Depression has many faces. It has many different looks. Many of those who are suffering do not appear to look depressed even though they actually are, even suicidal. Individuals suffering from depression are good at hiding how they feel. They often wear a mask in front of others. But inside they are dying, in severe emotional pain that won’t be relinquished.
There are approximately17.3 million adults in the U.S. age 18 and older, diagnosed per year with major depression. Women appear to experience this more often than men. However, this may not be accurate since more women tend to seek treatment than men. Children are not exempt either. Approximately 1.9 million children ranging in ages from 3 – 17 years old also suffer emotionally from this disorder. Like anxiety, it can affect anyone of any age, education, or financial status.
According to the DSM 5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) there are eight types of depressive disorders. Even though these disorders have some things in common, they all have their own specific twists to them.
Some Common symptoms among all types of depression include:
Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
Loss of Interest in Pleasurable Activities
Fatigue and Lack of Energy
Angry Outburst and Irritable Mood
Weight Gain or Loss
The pressure of posting positive photos of ourselves and events are taking its toll on depressed individuals. Behind the smiles and laughter are often sad, lonely, and emotionally crippled people who can’t move or get a grip on life. Social media often appears to make their depression worse comparing themselves to others happy posts.
Its not always easy to know who is depressed or not by just looking at someone. Even family members and friends can escape our ability to hide the pain deep inside. Some individuals are great actors around others because they don’t want anyone to know. However, if we pay more attention to their behavior, and take the time to really listen, we may be the one who helps them out of their world of darkness.
American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5®), Fifth Edition 800 Maine Avenue, SW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20024