Why do some people hide their depression?

I think that some depressed people may hide their depression for a few different reasons:

  • There is a social stigma around depression that says that it is your fault if you have it. Society blames the person instead of the disease. Depressed people may be afraid that others will think of them as weak.
  • They don’t want to be a burden to their family and friends.
  • Hiding their depression may provide them with an escape from the inevitable therapy, long drawn-out talks with family members about their depression, and possible questioning over the authenticity of their problem.
  • They plan on killing themselves and don’t want people to know. If a severely depressed person in therapy seems like they miraculously recovered overnight, be cautious because this is often when they are most likely to kill themselves.
  • People with mental disorders sometimes believe that nobody will understand their problem, which is completely untrue. A large portion of therapists are people who used to have mental disorders and decided to help other people because of it.
  • Keeping their depression to themselves is less painful that coming out about it.

Of course, there are probably other possibilities that I didn’t think of. I hope that in the future we can eliminate this stigma around depression. We need more people who are shameless about their problems, willing to talk openly about it to anyone. Being depressed doesn’t mean you are weak. And if there are a few people who think as much when you tell them that you are depressed, then those are people who you don’t want to associate yourself with.

I used to have OCD. I was ashamed of it and never even told my parents. I’ve since recovered from it, and now I’m completely open about my experience in the hopes to inspire others to not feel ashamed. In front of my Abnormal Psychology class of 400, I told them about the dark times I endured. To my surprise, nobody even seemed to make a big deal out of it; maybe they have had problems of their own.

source: quora (Jens Mowatt)


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