Chances are, you haven't heard about 'smiling depression'. And that is exactly the reason why this type of depression can be so dangerous.
Smiling depression is exactly what it sounds like, a type of depression wherein the person suffering appears happy and well to others, basically smiling through the pain.
It can be anyone you know
The thing about smiling depression is that it doesn't always manifest as depression to other people. From the outside, someone with smiling depression can seem to be well-adjusted and fully in control of their lives, but inside they're facing a lot of inner turmoil and conflict. Some might not even realize that they're depressed. That's how unpredictable smiling depression can be.
People suffering from smiling depression can be anyone you know. They can be your boss, your best friend, established professionals with a lot of success in their careers, etc. That's why smiling depression can be very scary, and in some cases, it's actually more dangerous compared to the depression that people are usually aware of.
There are no red flags
There aren't really any clear hallmarks of smiling depression aside from sadness or a general feeling that "something isn't right". That's why in some cases, people with smiling depression don't know that they have it, or they're in denial about it since they rationalize that they're okay in life, and that they're not really sad.
Suicide is always a clear and present danger to anyone suffering from depression. In the case of depression with classic symptoms, there are red flags when someone depressed feels suicidal. In the case of smiling depression however, the scary thing is that there are no red flags, which is why you hear about suicide cases wherein the people close to the person that died say that he or she was always happy to be with, and they didn't know that there was a problem.
This is why it's up to us to be more aware when it comes to mental illnesses, and we should do what we can to remove the stigma that society has associated towards people with mental illnesses, and those who choose to seek help. Seeking help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you want yourself to be better, not only for your own sake, but also for your loved ones.
Go to the next page to learn more about mental illness.