What is Hidden Depression? Causes, diagnosis and treatment

People with hidden depression always try to hide their feelings and sadness from those around them through smiles because they can’t admit their own and don’t want to be a burden to others. Therefore, hidden depression is often detected quite late and easily leads to serious consequences, which is the patient commits suicide to free himself.

What is hidden depression?

Hidden depression, also known as masked depression, belongs to the group of atypical depression because the symptoms of the disease do not completely coincide with the common depressive symptoms listed in pathological manuals such as DSM – 5 or ICD – 10. That is why this depression is often difficult to detect or only when the disease has progressed more seriously, the patient has negative behaviors and is detected by those around him to see a doctor. can be diagnosed.

Hidden depression

People with hidden depression often suffer from psychological pain alone and always show that they are happy in front of others.

Usually the symptoms of depression that everyone knows are a sad mood, not wanting to talk to anyone, feeling sad all the time, a negative personality easily excitable and these symptoms are often clearly visible to others. However, in patients with masked depression, pessimistic negative emotions will only appear when they are alone, while in front of others they always try to appear happy with a permanent smile on their lips.

The cheerfulness in depressed people is the best mask to give them a last remaining sense of security to avoid the judgmental judgment of those around them. During the day, when they work, they can make a person excited and happy, but at night, they feel exhausted, they can cry all night and don’t look forward to tomorrow. Therefore, it is difficult for people around to detect abnormalities in patients.

Patients always want to hide their feelings, gradually no longer being themselves, becoming fake with their own feelings. When the negative things that are painful are suppressed too much, at some point, they will become explosive and cause reactions that no one can imagine.

Pressures in life, high expectations but failure or always worrying about people’s view of themselves are some of the reasons why patients try to hide their condition. Specifically, the main factors that make depressed people often hide their illness include:

  • Do not want to be a burden on others: they themselves can understand that when they are sick, they can make their parents, relatives and people around them worry, will take care of them more, which makes them feel better. I feel uncomfortable so I will try to hide it.
  • Afraid of the look of people around them: they worry that when they know they are sick, people around them will examine and talk about them, thinking they are weak and useless, so they don’t want to show it.
  • Don’t accept being sick: Despite being warned a lot by the press and media, many people think that the symptoms of depression are just a normal state of sadness and will go away on their own, so they will hide it. for fear that people around will force them to go to treatment
  • Feelings of inferiority: some people may see depression as a personal weakness, and of course no one wants to show their weakness for everyone to see. Others always think that only themselves are miserable, they will feel that they will be isolated so they do not want to show this.
  • Perfectionists: some people always want themselves and their lives to be good in the eyes of those around them, if depressed is like exposing the fake life that they themselves have painstakingly arranged.

Hidden depression can originate from very small pressures, but because it is not released, it gradually accumulates to become a big black shadow in the mind. Research shows that often hidden signs of depression appear very early, but most can only be detected when it is severe.

Hidden symptoms of depression

Most patients themselves often deny that they are sick when in fact the condition is extremely serious. Patients not only have mental problems, but also appear physical symptoms to cover up the emotions they are experiencing such as stomach pain, pain somewhere for unknown reasons. causes or problems with bones, joints, heart..

Easy to change emotions

A person with masked depression is often more emotional in emotional situations, such as crying while watching TV shows or movies, when normally they would appear strong and have a hard time crying. Or some people may suddenly become angry, easily irritated by something not worth it, but will quickly make up and show remorse.

Hidden depression

Hiding their own emotions makes them emotional, may cry when watching movies even though they were not such weak people before.

These changing emotions often pass so quickly that the opposite person in a minute can feel that the person standing in front of them is not the person they know.

Or talk about philosophy

One of the main hidden symptoms of depression is that they often talk about philosophies and ethics about life, human life, the meaning of life or what affects their life. They are also comfortable talking about hurting themselves, saying that death is normal to them with a nonchalant attitude that makes it impossible for others to grasp whether it is a joke or real.

In addition, they can also discuss finding happiness, drawing their bright future. Stories with people with hidden depression will often be directed around these philosophies. This may be the most characteristic sign of the disease so that people around can clearly distinguish it from other symptoms.

Pessimistic thoughts and behavior

They themselves always see things in a wrong way, leading to handling problems in a pessimistic, negative way. However, most of those negative emotions will only be expressed when they are alone. They feel guilty even though they didn’t do anything wrong or think they are the only ones to suffer.

People with hidden depression also tend to hurt themselves and often think about death and do it without anyone noticing. Because external emotions are so normal that no one knows what they are suffering, so they don’t pay proper attention. Therefore, the success rate of suicide in patients with masked depression is very high.

Abnormal activities

Difficulty going to sleep, frequent insomnia are common symptoms in most patients with depression. It is very difficult for them to find an early sleep, even though they find themselves exhausted of energy, without any strength left. Losing sleep the previous day makes them not want to wake up the next day and have to struggle a lot to be able to continue to “put on the mask of happiness” to go to school and work.

Hidden depression

Many people think that eating can fill the void in their soul

Besides, erratic eating, loss of appetite, decreased taste are also common symptoms in many people. However, some people become more eating and drinking even with foods they did not like before because they think that food can fill the gaps in their souls. They even turn to alcohol, tobacco or other stimulants to make themselves feel better.

Always be happy

Showing happiness with a permanent smile on their lips when facing others is a way for them to hide the brokenness in their mind. In front of everyone, they will always appear to be very happy, always willing to participate in group activities, but if they really need their presence, they will find a way to avoid it.

