Smiling Depression

Before I go into things from my other books I want to take a detour into talking about a feature article in Women’s Health magazine. Every year the May issue focuses on Mental Health.

There’s a thing: smiling depression. In the May issue you can read about how this silent suffering affects women.

I could relate to having a persona that masks what’s really going on. In here before I wrote about squelching your personality to fit in–and how that can damage your soul.

The Peer Support guideline is: “We judge no one’s pain as any less than our own.”

Yet the women in the May issue were told in essence to buck up–that they had done great things so shouldn’t be depressed.

One woman’s friend told her: “You’ll feel better if you pray.” Yet prayer doesn’t cure a person’s mental health issue. The woman’s Pastor had the good sense to tell her to see a therapist.

That’s the toll it takes on a lot of us to live in hiding. Our therapists are complicit in telling us not to disclose at our jobs. Good advice. Yet that’s precisely why we need to find our own tribe of kindred spirits to talk to about what’s going on.

Smiling depression is a thing. It deserves our attention. Those of us who have smiling depression deserve our compassion.

Go subscribe to Women’s Health if you want to–it’s a great magazine and I read it every month. I like Self too–yet I think Women’s Health is even better.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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