I’ve previously blogged about high functioning anxiety, a type of anxiety in which you’re still functioning to a high standard despite being strongly affected by anxiety.
This can also happen with depression. With “walking” or “smiling” depression, you’ll still seem completely normal to other people but inside, you’re struggling with depression. People with “walking” depression go about day-to-day life and go to work, take care of family and socialise. You can even appear happy on the outside, especially if you’re hiding your true feelings behind a smile.
Because you don’t fit the common stereotype of depression (such as being tearful, not being able to get out of bed and not being able to function at all), a lot of people won’t even realise you have depression. And sometimes, you may not even be aware yourself that you’re depressed, often because you’re still high functioning.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk more about walking and smiling depression, how to tell if you’re affected and what your treatment options are.
Signs of Walking and Smiling Depression
A lot of the symptoms of walking and smiling depression are much the same as depression in general.
Some of the signs you might be affected include:
- Feeling very negative, sad, anxious, panicky, fearful, lacking in confidence, irritable, worthless, hopeless, despairing or even suicidal
- Having difficulty concentrating, feeling restless and unfocused
- Feeling that something isn’t quite right in your life but not being able to put your finger on what it is and why
- You haven’t enjoyed anything for a while and you don’t look forward to anything, especially things that used to bring you pleasure
- You have just about enough energy to get you through the day
The main difference between “traditional” depression and walking and smiling depression is the fact that symptoms of the latter don’t interfere with day-to-day life in the same way that they can with “traditional” depression.
Treatment for Walking and Smiling Depression
As with high functioning anxiety, many people with walking depression go a long time before they seek help.
Talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are often used as one of the main treatments for walking and smiling depression.
Hypnotherapy can work alongside this too. It’s now recognised as one of the most effective interventions for depression and anxiety. One of the great things about hypnotherapy is this: in accessing the unconscious mind, it can help to treat the underlying causes of walking depression (and depression in general) and work on replacing these with more positive alternatives.
Contact me today to find out more about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can support you to overcome walking and smiling depression and take back control of your life.