“Smiling depression” “can go unnoticed even by your loved ones”
Vanessa Rodriguez Pousada, associate professor of the Master in Psychopedagogy of the University Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and Ferran Mars Sambolaassociate professor of Study in Psychology and Educational Sciences at UOCwarned that ‘smile depression’ “It can go unnoticed, even by your loved ones.”
World Health Organization (WHO) It is estimated that approximately 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. And the numbers could have increased with the pandemic. A work of the UOC in collaboration with Sant Pau, published in the scientific journal ‘Journal of Neurology’suggests that fatigue in post-Covid patients is linked to suffering from anxiety, depression and apathy.
Read: Why we are increasingly depressed
In addition, a study published in ‘The Lancet’ states that there has been a 28% increase since the onset of cases of major depression. COVID-19[feminine], However, experts believe that this number could be even higher, as the number of cases of depression is not known. Among them, “smile depression” occupies an important place, a type of depression that can go unnoticed even by the closest environment.
“Word ‘smile depression’ refers to depressive images occurring with specific symptomatology These disorders are associated with, but in which the diagnosed subject manifests a desire to hide. And this desire translates into an active state so that those around him do not feel the discomfort he is facing, ”explains Rodriguez Posada.
The fact that sufferers try to hide their discomfort makes it harder to detect. So diagnostic case They can be a very small part of all that exist.
Read: “My scariest fear isn’t even death, it’s still depression, it scares me every morning”
However, people who suffer from it experience the same discomfort as a person. typical depressionand they are really Know what happens to them. Or at least something is wrong. But there are a number of reasons that may lead them to try to hide it. One of them is to believe that they have an obligation to be happy and they can’t show it. negative feelings.
“Currently, we live in a society where being happy is an imperative. Parallel to this dictatorship of happiness, an individualism develops from a vision that tends to underestimate it. personal situations, the social and structural aspects of a system that are about to convince us that health and disease are almost exclusively associated with individual psychological deficiencies; Where self-determination and our own abilities are the backbone of our well-being. Thus, we think that whether or not we are good depends exclusively on ourselves,” explains the expert.
as the teacher says UOC allies, This message has spread so widely in society that there are people who feel guilty for experiencing discomfort. “Assuming that we ourselves are responsible for suffering from depression, the guilt will be attached to the victim, and, in a double twist, it will change from depression to guilt and from guilt to shame”indica.
Accordingly, he believes that depression for these patients will represent “an inability to cope with something that we should know how to deal with and which manifests as an indicator of our own weakness”. Is”. This can result in not showing true feelings and appearing happy in front of others.
Despite trying to hide the discomfort, outward signs may appear that can alert the immediate environment. as it is said Ferran Mars Sambola, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences at UOC“Some studies claim that people who suffer from depression with unusual or unusual smiles tend to have greater appetites, excessive sleepiness and a feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs, as well as criticism from those around them. Rejection ensues.” “They may also show a loss of interest in activities that previously satisfied them,” says Rodriguez Pousada.
influence of social networks
There is no set profile regarding the types of people who suffer from “smiling depression”, because a complex reality of factors interferes. Bio-psychological-social. However, perfectionists, who are often less tolerant of failure, may be among those who suffer if they experience the Depression as a weakness and personal deficit.
There are no specific data indicating whether it is more prevalent in men or women. “If we keep in mind that we live in a heterogeneous patriarchal society, where the emotional world and the display of our vulnerabilities are more stigmatized among menloss male stereotypes For this population “the smile can interfere as a factor of vulnerability in the event of depression”, explains associate professor at the UOC.
The panel of experts agrees that social networks do not help to show real feelings. “We live in a society where we constantly have to prove to others that we have a wonderful lifeIn my opinion, it is reinforced by social networks”, explains Marso Sambola.
This is also the opinion of Vanessa Rodriguez Pousada, who recalls that social networks tend to show, enlarge and elevate the share of success of themselves. “At the same time, the comparison between one’s own life and the projected lives of others appears as a deceptive game of mirrors, in which reality fades awaysocial networks can seem like highways to travel here hide the discomfortIn this case, they can appear as the ideal travel companion of ‘smile depression’», Rivets.