So is smiling depression a real thing? First, we should define and understand what is depression and what it is not.
What is Depression
According to the American Psychiatric Association, major depressive disorder, or Depression, “is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Symptoms can vary from individual and can also manifest as mild to severe cases. Feeling sad, worthless, or having unfounded guilt; having a loss of interest, or thoughts of death or suicide are just a sampling of the symptoms. If those symptoms last for an extended period of time, this could be an indication of that person is experiencing depression.
What Depression is Not
Sadness is absolutely a normal human behavior or emotion that we will all feel at some time during our life. Being sad, however, does not mean you have depression. Feeling sad on occasion can simply mean you are normal. For example, feeling sad while grieving the loss of a loved one is a normal emotional response to a tragic life event. Death to those who do not believe in an afterlife has a sense of finality that cannot be replaced.
So Is Smiling Depressing a Real Thing?
I do not put much faith in the World Health Organization, however, they estimated earlier this year that about 280 million people in the world have depression. Robin Williams once said, “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul, and they will never notice how broken you really are.” Many people, like myself, and Mr. Williams before his unfortunate death by suicide, have become very adept at hiding our illness.
Actually, until recent years, the only person who knew of my conditions was my wife and even she did not know the full extent. Even though deep in my psyche I am hurting, my life’s goal has always been to make the people around me happy. But my thoughts have been, “Who wants to be around someone who is sad all the time?” So I hid it for years. I hid it from my family, my wife, and even myself.
Yes, Smiling Depression is Real
So for me, smiling depression is not only real but it is very real and very scary. My advice is to check on your friends and family from time to time. If you see someone sitting in the corner of a room staring into nothingness or holding their head low, go over to them and strike up a conversation. One never knows the impact they could have on someone’s life.
Do not let this silent killer win.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. - James 1:2-3 (HCSB)
Today’s scripture reading is from James, the brother of Jesus. In his epistle, James starts off a challenge to the Jewish Christians who had been displaced from Israel. Why would God want us to consider trials as joyful? God never promises that our Christian walk will be easy – on the contrary, our walk with Christ is going to have trials. Trials build up our endurance, or faith, as we live our lives on this side of eternity.
Most people when quoting this passage stop at verse 3 however the passage continues with a very important point in verse 4.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:4 (HCSB)
The trials we Christians experience in life test our faith. When we continue to trust in God through the various trials, our faith in Him grows. This verse simply means that complete maturity in Christ only comes from perfect faith in God.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, please pray. I write this blog as another outlet for me but also I hope something I say may help others. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online stores and my affiliate links. A vast majority of proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.