What is Smiling Depression?

Smiling Depression

Although “smiling depression” is not a formal diagnosis, it is a serious problem for many people. Typically, smiling sadness happens when people who are depressed disguise their symptoms. They hide behind a grin to fool others into thinking they are happy.

As a result, this sort of depression frequently goes unnoticed since most people perceive a depressed person as someone who seems sad or cries a lot. While sorrow and inexplicable episodes of tears are prominent symptoms of depression, not everyone appears sad when they are depressed.

Symptoms And Signs Of Smiling Depression

Understanding smiling depression may help you take positive action, whether you’re the one who tries hard to pretend you’re happy when you’re not, or you have a loved one who you feel is disguising their sorrow. Here’s a rundown of the symptoms and indicators of smiling depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that almost 265 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Individuals suffering from smiling depression may exhibit many traditional signs of depression, such as severe unhappiness, low self-esteem, and changes in their daily routines. Some of these symptoms may be visible to others, while others may remain secret.

It is very unusual for people suffering from smiling depression to strive quite hard to conceal their symptoms.

As a result, it’s critical to seek other, less visible symptoms that something is wrong, such as changes in their routines, exhaustion, and a lack of interest in activities they used to love.

Here Is A List Of Potential Warning Indicators To Check For:

Changes in appetite: Some individuals overeat while sad, while others lose their appetite. 

Weight fluctuations are frequent in any form of depression.

Sleep changes: Some individuals find it difficult to get out of bed when they are sad because they want to sleep all the time. Others are unable to sleep and may experience sleep deprivation or significant changes in their sleep habits, such as staying up at night and napping during the day.

Guilt, worthlessness, and thoughts of hopelessness are all prevalent emotions. 

Loss of interest in activities: People suffering from smiling depression may lose interest in the activities they normally love.

Individuals with smiling depression are likely to look high-functioning despite these indications and symptoms. They may keep a regular job while also maintaining a lively social life. They could even look upbeat and happy. As a result, it is critical to discuss mental health concerns openly. This may give them the confidence to express their emotions.

Why Do People Keep Their Depression Secrets?

It is normal for people to keep their sadness secret. People hide their depressive symptoms for a variety of personal and professional reasons, ranging from wanting to preserve their privacy to fearing criticism from others. Here’s a closer look at why individuals hide their depression.

Fear of Encumbering Others

Depression and guilt frequently coexist. As a result, many people do not want to burden others with their problems. This is especially true for people who are accustomed to taking care of others rather than being cared for by others. They just do not know how to seek assistance, so they keep their problems to themselves.


Some individuals assume that depression is a fault or a sign of weakness. They may even believe the deception that they may “snap out of it.” When they are unable, they believe there is something wrong with them. As a result, individuals may feel embarrassed about their sadness since they believe they should be able to handle it on their own.


Smiling depression can be caused by a person’s denial that they are depressed. They may believe that as long as they are smiling, they are not depressed. Many individuals are unwilling to accept that they may have a problem. It’s simpler for them to act fine than it is for them to open up about how they genuinely feel.

Fear of Retaliation

People are sometimes concerned about the emotional and professional consequences of depression.

A comedian or lawyer, for example, may be anxious that their employer may question their abilities to execute their job. Someone else may be concerned that revealing their sadness may cause a partner to leave them.

Concerns About Looking Weak

People suffering from smiling depression frequently believe that if they show their depression, people will take advantage of them. They are frightened not only that others will perceive them as fragile, but also that others may use their sadness against them. They would rather put on a strong front than acknowledge they want assistance.


Because depression is sometimes accompanied by guilt, some people do not believe they should be depressed. They may believe they have a nice life and should not feel miserable.

They also believe that they must be doing something wrong or that they are somehow to blame for their depression. As a result, individuals feel guilty and often even ashamed of their sadness. So they conceal it beneath a grin.

Unrealistic Views of Happiness

Social media displays happiness in an exaggerated light. Many individuals look through social media and see photographs of cheerful people. As a result, people come to assume that they are the only ones dealing with mental health concerns. They may feel more lonely than ever before, leading them to conceal their difficulties.


Perfectionists have frequently perfected the skill of seeming flawless. For many, this means masking any discomfort or trouble they are having. As a result, confessing to sadness would imply that their lives are less than flawless, which they just cannot do.

Smiling Depression Treatment

Someone suffering from smiling depression may be officially diagnosed with atypical depression. Looking joyful, for example, is not characteristic of someone who is depressed.

However, smiling depression, like other forms of sadness, is curable. Medication, talk therapy, and lifestyle modifications like dieting and exercising may all be used in treatment.

Consult an online therapist if you suspect you are depressed.

Explain that you haven’t been feeling well recently and list some of the symptoms you’re having.

Your doctor can rule out any physical health conditions that may be causing your symptoms and can help you get connected with other therapy providers, such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.


Share your concerns with someone you suspect is suffering from a case of smiling sadness. It’s critical to start the conversation so they know they have someone they can rely on in their corner. Pay attention to them and make every effort to link them with a mental health specialist. Use your concern for a friend’s mental health as action – go toward them, not away. You see, anything is wrong and speaking out might be the push they need to get treatment.

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how

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