There are people who inwardly struggle with depression, at times severe depression. But, others would never guess that they were. They can act both intentionally, but also unconsciously, to deny and avoid pain or suffering. And, they do it quite well. In fact, perfectly.
But what’s a syndrome?
Here’s what the dictionary offers: “Pathology, Psychiatry. a group of symptoms that together are characteristic of a specific disorder, disease, or the like.”
In perfectly hidden depression (PHD), it’s a set of behaviors, thought patterns, and emotions (or lack thereof) that are often found together in someone. If you see one, you may be likely to see the other. Like red hair and freckles. Or salt and pepper.
Here are ten characteristics. They’re not all present in every person who might recognize themselves in PHD. But they’re fairly consistent.
1) Perfectionism with a constant, critical inner voice
2) Heightened or excessive sense of responsibility
3) Difficulty with accepting and expressing painful emotions
4) Worry/Need for control over herself and her environment
5) Intense focus on tasks, using accomplishment as a way to feel vulnerable
6) Active concern about the well-being of others, while not allowing anyone into his inner world
7) Discounts or dismisses hurt or abuse from the past or present
8) Accompanying mental health issues, involving control or escape from anxiety
9) A strong belief in counting your blessings as the foundation of well being
10) Intimate relationships may be difficult, but are accompanied by professional success
Listen as Margaret Rutherford, PhD, joins host Lisa Davis to discuss PHD.
You can also read Dr. Rutherford's complete blog on this topic by clicking HERE.
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