The term ‘smiling depression’ – appearing happy to others while internally suffering depressive symptoms – has become increasingly popular.
Articles on the topic have crept up in the popular literature, and the number of Google searches for the condition has increased dramatically this year.
Some may question, however, whether this is actually a real, pathological condition.
While smiling depression is not a technical term that psychologists use, it is certainly possible to be depressed and manage to successfully mask the symptoms.
The closest technical term for this condition is ‘atypical depression’.
In fact, a significant proportion of people who experience a low mood and a loss of pleasure in activities manage to hide their condition in this way.
And these people might be particularly vulnerable to suicide.
It can be very hard to spot people suffering from smiling depression.
They may seem like they don’t have a reason to be sad – they have a job, an apartment and maybe even children or a partner.