Hidden depression

They use the mask of happiness to hide their negative and painful emotions

Even though they live in a group, they themselves always feel lonely, empty, unable to integrate. Therefore, they are increasingly closed and just want to be alone, do not want to talk and communicate. with anyone, even with parents or relatives.

Avoid and hide illness

If they are accidentally discovered by their family or other people with unusual signs and forced to go to the doctor, they can still go, but they will not trust and be honest with the doctor. They may agree to see a doctor but change their plans; Lying about your condition and feelings to your doctor or not taking prescribed treatments. Most of the time, if the sick person seeks help from others, it shows that they are too desperate to take it any longer.

Diagnosis of hidden depression

According to doctors, it is often difficult to diagnose the disease with patients with hidden depression because the symptoms are not completely within the current diagnostic criteria for depression. If asked about feelings, thoughts, or psychological events from the past, she often answers only vaguely, dishonestly, denying or giving false information that makes it difficult for a doctor to diagnose. quick guess.

Hidden depression

Diagnosing people with hidden depression is difficult because they often hide their illness

On the other hand, instead of talking about their own feelings, patients will often complain about body aches or other dysfunctions that make the doctor easily confused. If blood tests do not show any infection or other inflammation while the patient is still talking about their own pain or discomfort.

To make a diagnosis for masked depression, it should be done in specialized hospitals or in psychological centers with good doctors and specialists who can detect abnormal problems in thinking, patient’s words. Depending on the subject and the doctor’s experience, diagnostic measures will be implemented flexibly, can do tests, medical diagnosis or through chat.

Attention should be paid to people with hidden depression that should have their family accompany them to visit the doctor and also during the treatment process to avoid the patient’s partner trying to avoid going to the hospital or not cooperating with the doctor.

Direction for treatment of hidden depression

Similar to the diagnosis stage, the early stages of treatment can also be difficult because the patient refuses to be sick and does not want to be treated. Or there are people who pretend to accept treatment at the hospital but do not do it at home because they still insist that they have been and are doing well. This makes it very difficult to get rid of the disease completely.

According to doctors, compared to other forms of depression, hidden depression usually has a lower suicide rate, but if you want to do it, it often has a high success rate. Therefore, treatment should be initiated as soon as possible.

Drug treatment

For patients with hidden depression, taking medication will only partially relieve symptoms, such as helping them sleep better, reducing invisible aches and pains in the body for no apparent reason. Some drugs are often prescribed such as serotonin,   noradrenaline or tricycline groups to reduce physical symptoms. With proper treatment, these symptoms can be relieved after 3 weeks, but the doctor can still prescribe maintenance for 6 months to prevent recurrence.

Hidden depression

Certain medications are prescribed to relieve physical symptoms in patients

In addition, the doctor may also prescribe additional classes of sedatives to improve sleep or some typical antidepressants, depending on the individual patient.


Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for people with hidden depression. The goal of therapy is to help patients understand their own problems, accept treatment, and have confidence in the doctor. Only when the patient understands the disease and has faith in the doctor, cooperates with the treatment from psychologists and doctors, can the treatment really work.

However, as mentioned, if it is not for long-term and experienced experts, it can completely lead to wrong diagnoses, causing treatment to go in two different directions. Therefore, the family needs to take the patient to reputable treatment facilities with good specialists who can help the patient overcome difficult times.

The Center for Psychotherapy is currently one of the leading therapeutic establishments that are applying therapeutic methods based on mind science and therapeutic science combined with energy from the laws of nature. Cosmic law. The center always aims to help customers live healthy and peaceful lives through talking instead of using drugs with a series of unhealthy side effects.

The Master Coaches at the Center use their own skills and experiences to connect with patients, create trust in each person so that they can open their hearts to share honestly with experts. Through each conversation, experts will deeply influence the mind of the customer to gradually open the soul, find the root cause of the disease, thereby offering a solution for each person.

For those who tend to be socially withdrawn, professionals can also arrange group therapy sessions between people with similar conditions so that everyone can get to know, talk, and connect with each other. From there began to integrate and return to normal life.

Through each treatment session, the client gradually matures, finds a balance in life and finds himself again. At the end of the treatment period, the patient gradually becomes confident, knows how to express his or her emotions, removes the obstacles in his mind to move towards more positive things every day.

Care and treatment at home

Doctors encourage the family to participate in the treatment of depression with the patient, especially in the early stages to ensure that the patient follows the regimen prescribed by the doctor. Besides, always give encouragement, encourage, and join the patient in daily activities so that the patient does not feel alone and motivated to overcome these difficult times.

Some useful measures for patients with hidden depression during home treatment are:

  • Respect your own thoughts and feelings, for example, if you’re sad, just cry, don’t lie to yourself
  • Practice speaking out your wishes and thoughts to those close to you
  • Don’t pay attention to other people’s eyes but just be yourself because only when you are real will you be truly happy
  • Pay attention to sleep, always make sure to get enough sleep every day
  • Using music to treat depression can help you be happier and more excited to forget the ugly sadness
  • Solve problems that cause you stress or pain so you don’t have to think about it
  • Practicing meditation, yoga daily will help purify the mind, the spirit in a state of energy
  • Exercise daily to improve physical and mental health
  • Supplementing with nutrients every day to keep the mind and body in the best state
  • Follow the correct treatment methods prescribed by your doctor

Anyone can be a victim of hidden depression without even knowing it. Changing a healthy lifestyle, becoming more confident, learning stress relievers is the best way to prevent this dangerous disease. Hope the above sharing has brought you a lot of useful information.

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