There are people who suffer from "Smiling depression" even though they are not familiar with the phrase. According to an article in Medical Daily, smiling depression is the act of having a smile on one's face while being depressed on the inside. People smile with their lips while their heart is breaking. People give the impression to those around them that they are happy, but they are really depressed. They use a smile to mask how they really feel.

Experts say smiling depression is characterized by appearing happy on the outside and keeping the pain bottled up on the inside.

In other words, the way a person looks is not the way a person really feels.

Results of a survey

A survey was conducted by Women's Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). About 89 percent of the 2,000 women surveyed said they suffered from depression, but they keep their real feelings masked behind their smile. Family members, close friends, and co-workers have no idea that the person is suffering.

Smiling depression is a disorder, according to Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic in Troy, Michigan. Krawiec contends that people can become so good at keeping their inner turmoil hidden that people never suspect anything is wrong.

A person who suffers from smiling depression can smile one moment and be utterly depressed the next moment. For example, a woman can smile throughout a friend's wedding but goes home and becomes depressed when she thinks about how terrible her own marriage is going. Another example is that a man can smile with co-workers every day at the office, but at home, he gives his family the silent treatment because he is very depressed.

Symptoms of smiling depression

The smile is the outward and obvious symptom to cover up the depression, but there are other symptoms of depression that people should be aware of. They include sudden weight loss or weight gain, loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable, oversleeping or under sleeping, fatigue, or feeling guilt, shame and hopelessness.

People smile to keep others from asking them questions about how they are doing. They believe as long as they are smiling, they can keep people at bay. They are right in that respect because most people look at smiles as indications that everything is just fine.

What can be done?

The person suffering from smiling depression should seek professional help. Friends and family members can help by being understanding and by offering support. They should be careful because sometimes people think they are helping, but instead, they are making matters worse. People should remember that they are not alone. About 14.8 million Americans are affected by depression every year. Those who seek help often see an improvement as early as four weeks after taking some measure to combat depression.