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Smiling Depression: When Sadness Hides Behind a Smile

Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing. Some eat, drink, or use drugs when stressed; I write.


When we think of a depressed person, most of us envision someone who looks and feels sad. Except there are people good at establishing a brave face and hiding behind a smile, only inside, they are a victim of a condition called smiling depression.

Some people think they know what a depressed person looks and acts like; only they might wish to reconsider their decisions. The frequently asked questions should be, “What is smiling Depression?”

The Urban Dictionary defines smiling depression as a person who is very depressed inside. Yet he or she can hide their aches from others to appear happy. Some people confuse smiling depression with traditional depression. But in fact, it differs considerably.

If you are someone who hides behind a smile and that smile is to seem content, then the moment you are behind a closed door, you feel empty. You have a smiling depression.

Some do not realize the challenges they encounter and how depressed they are, so they go on with life, wearing a mask suffering from smiling depression. You move on like the pain will go away. It’s only will get worse. Smiling depression is a word used for a person who hides their emotional pain. Someone who needs support, even if they don’t want to admit it.

Research shows that a person with a smiling depression can be in more danger than an individual with a traditional depression. The reason is the person with smiling depression will plan and follow through with suicide when a person with conventional depression most likely will only have thoughts of it.

We all heard the saying. Things are not always what they seem. This adage is indicating: Things may look one way, but it can be another. This expression is applying to a person who can look happy from the outside, but inside they are sad, stress, depressed, or all three, experiencing smiling depression.

People with smiling depression hide in a shell to suffer in silence, pretend nothing’s wrong while things are awry. They fear the world might criticize them. The most dangerous form of depression hides behind a smile when they should acknowledge their pain and find the courage to ask for help from the people they trust.


What You Need to Know About “Smiling Depression”

From associating with a few people who struggled with “Smiling Depression” I learned that they do not want anyone to know how depressed, suicidal, fearful of life they are and they don’t know how to cope in different circumstances.

In addition, I learn when dealing with a person who has “Smiling depression,” they are good at putting on a constant role play of being happy. The routine can seem so real that the people who are looking at the person pretending do not know they are acting.

A common symptom among those who struggle with smiling depression is putting on a performance that isn’t real, as no one will never suspect it’s a pretense.

What You Need to Know About “Smiling Depression”

First, let’s recap what is Smiling Depression? It is an act where an individual appears happy to others where they wear a smile; while inside they feel pain as they smile through the hurt, they keep all the inner turmoil hidden.

Smiling depression isn’t something that can be recognized as a condition like one that can be Diagnosed in a mood disorder like depression. But it is a situation that many people need to know and learn to recognize it in someone else.

Some may wonder why haven’t I heard of “Smiling Depression.” Maybe because some may look for “Smiling Depression” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, you won’t find it in there, but expert’s studies reveal it as the highest risk of suicide, if not treated.

People suffering from smiling depression show no sign of their condition to others. They have no problem finding a job and work a full-time job. Most are even successful at being head of the household or starting their own business. They are good at maintaining a moderately active social life. We can describe smiling depression as the darker side of a smile, the desire to hide an inner gnawing depression.

What are the symptoms of smiling depression?

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Smiling Depression symptom is a person who appears happy from the outside to others. On the inside, however, they are experiencing sadness, panic attack, fear, the feeling of loneliness and very low self-esteem.

Although depression affects everyone differently and has a mixture of symptoms, the most distinct one is continued sadness. Other classic symptoms include:

  • Change in the sleeping habit
  • Change in the appetite and weight
  • Tiredness or inactivity
  • Feelings of hopelessness, low or lack of self-esteem

Someone with smiling depression may experience some or all of the above signs, but in public, their symptoms would be mostly

  • May seems like a hyperactive or a normal-functioning individual
  • Someone able to keep his or her work-life balance and enjoy having friends and a social life
  • A person who appears to be energetic, hopeful, and usually happy

A person experiencing Smiling Depression continues to smile and put on a big front, but according to experts, “Smiling Depression” has a troubling connection and can be dangerous and if not dealt with, it can become too much which can cause the person experiencing it to think about or commit suicide.

After reading the symptoms of “Smiling Depression, if you think you might have it, what you need to do is dismiss any thoughts of guilt, shame, or blame associated with the condition. There is no need to feel ashamed about admitting you have “Smiling Depression — or no need to fear because you need help.

Next, if you have been experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms of “Smiling Depression,” I recommend you make an appointment with a mental health professional today for a thorough evaluation. Remember, When you’re depressed, it can feel you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow.

If you are diagnosed with Smiling Depression, you will need to seek treatment. Moreover, whatever solutions you choose should be to assist you both professionally and personally. But bear in mind that you matter, and how you feel is important.

Also, seeking treatment will be like treating any other health condition, it will take time, effort, and commitment to get better, but whatever you do, believe you have a choice and you don’t have to let depression win.

No one deserves to live depressed most of the time, you’ll need treatment to make the right lifestyle changes. It affects no two people the same way by depression, besides, there are many effective treatments that can help you overcome depression, find hope again to be happy, and reclaim your life.

Smiling Depression: When Sadness Hides Behind a Smile!

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Pam Morris


Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on May 16, 2019:

Hi, Pam, this is a very useful article which deserves more attention. Not only can a hidden self-destructive element lie within "smiling depression," but it could also hold ramifications for others, i.e., how often have we read that the "active shooter" seemed normal and behaved like everyone else? Spending time with mental health professionals can help clarify what is going on; yet, public awareness is essential. Your article is spot on with symptoms and possible causes. Well written. Great job, Pam.

Respect and admiration,


Robert Walker from Los Angeles, CA. on May 05, 2019:

I Concur with what Lorna said Pam!

Very important subject matter that needs more awareness reads like this one.

Good work!

Pam Morris (author) from Atlanta Georgia on May 03, 2019:

Lorna, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I agree with you 'Smiling Depression' is something that should be classified for what it is, and it's a depression that anyone experiencing should deal with immediately.

Lorna Lamon on May 03, 2019:

Hi Pam,

This is a very informative article - I have heard of 'Smiling Depression' however I have never treated this particular condition. I understand from your article that expert studies consider it a milder form of depression, however, from what I am reading I feel it is much more serious and should be classified as such. Thank you for sharing.

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