Perfectly Hidden Depression

Why Not Leave The Past In The Past?

This week, I received another very poignant and eloquent email from a woman -- we'll call her Judith -- who recognized herself as experiencing Perfectly Hidden Depression. She's recognizing that her past, filled with abuse that she's never dealt with, has governed her more than she's ever realized.

I'll let her words say it all.

"I have always had an overly optimistic view of my life, fervently believing I'm extraordinarily lucky, that my life has been blessed and unusually wonderful. I care for everyone around me, I put other people's problems before mine, and volunteer a huge amount of time to a cause I feel strongly about in my community. I'm constantly studying (an area my perfectionism is very evident) and am self-employed, running my own business. Externally, I'm successful, living a happy and fulfilling life."

Perfectly Hidden Depression

A Chilling Question– Can You Reveal The Real You?

Many of us have asked the question this past week, "Why?"

Kate Spade, who was was renowned for her taste and rock star creativity, died by suicide.  A whole generation of women were caught up in carrying her bags or wearing her latest garb. Anthony Bourdain, who was known for his vivid curiosity and sense of adventure, as well as culinary expertise, did the same.

Since beginning research on Perfectly Hidden Depression, I've been afraid we were missing an extremely important question -- a question, that if not asked either of yourself or those you love -- could lead to loneliness.

Would you tell anyone if you felt hopeless? Can you reveal vulnerability?

Perfectly Hidden Depression

What You See Isn’t Always What You Get: 3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Envy

I was at Sonic the other morning -- and once again noticed the picture of their cheeseburger on the menu, enticing me to order the fresh, bursting with flavor sandwich. It looked absolutely delicious. Crisp bacon. Juicy tomato.

I smiled, knowing that what I'd likely receive if I ordered one wasn't exactly what the picture suggested, and left with my usual iced tea. That's advertising for you.

Depression Treatment

The Devastating Mix of Athletic Pressure and Hidden Depression

Sometimes there's a young voice that finds their courage and tells their truth.

Michael Phelps, the off-the-charts Olympic swimmer, is one of those voices. He's now talking openly about having depression and suicidal thoughts after the Olympic games and trying to persuade the U.S. Olympic committee to help athletes make the extremely difficult transition from the mindset needed to achieve and "normal" life. He tried to hide his confusion and depression for years, until it scared him too much.

He's not alone.

Depression Treatment

Self-Pity Isn’t Depression Nor Self-Compassion

Nobody likes a whiner -- someone who wallows in self-pity and is very vocal about telling you how hard their life has been.

But what's the difference between self-pity and depression?

If you're filled to the brim with self-pity, you believe the world is against you. You're a victim. You can't get a break. Promotions don't come your way. Your kids never call enough or come by.  Your ex has ruined your entire life.

Self-pity is paralyzing.

Depression Treatment

What To Do If You’re Stuck In The Negativity and Fear of Depression

Sometimes there’s not a lot to argue about with someone who’s depressed. Maybe they’re dealing with losing their job, getting divorced, or being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Their lives have become hard, their energy sources have dried up. Depressive thoughts and negativity have begun to entrench themselves in their lives, and like weeds that are strangling the beauty out of a garden once full of life, someone’s belief that their lives can get better grows more dim.

“I want to get better, I want to feel like myself again, but I can’t find the energy to do anything. I know walking would help. I know getting out more would make me feel better. Rationally, I realize all that. But I’m stuck. I’m real stuck.”

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Three Stories of How Perfectionism and Depression Got Way Too Close To Suicide

Do you believe that suicide is predictable?

It's not sadly, and tragically. Suicidal thoughts can be part of your neighbor's everyday life -- your professor's daily existence -- or your boss's regular mental fare. And you might never know it.

And if you're perfectionistic or afraid of mental illness stigma, then the chance is even less likely that you will reveal how you actually feel or think.

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Five Ways To Heal From The Disease of Perfectionism

I announced last week that I'm writing a book on Perfectly Hidden Depression. And this week, I had the ultimate honor of speaking with Dr. Gordon Flett, a leading Canadian psychologist and author, and  an expert on perfectionism.

I didn't know what to expect. I haven't talked to too many people who've written a textbook on abnormal psychology before and I was nervous. But I'd read some of what he had to say, and knew his ideas on Perfectly Hidden Depression ® would be  incredibly helpful. So I screwed up my courage and asked for an interview.