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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.



Perfectly Hidden Depression

What Is Perfectly Hidden Depression?



Welcome to a new column on Psych Central! I'm Dr. Margaret Rutherford, and I'm a clinical psychologist whose practice has been based in Fayetteville, Arkansas for twenty-five years. I couldn't be more excited to share with you what I've been researching and writing about for the last four years -- Perfectly Hidden Depression ®.