WHAT is masked depression and how can you spot its sneaky symptoms? + 15 HABITS of people with Concealed Depression

WHAT is masked depression and how can you spot its sneaky symptoms? + 15 HABITS of people with Concealed Depression

NordenBladet — Depression is a serious mental disorder which very often goes undetected for a long time. Those with concealed depression are fighting demons on their down, rarely sharing their battles with the people around them. Wounds are something that people are not open about, in most cases. We tend to keep things a secret and try to solve them on our own.

What is concealed depression?
In concealed depression or masked depression, individuals have an atypical form of depression where they do not typically report that they feel sad most of the time, but are masking their symptoms.

Someone who suffers from concealed depression specifically is programmed to deal with their symptoms in a way that makes them easy to miss by outsiders. These people often bottle up their thoughts and emotions, putting up a happy front for everyone else when in reality, they struggle with sadness or finding a purpose in life, in extreme cases even having suicidal thoughts.

“Concealed depression is sometimes called ‘smiling depression’ because the sufferer seems fine,” said Sally Winston, PsyD, a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America ( “They go about their lives fulfilling their responsibilities, interacting apparently normally, and do not complain or share with others how they are feeling. They may be so used to being silently depressed that it is just experienced as ‘this is just the way I am; I am just a loser’ or ‘this is the way life is’ rather than ‘I am depressed.'”

What are the signs of concealed depression?
If you find yourself often feeling low but going to great lengths to make others believe you’re perfectly fine and happy, you may be suffering from concealed depression. Other signs to watch for are changes in your sleep and eating habits, feelings of fear and anxiety, using lifestyle hobbies like music and exercise to ward off feelings of sadness, and constantly making excuses to not spend time with friends and family members. “Vegetative signs like poor sleep or no appetite or pleasure do occur, but the sufferer feels there is no reason to seek help as it is hopeless to expect change,” Winston added.

Signs and Symptoms:
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

– Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
– Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
– Irritability
– Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
– Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
– Decreased energy or fatigue
– Moving or talking more slowly
– Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
– Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
– Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
– Appetite and/or weight changes
– Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
– Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

The following 15 habits are some of the things people with concealed depression do.

They are often quite talented and very expressive
Many famous people have dealt with mental illness, and this battle is what gives them deeper emotions. Although we cannot always see it, their suffering is often reflected in their works.

They tend to search for purpose
We all need a purpose, simply to make sure that we are doing good and meaningful things in life. Depressed people also want to know the reason for their existence. And, they are much more susceptible to feeling anxiety or inadequacy.

Sometimes they make muted cries for help
We all need help sometimes. When we aren’t expecting someone to feel weak, we don’t see their cries for help. If you do notice their cries for help and help them in any way, you are creating a close bond with them.

They interpret substances differently
Depressed people have to try really hard to make themselves feel better, unlike most people. They know that sugar and caffeine will boost their mood, and that some medicines can help them, but they do need to put a lot of effort into feeling better.

They often have a very involved perception of life and death
In moments of despair, depressed people often seek answers to deep questions. What they do is a shift from a horrible mindset into another. And, while not everyone dealing with depression has suicidal thoughts, some do.

They have strange eating habits
The eating habits of depressed people are quite strange. Some of them eat more at their worst, while some don’t eat at all when they are in despair. It varies from person to person.

They have abnormal sleeping habits
Just like with eating, sleeping habits vary from person to person. People suffering from depression can either sleep all the time or not sleep at all.

They hurt when other people hurt
Extreme empathy is common in depressed people, so they often suffer when others are suffering. This is often the trigger of their emotional pain and it can be draining.

They always think of the worst-case scenarios
Interestingly, this can be both beneficial and stressful. Depression is associated with high intelligence, allowing people to respond to anything thrown at them. And, this makes them great problem solves.

They seek love and acceptance
People with concealed depression are hiding their depression in order to protect themselves. All they want is to be loved and accepted just like others are.

They have trouble shutting off their brains
Depressed people tend to over analyze things, whether good or bad. They are not able to shut off their brains, which in turn affects them much deeper.

They might have habitual remedies
Everyone has different remedies to ease their mind. For example, these people may do things like listen to music, exercise, go walking, etc.

They are always making efforts to seem happy
Depressed people are great at faking moods. They typically come off as normal on the outside, when in reality they are fighting their demons within themselves.

They are professionals at coming up with ‘cover-up’ stories
They are great at coming up with some quite believable excuses for the things they are going through. And, they often change the subject when things like skipping an appointment or canceling a plan comes up.

They have abandonment issues usually
Last but not least, depressed people are affected by abandonment much more than other people. When someone walks away from their life, it causes them to be more secretive and creates a sense of fear within them.

There are different types of treatments available for mood disorders, such as therapy and medications. Behaviour therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and interpersonal therapy have all shown to be potentially beneficial in depression. Major depressive disorder medications usually include antidepressants, while bipolar disorder medications can consist of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants and/or lithium. Lithium specifically has been proven to reduce suicide and all causes of mortality in people with mood disorders. If mitochondrial dysfunction or mitochondrial diseases are the cause of mood disorders like bipolar disorder, then it has been hypothesized that N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), creatine monohydrate (CM), and melatonin could be potential treatment options. In determining treatment, two different depression scales are used most frequently. One of the depression scales is a self report scale called Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the second is the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). HAMD is a clinical rating scale in which the patient is rated based on clinician observation.

Note: Please do take into consideration that this site is for information only. You are still supposed to consult your doctor for further medical advice/treatment.

Featured image: Pexels/Pixabay


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