Why People Hide Their Depression
For many people with depression, the hardest step is the first one, and it is vital to realise why this can be to help treat people who are suffering.
According to data from Statista, over two-fifths (41 per cent) of people have reported experiencing depression and feeling down in the UK, a figure that has steadily climbed since 2011.
However, there are also people who would benefit from depression counselling who hide it from people close to them, which can happen for a multitude of reasons.
Part of it is about perception; people do not want to feel like they are a worry or a burden on their loved ones, and feel that sharing their diagnosis can change that perception.
Often the opposite is the case, that people want to help others and want others to feel they can trust them and confide in them.
As well as this, whilst the long-running societal stigma regarding mental health is finally starting to loosen with the help of notable figures such as Naomi Osaka more openly talking about their mental health, some people unfortunately still struggle to discuss their depression.
A person with depression can look happy, can look outgoing and sociable and therefore believe that people would not understand their illness and how it manifests.
This is not a new phenomenon – Tears of a Clown reflected this idea in 1967, and it was itself inspired by the opera Pagliacci, both about clowns and comics who smile through their anguish and pain.
However, people with depression are not alone, and people who suspect a loved one is depressed should provide chances for them to open the conversation and emphasise that it is okay to not be okay and that it is a huge step and sign of courage to seek help.