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.

Perfectly Hidden Depression

There’s No Need to Look Perfect. How to Teach Kids About Vulnerability

What are we teaching our kids about revealing vulnerability? What questions should you be asking yourself and your kids? Do they struggle with the need to look perfect?

There are many current studies highlighting an international rise of depression and suicide. It's grown to be a rampant issue -- one that is more and more likely to affect your life, or the lives of those you love, including your children. Whether or not it's because of the well-documented rise of depression with increased social media involvement in younger people. whether it's because symptoms are actually being recognized as what they really are, or better documentation, depression should be grabbing our attention as a culture, and as a world.

Perfectionism and Perfectly Hidden Depression ® are also rising, especially among young people.

Perfectly Hidden Depression

When Depression Doesn’t Always Look Like Depression

Sometimes the simplest of things get missed, until you see. Then you can't help but see. It's so obvious.

Depression doesn't always look like depression. It's one of the reasons I'm so passionate about identifying Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD) ® as a syndrome that masks depression. You may not see PHD in your partner. You may not see it in your friend. You may not even see it in your child.

And that can have tragic consequences.

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Revealing Mental Illness. This Is My Brave and My Own Story

There's a movement afloat. And that movement is about revealing whatever struggles you're having mentally and emotionally. Celebrities are coming out and talking about everything from postpartum depression to panic attacks. Yet those who experience Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD)® may be the last to join that bandwagon. Their whole existence is geared toward hiding vulnerability and attempting to create a perfect-looking existence.

Context Where PHD Is Created

How Did Hiding Become Important? Nine Childhood Experiences That Lead To Perfectly Hidden Depression

Welcome to Perfectly Hidden Depression.  I've been describing what Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD) ®  is and how I began writing about it. But, thus far, we haven't discussed its origins. What happened in someone's childhood that set up a need to mask painful emotion and become highly perfectionistic? As I've talked about this issue with many of my patients, some of them have shared their own thoughts, and I'd love to hear from you about other scenarios or stories that might create PHD. Please feel free to comment below.

Characteristics Of PHD

The Ten Primary Traits Of Perfectly Hidden Depression

What may be intriguing by now in our exploration and discussion of Perfectly Hidden Depression® is this question: If someone isn't going to reveal their depression or their pain, how in the world are we supposed to identify what's going on? How is the mental health community able to recognize what's not voiced or seen? How are family members or friends able to help someone with PHD -- someone who doesn't show the classic symptoms of depression? What if the person themselves hasn't a clue that something like PHD exists?

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Do You Experience Perfectly Hidden Depression? Here’s A Questionnaire

Welcome to this week's exploration and discussion of Perfectly Hidden Depression ®!

Included today is a questionnaire to see where you might "score" on the spectrum of Perfectly Hidden Depression (PHD). This isn't meant, nor should it be used, to diagnose depression or any other mental illness. It's created to help you identify with this syndrome, and hopefully begin your own journey for healing.

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Three Compelling Stories Revealing The Pain Of Perfectly Hidden Depression

Trying to understand Perfectly Hidden Depression ® (PHD), what it is, how it came to exist, how it's maintained and what you can do about it are overarching goals for this column. Today, I want to describe, both through my own discovery as a therapist, and through the stories of three people who've reached out to me, what Perfectly Hidden Depression sounds like. We'll hear their own voices, as they each describe what's going on in their minds and hearts, as they fight off the fear of reaching out and revealing what's behind the smile and the perfectionistic facade.