High Functioning Depression and Smiling Depression

ZS Archives | The struggle behind the smile

People with High Functioning Depression very often don’t realize they have it, because their symptoms don’t fit neatly into the ‘Depression Box’. But in their case, tiredness is exhaustion and fatigue – they get through the day, doing what they have to, but it takes every. last. ounce. of energy to do it. They’re hanging on by a thread, but feel pressure to give the impression that they’re in total control.

As a result, when they get to bed each night, they are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Tapped out. And what’s worse, is that the person with High Functioning Depression feels extreme guilt about the way they feel. They are always criticizing and doubting themselves, their internal dialogue being one of constant guilt and shame.

With Smiling Depression, internal distress is always hidden. Long periods of deep sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness are covered up by the belief that they need to present a certain image to the world. And all those negative feelings don’t form part of that happy, confident image. They keep up the façade because they feel that showing signs of depression would be taken as weakness, or perhaps they don’t want to be a burden to anyone else.

What this results in, is a person who only gives in to depressive symptoms when they are alone, but are cheerful and in control when faced with the public. That said, it is just this distinction between the two states of being that makes people miss the fact that they have any real mental health problem at all.

Isolation fuels depression

Humans are hard-wired to function socially. Losing close contact with your friends or family might trigger symptoms of depression. The past five months of isolation might have you feeling isolated and lonely. If that’s the case, we suggest you reach out to the people who care about you.

Troubled relationships take its toll

Strong and supportive relationships are your lifesaver during isolation. For people living in an abusive, troubled or unhappy relationship it can be even more damaging to their mental health. Finding a support system, you can count on is crucial to maintain a positive state of mental health.

Anxiety turns into depression

With the current state of affairs, it’s only natural to worry. It’s when your worrying spirals out of control that the first signs of anxiety start creeping up. To stop your mind from racing all over the place try and practise some mindfulness. Before you know it the anxiety fades away and your left feeling somewhat rejuvenated.

Our collective stress levels are rising

As a result of the pandemic, our stress levels are rising. The sudden passing of a loved one, job loss or relationship difficulties has left many vulnerable to these stress triggers. As we know stress takes hold of our body and sits in our muscles leaving us with all sorts of aches and pains. A good way to get rid of these is to get physically active. Not only will you be sleeping much better, but your body will also be getting some much needed healthy endorphins that assist you in combatting stress.

Healthy habits to help manage depression

There isn’t any quick fix to take care of depression and we realize finding the motivation to take the first step can be tough. We just want to remind you that you’ve got more control than you realize! Take a look at the useful tips below. They hopefully inspire you to take the leap and get help when you need it.

Express some gratitude

When you’re feeling down it can be hard to feel grateful for anything. However, it has been proven over and over again that practising gratitude has a positive impact on your mental health. Even in your darkest days, there’s always something you can be grateful for.

Maintain your routine

Establishing a healthy routine and maintaining it daily will give structure to your day. The lack of exercise, sleeping too much or too little are all factors that feed your depression. A healthy routine will keep you focused on your goal towards getting better.

Find joy in the small things

There’s always a lot of things you can do to boost your mood throughout the day. Listening to uplifting music, spending time in nature or cooking your favourite meal are all good mood-boosters. They will ease some of your stress triggers and put a smile on your face. Give it a try and see how you feel.

Distract yourself

When you find yourself alone you might find that your negative thoughts keep racing back and forth. They might seem never-ending but you can break the cycle by focusing on meaningful things that add purpose to your life.

These distractions can be as simple as learning a new language, playing a musical instrument or learning a new skill. Before you know it you will be so engaged with your new hobby that the negative thoughts start dying down.

Moving on to wellness

With Smiling Depression being so hard to spot in the first place, knowing what risk factors to look out for might help early intervention. These include: major changes in life, exposure to public criticism or judgement, social media pressures, and high expectations to perform and live to a certain standard.

All of these situations are likely to bring about depression, especially if the person involved feels they are falling short in any way. In the case of High Functioning Depression, it’s common for people to have low moods most of the time – as if they’ll never be happy again.

They also have a low self-esteem, and although they make sure they do everything they’re supposed to, they always feel worthless. So if you recognize any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or someone you love, please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. At ZwavelStream Clinic our team of professionals will help you manage your condition with the utmost care and guidance.

Jul 2, 2019

High Functioning Depression

In this post we’ll be taking a closer look at High Functioning Depression and Smiling Depression. All too often these subtypes of Major Depressive Disorder are […]