Are You Living Behind A Mask?
According to Mind, one in every four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue every single year. Furthermore, over 3 million people in the UK are diagnosed with depression. This high figure does not account for the many people who are struggling with depression who do not seek medical help.
Would you recognise if someone is depressed?
For many people with depression, it can be incredibly difficult to spot the signs of the condition. After all, depression can take many forms, from being on edge, angry, sad, melancholic, despairing and many other emotions. However, often, people hide their real feelings and depression behind a mask of happiness and high performance. This can be known as ‘Perfectly Hidden Depression’ or ‘Highly-Functioning Depressive’.
In the workplace, highly functioning depressives may mask their suffering with boundless energy and enthusiasm. They may continuously be overperforming as they are terrified to disappoint others. In social situations, it may be that they seem like the life and soul of the party. However, having to continually hold up a façade and follow the social conventions of being friendly, positive and social can be exhausting and emotionally draining.
Those with Perfectly Hidden Depression may be so used to having a mask of happiness and high performance that they may not even know themselves that they have depression or could be in denial of their feelings.
For anyone experiencing depression, they must have people they can trust to confide in, whether this is a friend or professional help. Talking and sharing helps to break down any feelings of isolation and loneliness and removes the necessity of having the put up a front. Furthermore, the individual needs to reconnect with their own experiences and feelings. Instead of masking their depression, it can help to explore it in a safe and manageable way.
Less obvious signs of depression
For you and your loved ones, it is crucial to recognise that depression can take many forms. If the typical symptoms of depression are not there, there may be less visible signs that you can look out for. These include;
Lack of concentration
Issues with memory or focus is a key, but a less known, symptom of depression. So, if you find that someone regularly loses their train of thought when speaking or cannot concentrate on the task they are doing, it could be a sign of depression.
Lack of love for hobbies
Losing interest in hobbies is quite a well-known symptom of depression but maybe less easy to spot if you don’t ask about a person’s interests. If a person usually raves about their weekly hobby and have stopped going or mentioning it altogether, this could be another sign of their condition.
For many, being realistic and pessimistic is a part of their character. However, studies have found that those with a depressive disorder tend to have a more negative view of the future. You may notice this as a change in someone’s usual perspective. Alternatively, a negative outlook combined with other symptoms may hint at depression.
A slipping mask
While many people with depression try to hide their feelings behind a veil of forced happiness, this can be incredibly difficult to hold up all of the time. Occasionally, you may spot signs of the mask slipping and someone’s true feelings coming out. This slipping mask may only be brief. The person may try and brush away the incident, but this could indicate that the person needs to confide how they are really feeling.
Research suggests that over 90% of people with depression also experience fatigue. Look out for signs that someone is always tired, unmotivated, exhausted and lacking in energy; these people may be hiding their sadness.
Alcohol and drugs are a common way that people experiencing a mental health disorder may manage their condition. As a result, the person with depression may manifest their feelings in always wanting to go out drinking and partying. They may be using substances to cover their real feelings of sadness.
Depression can dramatically affect a person’s appetite in very different ways. For some, they lose interesting in food or have little appetite. For others, food is a form of comfort and can lead to weight gain. All of which can exacerbate depression.
There is a link between depression and weight gain as excessive fat can cause pain and inflammation, which may, in turn, cause depression.
Spotting the signs of depression
Getting professional help is so essential for anyone experiencing depression. If you believe you are masking your depression with pretend happiness or believe a colleague or friend is struggling, then having a person to talk to and confide in is essential.
This is why I offer a dual approach of both coaching and hypnotherapy. This method helps manage the symptoms of depression. It also works to dissolve any depressive thought patterns that may be holding you back. My practice offers a safe and comfortable environment in which to talk. I also offer regular catch up calls in between appointments.
If you’d like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can work for depression, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free 15-minute consultation.