Are You Masking Depression and Anxiety?
Did you know that nearly 20% of US adults suffer from depression? That’s almost 50 million people. Of those 50 million people, how many do you know? A few individuals may come to mind, but the sad reality is that there are probably many more people in your circle who may have depression than you’re aware of.
Why? Because they’ve become experts at masking depression.
Some of your friends, coworkers, and family members may seem “happy” and “normal” when, in reality, they are struggling to fight depression day in and day out. Masking depression is also known as “concealed depression,” and it’s just what it sounds like – depression masked with a smile and an “I’m fine.”
What is Concealed Depression?
Concealed depression refers to the way you behave when you have depression.
It’s not a separate condition; it’s simply depression under the guise of wellness. So when you are masking depression, you appear “normal,” as if nothing is bothering you. When in reality, you’re battling potentially crippling depression symptoms.
Some may refer to concealed depression as someone wearing a “happy mask.” If you put your happy mask on while combating depression rather than letting your true feelings be known, you put up a good front to everyone around you. And that can be dangerous, especially if you’re willing to get help for depression on your own.
Why Do You Mask Depression or Anxiety?
Masking depression isn’t uncommon. Thanks to the negative stigma in our society, painting mental illness in a negative light, many people don’t want to admit they are suffering from depression. So rather than expressing how you’re truly feeling inside, you hide it.
Here are the main reasons you may be masking your depression:
- You don’t want to burden others.
Life isn’t always a walk in the park for anyone. Everyone has their share of stress, worries, and responsibilities. For this reason, you hide your depression, so others don’t have to worry about you. And if you’re someone who concerns themselves with taking care of others all the time rather than having others care for you, this is a big reason you may be dealing with concealed depression.
- You feel guilty.
Depression and guilt often go hand-in-hand. You may have a “great” life and a lot going on for you, so you feel like depression shouldn’t be an issue.
You may blame yourself for depression or anxiety and think something is wrong with you. Therefore, you feel guilty, keep your struggles inside, and wear a mask of happiness on the outside.
- You’re embarrassed.
Another negative side effect of the negative mental health stigma is that you feel embarrassed about having depression. Unfortunately, that stigma makes you feel like you should “get over it” and “stop being so weak.”
In reality, you’re not weak at all. Just like any illness, you don’t choose to have depression or anxiety. You’re not broken, and there is nothing wrong with you.
Symptoms of Concealed Depression
Signs that you’re masking depression or anxiety are the same as clinical depression or anxiety symptoms. The only difference is that you appear happy, content, and high-functioning, like there’s no inner turmoil.
Symptoms of depression include:
- loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy
- sleep pattern changes
- feelings of hopelessness and overwhelming sadness
- appetite changes
- weight gain or loss
- difficulty concentrating
- thoughts of suicide or death
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- stomach aches
- muscle tension
- panic attacks
- feeling restless or wound-up
- difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- trouble sleeping
Having depression and/or anxiety weighs on you and can be a lot to handle on a daily basis. And if you’re masking depression or anxiety, it can weigh on you even more since you are holding it all inside.
Getting help for your depression or anxiety is crucial to improving your mental and overall well-being.
Finding Anxiety and Depression Treatment in San Diego
If you are masking your depression, reaching out for help can be challenging since you obviously don’t want to let others know. But it’s essential. Left untreated, depression and anxiety are unlikely to go away on their own. On the contrary, it’s likely to worsen.
The good news is that depression and anxiety are treatable. And even more good news for those with concealed depression is that you don’t have to let anyone besides your clinician know you have it if you don’t want to. (Although you should really have a support network, even if it’s only a couple of people.)
If you are looking for depression treatment in San Diego, look no further than BOLD Health. We offer individual and group depression treatment and boast a highly-effective depression IOP in San Diego.
All of our depression treatment programs are run by our comprehensive, dynamic team of counselors, therapists, and nurse practitioners. Because our facility was founded and is owned by physicians, we have the ability to treat you in any way you need. If, after your initial consultation, your clinician feels medication management is beneficial to your treatment, we can help you there too.
Contact us for more information about our depression IOP in San Diego or our other compassionate, caring, and effective depression therapy options. You don’t have to hide your depression or anxiety any longer. Help is here at BOLD Health.