How do you hide depression

12 signs that you may have hidden depression

It is only half the story that people with depression are deeply sad, because they can also smile magically, be constantly unpunctual or philosophize more and more about the meaning of life.

Contrary to popular belief, depression is not characterized by sadness, but rather a feeling of numbness and inner emptiness. So what are the real signs of depression? And how do you recognize a hidden depression?

1. Put on smile - "Smiling Depression"

Let's be honest: Everyone has at some point tried to hide seemingly unpleasant feelings behind a smile. It may be that, for example, we are currently at work and our colleagues shouldn't notice our feelings or that we don't want to be a burden on our friends. A smile is always welcome, at least that's what many people believe.

A smile is only healthy and beautiful if it is accompanied by the right emotion, namely joy. But when the smile hides unpleasant feelings, it quickly becomes a mask behind which depression can hide. Always smiling, for example, Robin Williams suffered from depression and anxiety right up to his suicide.

The more often you try to hide other feelings such as sadness, anger, fear, loneliness or feelings of inferiority with a smile, the more one suspects depression behind the sympathetic grin. That costs the beam man or the beam woman enormous effort and strength; which ultimately can even lead to people with depression avoiding contact with others.

The song "Do not worry Be Happy" - “Don't get angry, be happy”, could also be the motto of a person with depression. This is why this form of depression becomes too "Laughing depression" or "Smiling Depression" called.

Laughing is not the right way to deal with unpleasant feelings. The Swiss psychoanalyst C. G. Jung wrote: "People only get healthy when they talk about their dark sides". So speaking out and crying can be a means of preventing or relieving depression.

2. Unreliable and volatile

A call from a friend: The enthusiastic question about a mutual meeting. Numerous ideas follow as to what could be done. And what happens? Nothing! The meeting does not take place because the person concerned cancels at the last minute. Here the depression creeps around the corner, which prevents you from getting up.

Unreliable, forgetful and lazy ...

... these may all be character traits that are not considered particularly "sexy". In the case of depression, however, this has little to do with character, but rather with the fact that the unreliability points to a reduced drive, which is a typical characteristic of depression. The reduced drive is also due to the feeling of constantly being electrified. This constant tension can also lead to excessive tiredness, which can result in those affected "not being able to get up"; In addition, it can lead to concentration problems and a decline in performance up to a feeling of numbness - from the outside one thinks it is pure laziness or forgetfulness - but this listlessness is part of the depression.

But this may turn out to be very different, because people with depression can also appear volatile. This is where the inner unrest, the “being electrified” expresses itself physically. The environment often reacts with incomprehension to the inner drive on the one hand and the apparent ease on the other.

3. Sudden outbursts of emotion

The mood of someone with depression changes from day to day, and even during the day. Depressed people also react more sensitively to the various living conditions, which can lead to strong mood swings and sudden outbursts of emotion. Men often react with irritability, impulsiveness, and aggressiveness; but women are also more irritable than usual during depression and can show sudden outbursts of anger or sadness. Such strong mood swings can indicate a masked depression. The inner tension is then released with apparently every little thing. Depressed mood, inner despair and helplessness are also typical for both sexes; and the feeling of wanting to hide away.

Similar to a hedgehog that you come too close to and that curls up into a ball of spikes. The sudden outbursts of emotions are a clear sign that someone just wants to curl up and simply "everything is too much" for him; typical symptom of depression.

4. Not being able to decide

"Should I or should not I!?" - this is how a person with depression ponders very often. Somehow the decisions seem so inexpressibly difficult. Even if one has to reckon with few consequences in a decision. Hidden depression shows up in feelings of being torn. This can lead to the inability to make a decision for fear of making a mistake.

Then the brooding begins. The same content of thought is chewed through over and over again. They're a headache. The thoughts go round in circles; but without result.

5. Hidden Depression and Eating Behaviors

Loss of appetite is typical of depression. The sense of taste is significantly reduced. This often leads to severe weight loss. Occasionally, however, the eating behavior changes atypically, which means that there are food cravings (increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates, fat, heavily sweetened or very salty foods).

To put it another way, one could say that when there is depression, there is no sweetness in life - the taste for life. Eating behavior tries to compensate for the inner emptiness.

As a guide value for depression, the WHO (World Health Organization) gives a weight loss or weight gain of 5 percent of the body weight, compared to the previous month.

6. Exhaustion and sleep patterns

Exhaustion and feeling heavy as lead are typical signs of depression. “Getting out of bed” takes an enormous amount of effort, but people with depression often also suffer from a sleep disorder.

Awake late in the evening because one cannot fall asleep or for fear of missing something (difficulty falling asleep); Suddenly waking up during sleep at night (difficulty sleeping through the night), nightmares or waking up much earlier than usual in the morning, but also an increased need for sleep or the feeling that it is difficult to get up in the morning - changed sleep behavior can be a clear sign of depression. But vice versa, depression can change sleep behavior. This does not mean that a depression is to be suspected behind every sleep disorder; however, if you have disturbed sleep or sleep that is not restful (feeling weak in the morning), a doctor should be consulted. Even if it is only that possible physical causes can be ruled out.

Some antidepressants have a sleep-inducing effect, and relaxation methods such as progressive muscle relaxation or autogenic training can also help you get a good night's sleep again.

7. Zero-minded mood or "I don't care"

Not in the mood for work can simply mean that you have the wrong job or the wrong colleagues. In principle, however, you can change something about it.

