Article by Akshi Ranka.
Considering the fact that Depression is the mental disorder of the century, it should be known that about 350 million people suffer from depression, globally. Over 36% of the population is depressed to some extent in India alone. There would be someone around you or you yourself who must be experiencing slight or full blown symptoms of depression or is already diagnosed with a form of depression. It’s that common and hence, that scary.
It’s scary to realise how rapidly depression is grabbing the entire world’s throats and pulling them into darkness. And, it’s just as scary to realise that while some of the people know and acknowledge what is happening to them or someone they know who suffers from depression, many don’t for a variety of reasons and in turn never get diagnosed or treated.
Depression is a tricky disorder and difficult to diagnose sometimes. And when we talk about hidden depression? Well, that’s on another level.
Hidden Depression is when a person’s depression is concealed from the person himself and/or from the people around. Either the person has developed ways to cope with it without sharing it with a professional helper, or just about anyone who cares about them, or is not even aware that he’s been experiencing symptoms of depression.
Since, it is hidden or covered up purposefully or unintentionally from or by the person who is suffering from it, it’s way lethal than depression.
Depression is a disorder that does not necessarily need a trigger. Meaning, if a person is depressed, it could be with a reason or without any. A person doesn’t require to have a reason or an explanation to clarify when they experience depression.
This is also one reason why some people’s depression may be concealed from them and/or others. It’s in the understanding of people that you need a valid reason or a trigger for your depression. That, along with the certain stigma attached to the mental state deters people from seeking help and forces them to dodge their feelings of depression.
The shadow of hidden depression
Symptoms of depression are hard to identify sometimes and hence it’s even difficult to diagnose symptoms of hidden depression in a person.
Needless to mention, symptoms of hidden depression vary slightly from symptoms of depression as it is. Along with the existing traits of depression, people with hidden depression may discreetly show signs and may even withdraw if responded to the cry of help.
They may translate the feelings of emptiness and hopelessness into extreme irritability and anger. Which is one of the reasons why their depression gets mistaken as anger issues and never gets into consideration. Some people tend to become philosophical and pessimistic when they talk which is a signal that something is wrong.
They might often complain of being extremely tired and exhausted even when all they’ve been doing is lying in bed all day. Along with having unusual eating and sleeping habits, people with concealed depression might not necessarily show any signs of depression at all. You might even know them as someone who’s always smiling and happy.
One of the biggest traits of hidden depression – people suffering from it tend to cover it up effortlessly.
The shadow of hidden depression
Sometimes, the person might perform like a normal person, sleep and eat like a normal person and might actually be happy. People with hidden depression may actually have perfect, happy days sometimes but apart from these days when depression strikes back, they still put up a normal face outside which tricks people into believing that nothing is wrong with them.
Again, it depends on from person to person to what extent their depression is hidden from them or others. Since every individual is different, their ways of expressing feelings of depression, directly or discreetly are different as well. But we need to have an open mind for this.
Keep your eyes open for any signs of discrepancy in a person’s mental state around you or reach out for help yourself if you feel something is wrong. Lastly, work on peeling off this stigma attached to depression in the society so depression is not so hidden anymore and hence not so fatal.