Those who have endured the trauma or difficulty that comes from sexual addiction, infidelity, and other abuses will often develop an ongoing depression. This depression can vary on the spectrum of severity, with some having a low-level, constant feeling of depression and others finding their suffering debilitating.
For some suffering from depression, the inability to understand or comprehend their current mental health state will cause them to simply “toughen up” and push through their pain with a happy face. As millions of Americans struggle with a form of depression every day, it is essential that those suffering understand the symptoms, causes, and treatments available for depression.
Unfortunately, many will endure their depression for weeks, months, or years without showing allowing the depression to rise above the surface in a way that forces them to reckon with their mental health.
Whether due to a lack of support or fear that admission will cost them in their personal or vocational lives, many will simply push down their feelings of depression and avoid sharing them with others. Those who struggle with depression and force a happy face every day are often referred to as experiencing “Smiling Depression”.
As of the latest release of diagnostic counseling manuals, smiling depression does not yet have a specific definition. This means that a diagnosis requires careful observation and work with a trained mental health professional. Those suffering may not even realize that they have depression, as they continue to put on a smiling face and simply push through their daily lives and ignore the pain hidden inside.
Those who are enduring Smiling Depression will often be diagnosed with a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). However, these diagnoses can only be made with the help of a trained and experienced psychologist who can work through their background and current symptoms.
Smiling depression is often referred to as someone “hiding behind a smile.” Those who are struggling with this type of “walking depression” often report many of the same symptoms that are present in those who are diagnosed with a Major Depressive Disorder. These can include problems and issues such as sadness, hopelessness, irritability, trouble sleeping, and more.
Over time, this depression can lead to losing interest in everyday activities, withdrawing from personal relationships, and even contemplating suicide.
The difficulty with Smiling Depression comes with those who have trained themselves to hide their depression under a happy and funny demeanor. Those who are often seen as “having it all together” may in fact be harboring depressive tendencies just under the surface.
Those suffering from Smiling Depression may hide their struggle due to many reasons:
If Smiling Depression goes untreated, the risks of danger and worsening suffering will only rise. Individuals who suffer from depression may find themselves further isolated from those they love and trust, and will begin to see the light of hope continue to dim. In the worst cases, those who are unwilling to face their current situation may begin to question their self-worth, value, and willingness to continue moving forward in their personal and vocational lives.
In severe cases, Smiling Deperession can cause individuals to begin to entertain thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Those who are not aware of the depression in themselves or others may not have the ability or resources available to help in the most dire of circumstances. If you or someone you know is beginning to show signs of depression, it is essential to seek professional mental health help immediately to prevent tragedy.
No matter why you are experiencing depression, the most important truth to know is that hope and healing is possible. The ongoing struggle of “putting on a smile” and blocking the true feelings of hopelessness that rest just under the surface can ultimately lead to a worsening of your experience.
Without the freedom to express their true selves, those with Smiling Depression may not find the path to hope that is necessary to heal. If those who stifle their feelings and emotions of depression can find a place to open up and be their true selves – if they can find and take the first step toward healing.
If you or someone you love is struggling with what may be Smiling Depression, taking steps to speak with a trained and experienced mental health professional can make the difference in discovering hope.
At Novus Mindful Life, our team of experienced counselors and therapists have years of experience working with men and women who have developed depression due to an ongoing sexual addiction, the trauma of infidelity, and a variety of other mental and emotional issues.
Those who find themselves living with the chains of Smiling Depression can find the hope and care that they need to take steps forward in healing in a safe and secure place where the fake smile can drop and true emotions are given space to flow. If you or someone you know needs to speak with a kind and caring counselor, contact our team at Novus Mindful Life today. Together, we can take the steps necessary to move toward hope and healing.
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