All is not well: Masking depression with a smile on the rise  

Experts said among women, expressing depression is associated with somatic symptoms like tiredness, headache, back ache.

Published: 12th March 2023 07:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2023 07:59 AM   |  A+A-

Student depression

For representational purposes. (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If a person around you is beaming, he or she could be suffering from a condition called smiling depression. Experts said that smiling depression or masked depression is more dangerous because by the time the person shows signs or accepts the condition, it is late.

“Depression is stigmatised even today. Mental health is not taken seriously. Perturbed by the stigma, those suffering from the condition try to mask their emotions with a smile, even when they are at their worst. But when it reaches a saturation point, they admit and seek help. It is late by then. Such cases are on the rise, which is a concern,” said Nimhans psychiatrists.

The symptoms of such a condition are that the person shows signs of withdrawal, excessive drinking, headache, severe backaches, stomach upsets, or in some cases, suffer a heart attack. They would also be suffering from lack of sleep and appetite.

Post-pandemic, those who have lost their near and dear ones are still suffering. Also, those staying away from their homes fail to cope with the fast pace of life and abrupt changes in their profession. Cases of those who are suffering, and still trying to fit in wearing a smile, are on the rise.

Experts said among women, expressing depression is associated with somatic symptoms like tiredness, headache, and backache. “Studies and assessment of females complaining of repeated pains show they are suffering from depression, but due to family and societal pressure they were unable to accept it,” said a Nimhans doctor. Dr Pratima Murthy, Nimhans Director and head of Department of Psychiatry, told TNSE that smiling depression is worrisome, and “people should be able to identify the condition and seek help immediately.”

India Matters


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