Inner Struggles Of Hidden Depression
When you have hidden depression, even though you seem to be functioning and coping, you are experiencing a lot of inner struggles. You may have thoughts similar to these:
- Its not acceptable to show signs of depression to others, because that would reveal character weakness.
- You dont want to bring down the people around you by telling them your true feelings and inner struggles.
- Theres nothing seriously wrong in your life, so you shouldnt be complaining.
- Everyone around you would probably be better off without you.
The Risk Of Suicide Is Real
What to do in a crisis situation
If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave them alone.
In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
In other countries, call your countrys emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.
It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain theyre feeling.
Since suicide is a very real danger when someone is depressed, its important to know the warning signs:
- Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself a preoccupation with death
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
- Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
- Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
- Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
- A sudden sense of calm after depression
If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, dont wait, talk to them about your concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a persons life, so speak up if youre concerned and seek professional help immediately!
Getting The Support You Need
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Can Depression Be Faked
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Depression is a serious and common mental health condition, but in some cases, people may fake or exaggerate symptoms to obtain rewards or to avoid undesirable outcomes.
Known as malingering, this phenomenon may involve fabricating symptoms of depression in order to avoid work, military service, or jury duty or to obtain something such as prescription medications. Malingering can be difficult to detect since many of the symptoms of depression are easy to emulate, particularly if a person is familiar with the condition.
Malingering is not considered a psychiatric condition. It does share some similarities with what is known as factitious disorder. A factitious disorder involves faking symptoms of an illness without a clear motive or reward. It is also important to distinguish malingering from somatic symptom disorder, a condition where people become distressed about symptoms that may be imagined or exaggerated.
While malingering is not considered a mental illness, the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition lists it as a condition that may be the focus of clinical attention.
Treatment For Depression In Men
There is no complete cure for depression, but there are a number of effective treatments that can help reduce or eliminate symptoms. The most important thing is to start looking for help. That doesnt necessarily mean immediately going to a therapist or getting a prescription. Often, a lifestyle change, more mindfulness, or simply getting regular exercise might be enough to improve your well-being.
Exercise isnt just to avoid depression, says Pollack. Exercise enhances endorphins, and endorphins enhance serotonin levels, and thats exactly what happens when you take an SSRI .
Self-help wellness techniques or strategies like meditation or relaxation exercises can be tried first, and those are things that most therapists will use in addition to talk therapy, says Korner. You do the most conservative thing first, and if that works, great. If it doesnt, then, in a stepwise fashion, you ratchet up the degree of intervention.
The right treatment plan for depression depends on the type of depression, how long its been present, your other health information, and, in the case of medications, your tolerance of side effects. Common depression treatments include:
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Making Sure Youre Ready To Talk
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Dealing With Depression
Depression touches most Americans, whether they experience it personally or it affects someone they know. In fact, The National Institute of Mental Health reports its one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States an estimated 17.3 million adults were living with depression in 2017.
So how can you tell if a friend is just a bit sad or hassomething deeper brewing? There certainly are telltale signs, Dr. Borlandnotes. But since you dont necessarily see that person every day, you may haveto do more detective work.
He recommends watching for behavioral changes or anything that could be out of character for your friend. Some depression symptoms include:
- Lack of engagement:They lose interest in activities they used to enjoy or want to hang out less.
- Change in communication patterns: Youused to chat or hang on the regular, and now theyre MIA.
- Changes in hygiene and sleepingpatterns: Theyre sleeping less or all the time. Their appearance andhygiene no longer seem to be a priority.
- Displays of sadness or anger: Theirtemper now has a hairpin trigger, or maybe they seem more down than usual.
- Withdrawal from social outlets:Theyre missing from activities where they were formerly fixtures.
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Fear Of Burdening Others
Depression and guilt tend to go hand-in-hand. Consequently, many individuals dont want to burden anyone else with their struggles. This fact may be especially true for people who are used to taking care of others rather than having others take care of them. They simply do not know how to ask for help, so they keep their struggles to themselves.
What Causes Depression In Men
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of risk factors including:
- Genetic factorsmen with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose family members do not have the illness.
- Environmental Stressfinancial problems, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, major life changes, work problems, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.
- Illnessdepression can occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes, medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that trigger or worsen depression.
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They Continue To Over
The first conversation where you expressed your concerns might have made them nervous. They may feel that you are onto their hidden secrets. When someone acts out, it may be that they are doing this to get you off their case.
However, it may also be a subconscious action because all the fear and anxiety they are feeling is coming out. If you simply ask how their day was at work, they may blow up and act like you are invading their privacy.
