable. Treatment may include medication, talk therapy, and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.
If you think you may be depressed, talk to your doctor. Explain that you havent been feeling yourself lately and describe some of the symptoms that youre experiencing.
Your physician can rule out physical health issues that may be contributing to your symptoms and can assist with referrals to other treatment providers, such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Depression Is A Real Medical Condition
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
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You Have Been Overindulging
Many people dont know that not taking care of our bodies and overindulging can lead to depression.
New research is showing the connection between the brain and the stomach and they are discovering that when the stomach is sick, the brain becomes ill.
Have you ever noticed how, if you spend a weekend overindulging on really bad food, or you eat something that doesnt agree with you, you find yourself feeling not quite yourself. Maybe a little bit more down than usual or flat out depressed?
This is most likely because your tummy flora is off and its causing a short-term chemical imbalance in your brain which could be affecting your mood.
How about after a night of drinking? Do you find yourself feeling depressed the next day, not wanting to go to work or hang out with your friends? Did you know that drugs and alcohol can both lead to short term depression?
Alcohol is a natural depressant, which is why it chills us out at the end of a long day. But too much alcohol depresses the nervous system and even after we have stopped drinking it stays in our bodies for hours and can cause depression.
It is important that we take care of ourselves every day. Eat right and drink moderately. One thing my doctor recommended was a daily probiotic to help me manage my moods. I know when my tummy is good, my head is good.
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Inside, however, they feel hopeless and down, sometimes even having thoughts about ending it all. The strength that they have to go on with their daily lives can make them especially vulnerable to carrying out suicide plans. This is in contrast to other forms of depression, in which people might have suicide ideation but not enough energy to act on their intentions.
Although people with smiling depression put on a happy face to the outside world, they can experience a genuine lift in their mood as a result of positive occurrences in their lives. For example, getting a text message from someone theyve been craving to hear from or being praised at work can make them feel better for a few moments before going back to feeling low.
Other symptoms of this condition include overeating, feeling a sense of heaviness in the arms and legs and being easily hurt by criticism or rejection. People with smiling depression are also more likely to feel depressed in the evening and feel the need to sleep longer than usual. With other forms of depression, however, your mood might be worse in the morning and you might feel the need for less sleep than youre normally used to.
It is difficult to determine exactly what causes smiling depression, but low mood can stem from a number of things, such as work problems, relationship breakdown and feeling as if your life doesnt have purpose and meaning.
Helping Someone Who Is Depressed
If your loved one or friend is depressed, here are some things you can do:
- Help him find a GP or a mental health professional such as MensLine Australia counsellor so he can get support.
- Offer your support and understanding.
- Talk to him and listen to what he has to say.
- Invite him out. He may say no at first, and you dont want to push him, but let him know that you are there.
- Men with depression may be at risk for suicide. If he is in a crisis, get help quickly. Call Suicide Call Back Service on or call 000.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
What Are The Risks Of Hiding Depression
Being cautious about disclosing a health condition is a matter of personal judgment and choice. Not every family member, friend, or workplace is safe and supportive, so protecting private health information can be a wise decision for some people depending on their situation.
But it is important to consider seeking treatment if youre experiencing depression symptoms, especially if your symptoms are affecting your health, education, job, or quality of life.
One suggested that the longer depression remains undiagnosed and untreated, the worse symptoms become and the harder they are to treat.
Untreated depression increases the risk of suicide. Researchers at the point out that untreated depression can also raise your risk of developing illnesses, including:
- cardiovascular disease
What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause
Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:
- disturbed sleep,
- difficulties with work and your hobbies,
- difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.
Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.
If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.
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We May Seek Out A Shoulder To Cry On That Isn’t Yours
Back in the day when I felt depressed, I had people I went to because I felt comfortable speaking to them about my lethargic mood. Your lover may decide this is you… or not.
Don’t be mad. As long as your partner has someone to confide in so he or she can get past this down mood swing, that’s the most important.
It would be nice if this person was you but perhaps it’s better for your better half to unload on someone else that way you don’t feel as if the relationship is more of a therapy-patient scenario.
Things People With Depression Want You To Know
Depression is more than just feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Young Scot, Dionne McFarlane, has shared her experiences of living with depression.
