Depression is not always about feeling down or sad, it can be emotional numbness or alexithymia (difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses in words). It keeps overt depression away.
Have you heard of reactive depression before? I hadn’t until recently. It’s in relation to external events or circumstances, a response to major stress such as a break-up, death of a loved one, divorce, workplace harassment. It is not PTSD, which has more significant symptoms.
This depression becomes a concern and needs to be addressed if it persists for an excessive period of time and the individual does not recover. Eventually, this feeling of depression fades and the person will return to normal behaviour and emotional outlook. In other words, reactive depression is temporary as opposed to major depression which is generally long-term.
If a person isn’t treated with proper therapy for this condition, symptoms may persist and significantly interfere with daily functioning at work, school, and relationships.
What about covert depression? That one hides under different masks, addictive behaviours, perfectionism, workaholism & is typically a male-dominated condition. We all know that men are very different (not wrong or bad, just different) from women. Men are not good at expressing or filtering feelings or emotions. They are more likely to act out their feelings or emotions instead of speaking them. This is one the first feelings men usually express is anger, it is what drives their survival instincts. This is a very base reaction & comes from the brain stem area of our brains, there isn’t a lot of thinking or planning to happen, it’s very instinctual. Men are programmed for rage, it keeps them on their toes. The problem with that is we are no longer living in an environment where we are not the dominant predator, unlike our caveman ancestors.
I’ve put a link below for you if you are interested in reading more about this:-
What about seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? – this is a type of depression that is common during the winter months, where we don’t get as much sunlight. This is less of a problem in Australia however, people do seem to be less cheerful when it's winter & the weather is gloomy than in the warm months of the year. Here’s another one – holiday depression – this can be at its worst leading up to Christmas & Easter, where pressure can build up, or traditionally the family has a humdinger of a fight. It can bring up feelings of loneliness or lack of fulfillment for people who may not have family or conversely have too much family.
And finally – geriatric depression – is an emotional and mental disorder and this comes with feelings of feeling blue or sad, apathy, worthlessness. As we age we start to lose our family & friends through death, which heightens our own sense of mortality & how much longer we have to live.
If you have any questions regarding depression, sadness, grief or loss, please contact me to discuss. You can book in for a free 15 minute discussion
Gaye Cameron MBA BSW DipCouns