Professional Treatment For Depression In Men
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, seek help from a mental health professional. Be open about how youre feeling as well as your physical symptoms. Treatments for depression in men include:
Therapy. You may feel that talking to a stranger about your problems is unmanly, or that therapy carries with it a victim status. However, if therapy is available to you, it can often bring a swift sense of relief, even to the most skeptical male.
Medication.Antidepressant medication can help relieve some symptoms of depression, but it doesnt cure the underlying problem and is rarely a long-term solution. Medication also comes with side effects. Even if you decide that medication is right for you, always pursue self-help steps as well. Therapy and lifestyle changes can address the underlying causes of your depression to prevent it returning when youre able to come off antidepressants.
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Other Types Of Depression
There are different types of depression, and some conditions where depression may be one of the symptoms. These include:
- postnatal depression sometimes new mothers, fathers or partners develop depression after they have a baby this is known as postnatal depression and it’s treated in a similar way to other types of depression, with talking therapies and antidepressant medicines
- bipolar disorder also known as “manic depression”, in bipolar disorder there are spells of both depression and excessively high mood the depression symptoms are similar to clinical depression, but the bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour, such as gambling, going on spending sprees and having unsafe sex
- seasonal affective disorder also known as “winter depression”, SAD is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern usually related to winter
Hiding Depression Is Normal
Its important to recognize that hiding depression is a normal part of the condition.
People with depression dont go around looking miserable at all hours of the day. In fact, people with high-functioning depression may rarely exhibit external depression symptoms.
Therefore, you shouldnt assume that someone is faking depression just because they dont look depressed.
Figuring out how to tell if a person is faking depression isnt easy. But if someone creates a lot of drama, draws attention to their depression symptoms, and seems to get rewards from these actions, then they might be faking depression.
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Lifestyle Changes For Depression
Lifestyle changes, such as making art, journaling, exercising more, and practicing yoga or mindfulness, can also alleviate depression and the stress that can heighten it. Alternative treatments like massage, acupuncture, and light therapy may also help.
Diet changes, too, can uplift your mood by reducing inflammation and helping to ensure your brain gets the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
One randomized controlled study, published October 9, 2019, in the journal PLoS One, found that self-reported symptoms of depression dropped significantly in just three weeks in young adults who changed from a highly processed, high-carbohydrate diet to a focused on vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, unsweetened dairy, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and the spices turmeric and cinnamon. In contrast, the depression scores didnt budge in a control group of people who didnt change their diet.
There Are Three Key Reasons Why People Might Fake Depression:
In other words, many people who fake depression, do so because they want something: either a benefit or to avoid a negative situation. But there are also people with legitimate mental health issues who fake depression.
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What Is Treatment Resistant Depression And Is There Any Help For It
If youve tried at least two different antidepressants and your depression hasnt improved, you may be diagnosed with treatment resistant depression . TRD is a serious condition that has been highly associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Nearly 33 percent of people with TRD attempt suicide in their lifetime, more than double the rate of their treatment-responsive peers, according to a recent report in Psychiatry Advisor. It is not, however, a hopeless condition. A number of alternative treatment approaches are available, including:
How To Know If Youre Depressed
If you identify with several of the following, you may be suffering from depression.
If youre feeling suicidal
Problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But if you reach out for help, you will feel better.
Read HelpGuides Suicide Prevention articles or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-8255. For help outside the U.S., visit Befrienders Worldwide.
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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 Is Depression Treated
Men often avoid addressing their feelings and, in many cases, friends and family members are the first to recognize that their loved one is depressed. It is important that friends and family support their loved one and encourage him to visit a doctor or mental health professional for an evaluation. A health professional can do an exam or lab tests to rule out other conditions that may have symptoms that are like those of depression. He or she also can tell if certain medications are affecting the depression.
The doctor needs to get a complete history of symptoms, such as when they started, how long they have lasted, how bad they are, whether they have occurred before, and if so, how they were treated. It is important that the man seeking help be open and honest about any efforts at self-medication with alcohol, non-prescribed drugs, gambling, or high-risk activities. A complete history should include information about a family history of depression or other mental disorders.
After a diagnosis, depression is usually treated with medications or psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. The increasingly-popular collaborative care approach combines physical and behavioral health care. Collaborative care involves a team of health care providers and managers, including a primary care doctor and specialists.
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Encouraging The Person To Get Help
While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.
Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.
If your friend or family member resists getting help:
Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.
Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.