When you think of someone who has depression, you probably think of someone who sits alone in a quiet room, speaks very little socially, or is generally sad even when a situation calls for joy. However, there is a whole other group of people with depression who are hiding in plain sight — smiling on the outside and struggling on the inside. This is known as perfectly hidden depression (PHD).
While it may feel like depression to the sufferer, it’s likely not as obvious to the casual observer. The person with perfectly hidden depression may have developed coping mechanisms to help them blend in with the rest of society, but they are still suffering under the surface. Here are eight characteristics of perfectly hidden depression (PHD) to determine if you’re someone who suffers from it…
They Are Often In Denial
While those with severe depression find it hard to hide it from the public, those with a more moderate form can convince themselves that’s just the way they are. HuffingtonPost.com notes a self-scoring depression test called the Beck Depression Inventory would likely uncover someone suffering from deep depression, but not PHD. “Because whoever was taking it, would know someone else would see their answers,” notes the source.
That’s because those who have been trying to cope with depression but are losing the battle, so to speak, are more likely to be honest on a test so they can possibly get the help they need. On the other hand, those with PHD don’t believe they’re depressed, or don’t want to believe they are depressed, so they don’t answer the questions truthfully. This is a slippery slope because the person may end up with thoughts about ending their life, and no one will even realize they’re struggling, notes the source.