Other Reasons People Hide What They Are Feeling
Parents who are experiencing depression may worry about how their children or family could be affected. They may even fear that they will be seen as unfit parents if they admit to having feelings of depression.
The pressure to justify depression can be overwhelming, but remember the old saying that you cant judge a book by its cover. The way someone elses life appears to be may not show the whole truth.
People who are depressed may work very hard to try to hide how they really feel. On the outside, they may look and even act as though they feel OK and that everything is fine.
Whether youre experiencing depression yourself or you care about someone who is, it can be helpful to reframe how you think about the condition. Start by focusing on the causes of depression rather than focusing on reasons .
Are You Depressed Without Knowing It
You tell yourself youre just tired or forgetful but maybe you should be seeking help. Many of us simply dont understand what depression looks like
It always amazes me how long it took me to figure out I was depressed. My dad had bipolar and my sister was diagnosed with depression over a decade ago, so youd think Id know the signs. But it still took a persistent friend to persuade me that my low moods, constant tiredness, poor appetite and inability to concentrate were all signs of the same thing and that I really did need to seek help.
Statistically, between 8% and 12% of us will experience a period of depression before the year is out, according to the Office for National Statistics. But many will never be diagnosed. Despite increased awareness of mental health issues, people can live with a range of symptoms without ever realising they are depressed as I did for several months.
Some of my patients have been surprised and shocked when Ive told them they were depressed, says clinical psychologist Angel Adams. They think its something else. If they have a lack of energy or fatigue, they might just think theyre doing too much. Sometimes they think, Its just this illness or I had a break-up with somebody, but really theyre experiencing depression as well as the illness or the grief reaction.
Although no two cases are ever exactly the same, there are a number of factors to look out for.
What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets , a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, .
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
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Depression Treatment: Lifestyle Changes Talk Therapy Antidepressants
If you suspect that depression is interfering with your life, talking about what youre experiencing and discussing treatment options with a medical professional is essential. As actress Taraji P. Henson, who describes her depression as suffocating darkness, recently explained in an interview with Self magazine, When youre quiet, things arent fixed. It gets worse.
The good news is that theres abundant evidence that people with depression who seek treatment will find significant relief from lifestyle changes, talk therapy , medication, or a combination of all efforts, according to the Association of America.
Which Types Of Talk Therapy Work Best For Depression
The Society of Clinical Psychology rates several types of psychotherapy as highly effective :
- Behavioral activation therapy The aim of this type of therapy is to reverse the downward spiral of depression by encouraging you to seek out experiences and activities that give you joy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT focuses on changing specific negative thought patterns so that you are able to better respond to challenging and stressful situations.
- Interpersonal therapy This very structured, time-limited form of therapy focuses on identifying and improving problematic personal relationships and circumstances directly related to your current depressive mood.
- Problem-solving therapy This therapy is a form CBT that teaches take-charge skills that help you solve the real-life problems and stressors, big and small, that contribute to depression.
- Self-management/self-control therapy This type of behavioral therapy trains you to lessen your negative reactions to events and reduce your self-punishing behaviors and thoughts.
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Lack Of Interest And Enjoyment
Anhedonia, as psychologists call it, is another very common symptom of depression. In this state you no longer get pleasure from things you once enjoyed, and struggle to make any kind of effort.
Anhedonia probably translates best as loss of interest, says Salkovskis. Its feeling listless, feeling totally flat, as if the world is colourless, everything is rubbish.
This can extend to relationships, with the result that people with depression often become isolated. Adams says: People who are depressed tend to find a sanctuary. They dont want to be around people, they dont go out as much, they spend more time at home.
When A Parent Is Depressed
…What kids want to know
- Guides & Publications
- When a parent is depressed … What kids want to know
Children have a lot of questions when someone in their family is sick. When the problem is about depression, it often becomes a secret that nobody talks about. When children don’t have answers to their questions, they tend to come up with their own, which may be incorrect and scary!
Every parent and child’s “beginning conversation” about depression will be different depending on the child’s age and ability to manage the information. You know your children best.
This information will help prepare you to take the first step. If you have already started talking to a child about depression, this information will give you details to keep the conversation going. It lists common questions children have about their parent’s depression, as well as suggestions for how to answer their questions.
What is depression? How does depression work?
- Depression is a disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts.
- When people are depressed, their brain works differently from when they don’t have a depression. Our brains help us to think, feel, and act in certain ways. So when people are depressed, they think, feel, and act differently from how they do when they’re well.
- Depression is not a weakness.
- Depression is a fairly common disorder, even though people don’t always talk about it.
What causes depression? How does it start?
Will the depression ever be fixed?
