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Hiding signs of depression? It could be a case of PHDP

02-12 | Rachael

Hiding signs of depression? It could be a case of PHDP

There are many people around us who mask their depression with a happy-go-lucky expression on their faces. What goes inside their heads is hard to know for any outsider, as their depression is concealed well enough for others to overlook. Believing their feeling of depression would subside with time is a farce and such people get trapped within their own shackles of unknown fear, unattributed anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, sense of guilt and emotions of worthlessness lurking deep inside them.

Why do people mask depression?

People have different reasons for hiding their depression. It is not easy to point out if a person is feeling depressed as he may be exhibiting symptoms of being a perfect father, a confident employee or a helpful neighbor. In other words, he or she might just be a perfectly-hidden depressed person (PHDP). Such people are wall huggers, big talkers and try to make others laugh to ease their own anxiety.

The most common reason they all have is the fear of social stigmatization that would only isolate them from their peers. Despite the U.S. government bringing various policies and programs to educate more Americans about the existence of depressive disorders, there are many who look upon depression as a voluntary choice of life or a flaw in the person’s character. Apart, they fear to talk about their weakness in front of others assuming that they would be a burden to their family and the society around. A depressed person needs much care, understanding and love.

In a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that most people whose depression was successfully hidden from others were people who had an outgoing, agreeable, and extroverted personality. Most people stereotype a depressed person as someone who seldom laughs or smiles, wants to be alone, is grouchy, and who mopes around with a melancholy posture.

Signs and symptoms

Depression, no matter how well concealed, cannot be completely masked. A person suffering from depression displays certain symptoms that help to discover the sea of sadness and feeling of isolation they are hiding within. These symptoms can be:

  • Drastic change in eating or drinking habits
  • Lack of appetite
  • Change in sleeping patterns (which may include lack of sleep or insomnia)
  • Constantly complaining exhaustion or tiredness
  • Prefer isolation
  • Unusually irritable (anxiety, agitation or restlessness)
  • Feeling sad or melancholy most of the time
  • Tendency to be more philosophical in day to day conversations
  • Lack of interest in activities over an extended period of time
  • Struggle to keep their feelings hidden
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Pessimistic attitudes
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Undefined or unreasonable guilt
  • Blaming oneself for things unaccounted for
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems such as feelings of pain in the lower back or headache

Fighting depression

Considered as the world’s leading cause of disability, depression is more than a temporary bout of sadness and gloom. Depression is a treatable disease and needs to be addressed with ardent fervor and close attention. If you or your loved one has been experiencing a persistent and constant pattern of hopelessness, you may call the Depression Treatment Helpline Colorado at 866-427-5668 or chat online for accredited therapeutic procedures.


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