However, a zero-minded mood cannot be easily changed, smiling away or with one "Now pull yourself up" to solve. If you try to motivate someone who is not in the mood for something, you will at most become one "I do not care" to harvest. Because it's not that easy with a depression in your hand luggage - it is always there and covers the feelings of those affected like a gray veil; the result is inner emptiness, “cold emotions” and rigidity.

8. Increased activity - exercise, work, and compulsive discipline

As already mentioned, a lack of drive is typical of depression. Nevertheless, it is especially true for people with a hidden depression that they seem to suddenly increase their activities. The inner restlessness is expressed physically, for example through increased sport (which exceeds a healthy level in terms of time) or through extreme sports such as skydiving, climbing without safety or bodybuilding (as an over-optimized body cult). Increased overtime at work, which appears to be voluntary, can also be a sign of masked depression.

"Solitude has a healing comforter, playmate, friend: it is work." Berthold Auerbach

People with a depression often try to defeat the black demons on their own not only with work, extreme sports and other activities, but fixed rituals are also celebrated, which are intended to give those affected a hold in order to escape the low mood beforehand. Here you will find strictly defined daily routines and rigid ways of thinking, rituals, such as eating meals at certain times of the day. This behavior can appear compulsive to outsiders.

“The more space the inner emptiness gets, the more attractive the distraction becomes. And suddenly even accounting seems to be the most exciting thing in the world. ”Ulrike Fuchs

Because depression can also occur together with an eating disorder (such as anorexia or bulimia), it should also be mentioned at this point that the increased activities can also affect eating behavior, as already described above. Scientific research is currently being carried out into the relationship between depression and the noticeably pronounced desire to eat as “healthy” as possible (orthorexia nervosa). Again, there is compulsive behavior.

9. Depression in the body

Depression can also manifest itself physically, for example:

  • regular digestive problems (irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, gas)
  • physical exhaustion, exhaustion, easy fatigue, weakness
  • Feeling sick, unexplained malaise
  • Hot flashes, chills, tremors
  • chronic pain (often headache, migraines, or back pain)
  • Muscle tension (neck and shoulder area, varicose veins)
  • Loss of appetite, cravings, weight change (described under "Eating behavior")
  • Sleep disorders (problems falling asleep, staying asleep; see under "Sleep patterns")
  • Chest pressure, tightness or the feeling of a "lump in the throat"
  • Dizziness, tinnitus, shortness of breath (often in combination with anxiety), shallow breathing, difficult breathing, cardiovascular complaints (palpitations, palpitations, broken heart syndrome)
  • Eye flicker, blurred vision, hypersensitivity to light
  • Grinding your teeth, "clenching your teeth"
  • Concentration disorder, memory disorder, pseudo-dementia
  • Decrease in sexual desire (loss of libido), sexual dysfunction

10. Alcohol

One or two after-work beers or a glass of wine ... - you notice it !? These trivializations with "chen" already make the problem clear! Alcohol is and remains a pleasure poison, which should only be drunk in moderation, if at all. Even if the former Bavarian Prime Minister Günther Beckstein wanted to convince us in 2008 that after two liters of beer you could still drive a car within six hours: "Dear children, that was a fairy tale!"

Alcohol abuse starts small, with a glass of wine or beer every day, and in the worst case scenario ends in delirium. Even if it may be "just to sleep" or "to relax", people with a hidden depression often try to treat themselves with alcohol. A dangerous game because it often leads to addiction.

11. Philosophy of the meaning of life and death

Everyone thinks about how things should go on in life. Especially when drastic changes are pending, such as a separation or a career change, it is important to waste a thought on how the course should be set in the future.

In contrast, a person with a hidden depression not only thinks about the future, but also philosophizes a lot about the meaning of life. Death is also a theme. But sometimes there are also silent thoughts about your own suicide. Thoughts of suicide are increasingly becoming the focus of thought for people with depression. For those around you, you have to wake up and listen when the subjects of conversation increasingly pessimistic prospects for the future. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as "depressive realism", in which the realistic view of oneself and the environment has been lost.

About 15 percent of people diagnosed with depression commit suicide. (Source: Intensive Course Psychiatry & Psychotherapy, 6th edition)

12. The “I'll be fine on my own” or “I'll be fine” attitude

It is natural and normal to feel sad, disappointed, and hurt after a loss (separation, job loss, or poor health). But this usually regulates itself again after a few weeks. However, if this black hole persists for several weeks or if thoughts of suicide arise, this should be taken seriously and support sought.

People with depression usually dismiss this with: "I'll be fine, I'm just not in a good mood." Out of shame, fear of rejection or sometimes just out of the feeling that they do not want to be a burden to anyone, they try to downplay or hide their feelings. However, this false restraint only unnecessarily prolongs the suffering of those affected.

Depression is basically curable. Most depression has phases. The duration of a so-called depressive phase can be shortened considerably through prompt treatment, and it also reduces the risk of developing another depression.
In addition to psychotherapy, antidepressants can also be used. This should be discussed with the attending physician. The tendency to suffer a new depressive phase persists, especially if depression, exhaustion depression or burnout have already been diagnosed in the past.

Sincerely, your Ulrike Fuchs
Couple counselor and alternative practitioner for psychotherapy

Make an appointment now!

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Important NOTE:
The texts on were created with care and serve informal purposes. The content is in no way intended to induce you to discontinue medical treatment, to make a self-diagnosis, to undertake a treatment yourself or to avoid a doctor's visit. On the contrary: The information given here is in no way a substitute for professional medical advice, support and treatment.

Photo: Christian Kasper photographer Munich
Editing: Friederike Klingholz Munich
Graphics: Ulrike Fuchs Munich

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