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Mental Health Support If You’re Lesbian Gay Bisexual Or Trans
Mental health problems such as depression or self-harm can affect any of us, but they’re more common among people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans .
This may be linked to LGBT people’s experience of discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, bullying, social isolation, or rejection because of their sexuality.
Other things, such as their age, religion, where they live, and their ethnicity can add extra complications to an already difficult situation.
When Should I Seek Help
No matter your gender, age or life circumstances, know that depression is a treatable condition and help is not only available, its what you deserve to get your life back on track.
If you feel like the symptoms detailed above are having a damaging effect on your life, it may be time to seek professional help. The first place to head is your GP, who can offer you professional advice and a diagnosis.
Alternatively, you could seek depression treatment here at Priory, where we can work with you to develop a recovery programme that fits your needs and circumstances. We offer intensive inpatient stays, weekly therapy sessions that fit in with your life and work commitments, and online therapy that allows you to recover from the comfort of your own home.
Depression is a mental illness, not a sign of weakness. You can make a full and lasting recovery. Get the support you need today by contacting usand speaking to our highly trained mental health professionals about the difficulties youve been experiencing.
For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.
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Accepting Your Mental Health
The secret ingredient to Ellen feeling content, she says, is acceptance of her illness. When depression bites at her, Ellen is gentle with herself. I enjoy my fast-paced life and normally being busy helps combat the sadness, but when I need to I give myself permission to slow down, play with my daughter, take a day or two off from work
She explains, I can hide my depression so well that people around me have no idea what Im dealing with unless I clue them in. What I wish everyone realized is that allowing yourself to reach out for help is half the battle. The other half is continuing to help yourself because depression can always be there waiting to trick you with these awful, untrue thoughts like: Youre worthless, Youre no good, No one cares.
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:
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Who Can Experience Depression Symptoms
Depression can happen to anyone and depression causes can vary from person to person. However, your age, gender and other circumstances in your life can have an impact on the likelihood of you suffering from a type of depression, whether that be dysthymia, bipolar depression or clinical depression. It might also impact the types of symptoms you experience.
Pilgrimage Of Desire: A Path Out Of Walking Depression
My lifes work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.
One of the ways I do that is by sharing my own story of depression and recovery in a memoir called Pilgrimage of Desire. The book is interspersed with coaching questions and exercises, which help readers take their own steps toward happiness.
As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.
Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.
I found the path out of depression by following my desiresto write, to travel, to become a mother and a creativity coach. Eventually I left ordinary life behind. My husband quit his job and we sold our house and headed out on a trip around the world with our kids, aged five and three. I thought Id found my happy ending, but there was more to the story
Do these signs ring true for you? Have you ever been depressed and kept on walking?
I invite you to share your own experiences in the comments. When you do, please be kind to yourself and others. Kindness is the watchword. To keep this space safe and helpful, I remove comments that are unkind or invalidate other peoples experience of depression.
UPDATE: A video for those who responded to this article when it was first posted in March 2012.
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Causes And Treatments Of Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Depression can have many causes, all of which are complex and can be difficult to understand. In some cases, feelings of depression can be clearly connected to an experience in someones life, such as a tragic loss or a violent event. Other people may be aware they have a family history of mental illness and, as a result, may not be caught off guard by a diagnosis of depression.
However, some people become depressed and dont know why. They may feel they do not have a reason to be depressedespecially if they perceive their life as being good or easy compared to others.
The pressure to explain or justify how they feel can make depression worse and may prevent people from getting necessary treatment.
I Was One Of The Walking Depressed Some Of My Clients Are Too
We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.
On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.
But were doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.
Our depression may not be completely disabling, but its real.
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Signs Of Walking Depression
I once read that succumbing to depression doesnt mean you are weak, but that you have been trying to be strong for too long, which is maybe a form of denial. So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdownthats where many of us live, and doing so requires strength. ~ novelist Matthew Quick
Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesnt fit the more common picture of severe depression. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.
This list isnt meant to be exhaustive or to diagnose anyone. But these are some of the signs Ive observed in myself and those Ive coached:
Nothing is fun. You root around for something to look forward to and come up empty.
You cant find flow. Working on your creative projects feels like a grind, but you keep plodding away. There is research that shows that neuroticism is associated with lower rates of flow.
Your energy is low. Maybe youre not getting enough rest because youre too anxious to sleep, or youre trying to cram too many tasks into a day, or youre punishing yourself by staying up. Whatever the reason, you are effin tired.
You feel worse in the morning and better at night. I remember explaining this to a friend, who found it mystifying. In the morning I felt the crushing weight of all the things I had to do that day. In the evening I was temporarily free from expectations and could enjoy a moments respite.
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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Some Common Causes Of Depression
Some factors that contribute to depression include:
- Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
- Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
- Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.
Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.
To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.
A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.