Confronting Perfectly Hidden Depression

How To Learn To Respond — Not React. Making the Unconscious, Conscious.

I got in a snit yesterday.

You could call it a hissy fit.

Whatever you call it, it wasn’t pretty. I was totally over-reacting to what was going on.  I knew what I was saying and doing didn’t make a bit of sense, but I was sticking to my guns. I fueled the fire of illogical thoughts with heavy sighs and a dramatic stomping off into another room. I wanted to make sure my husband knew how pissed off I was -- as if that was unclear.

Confronting Perfectly Hidden Depression

Six Hurdles For A Perfectionist Who Wants To Change

Let's say you're a self-identified perfectionist.  You've read about perfectly hidden depression (PHD) and you identify with it. You've taken the questionnaire and scored fairly high. You've either contacted a therapist or you've decided to take the bull by the horns and begin to risk some changes yourself.

What could potentially get in your way of getting better? What are potential stumbling blocks to commitment you might encounter along the way?

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."

Depression Treatment

Depression and Menopause. Six Ways Midlife Woman Cope with Depression

The year the world turned 2000, I was 46 and midlife was upon me.

And I was experiencing depression.

A few people were stockpiling water and supplies, zealous about the potential devastation in the world. Others were impatiently awaiting spectacular fireworks on New Years Eve, toasting one another gaily with Dom Perignon. (Or perhaps a less pricey variety of the same beverage).

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.”