For people living depression it can be difficult for the people that are close to them to understand. Depression is the most common mental health issue in the UK. Through my experience of living with depression, this is what I think is important for people toknow and try to understand.
If you’ve been affected by depression, find out where you can get help from AyeMind.
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Ways You Can Look After Yourself
If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.
- Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
- Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
- Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
- Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
- Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.
What Are The Different Types Of Depression
You might have heard a number of terms used to describe depression. In this section, we explain what some of these terms mean.
What is clinical depression?
Clinical depression is a common term, but it is not a formal diagnosis. People sometimes say clinical diagnosis to just mean they have been diagnosed by a doctor.
What is a depressive episode?
Your doctor might say that you are going through a ‘depressive episode’. This is the formal name that doctors give depression when they make a diagnosis. They may say that you are going through a ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ episode.
What is recurrent depressive disorder?
If you have had repeated episodes of depression, your doctor might say that you have recurrent depressive disorder. They may say that your current episode is ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.
What is reactive depression?
If your doctor thinks that your episode of depression was caused by particular stressful events in your life, they may say that it is reactive. For example, divorce, job or money worries. This is sometimes separated from an adjustment disorder, where you may struggle with some symptoms of depression because of adapting to a major change in your life. Such as separation from people, retirement or migrating to a new area.
What is a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms?
You can find more information about Psychosis by clicking here.
What is dysthymia?
What is cyclothymia?
What is postnatal depression?
What is manic depression?
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Little Things That Mean A Lot To Someone Who Has Depression
Depression can manifest itself in a number of ways: prolonged and pervasive sadness feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing changes in appetite sleep issues irritability or lack of energy. All of these issues can take a toll on a person and make everyday life hard to manage.
I often compare depression to the monster-under-the-bed mentality. You never know when it will creep out of its lair, ready to attack and make your life even more difficult and trying, Karla Culbertson, who has depression, told HuffPost. Even though it can be extremely difficult to deal with, I find that its comforting to have family members and other loved ones who can support you through the darkest nooks of your life.
One in six people will experience this mental health condition at some point in their life, which means that you or someone close to you is likely to be affected by depression. Below, people whove dealt with depression explain how friends and family can help ease the burden.
What If My Symptoms Dont Improve
If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.
There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.
What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.
The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.
Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.
Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.
What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.
Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.
- NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.
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How To Help Someone Else
If you think someone you know has smiling depression, share your concerns. Normalize mental health issues and talk to them about how they can get help. Offer emotional support as well as practical support.
For example, you might offer a ride to a medical appointment, or depending on the nature of your relationship, you might even offer to attend an appointment with them. Direct them to community resources as well. Tell them about mental health services that may be available to them.
If a loved one refuses to get help, you might consider talking to a therapist yourself. Talking to someone can help you manage your own stress while also reinforcing strategies you can use to help someone you care about.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Why Some People With Depression Look Happy On The Outside
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Although smiling depression isnt a clinical diagnosis, for many people, it’s a real problem. Typically, smiling depression occurs when individuals who are experiencing depression mask their symptoms. They hide behind a smile to convince other people that they are happy.
Consequently, this type of depression often goes undetected because when most people imagine a depressed individual, they think of someone who looks really sad or cries a lot. And while it’s true that sadness and unexplained bouts of crying are common characteristics of depression, not everyone looks sad when theyre depressed.
Individuals with smiling depression often look happy to the outside world and keep their depression a secret.
What Illnesses Happen With Depression
Itâs common for people to have other medical or mental health problems along with depression, such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression or another mental illness, talk to your doctor. Treatments can help.
Things ‘happy’ People With Depression Wish They Could Admit To Their Friends
When we picture someone with depression, we often picture a specific kind of person with depression. Someone with greasy hair who hasnt showered in a few days. Someone with a messy house who watches Netflix for hours on end. Or someone who skips out on social events to lay in bed by themself.
But depression looks different for everyone.
People who seem happy can still be struggling. People who are smiling can still be hurting. And when you seem OK to others, it can be hard to reach out for help or for friends and loved ones to know you may need more support.
Thats why we asked members our Mighty mental health community who struggle with depression but appear happy to share one thing they wish they could admit to their friends. Because sometimes it is our strong and happy friends who need someone to check in on them.
Here is what our community told us:
Getty image via Allef Vinicius
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