Under the Hood

Hidden Depression: Is Perfectionism To Blame?

For some reason, humans would always care about what others people think, be it about their looks, personality or general perception as a fellow human being. This toxic trait has led into the creation of a culture that values perfection, where you can do no wrong, where you’re supposed to always perform at your best and where you’re expected to only improve from there. This is because according to that culture, doing so will lead to happiness success.

But is that what it really brings? Because numerous studies are now revealing that perfectionism is more likely to lead to depression or just negatively affect our mental health in general.

Simply put, people who suffer from intense perfectionism would never be able to outdo themselves or live up to their own unrealistic expectations. As a result, most of them suffer from depression.

Hidden Depression

For most people however, “depression” doesn’t make sense. After all, people who are depressed often lack energy or the will to do anything. They’re mostly withdrawn, noticeably sad or are just not there most of the time.

So, if they’re depressed, how are they living a full functioning life with a family, a booming career and even a constant and reliable circle of friends?

As it turns out, this may simply be a case of perfectly hidden depression that happens when people who deem themselves as successful feel shame for the symptoms they’re not “supposed” to have. As a result, perfectionists often do not allow their real selves to be known for fear of looking incompetent or even foolish. What comes off as “perfect” outside may actually be a mess in private life.

For anyone who feels like they’re suffering from this however, seeking counseling from a professional is recommended and is nothing to be ashamed about. But if you’re not that “ready,” then these tips might help:

Let go of high expectations – Understand that as human beings, we will always be flawed.

Put people first – Before your expectations, always set time to connect with people you truly care about.

Be human – And that means showing how messy you can be. Trust the right people that will just make you all the more better as a person.

Challenge negative thoughts – Learn to analyze them and slowly learn how to turn it down, instead of trying to shut it completely.

Depression Higher rates of depression diagnoses were observed among women compared to men. Jasper Graetsch/Unsplash

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