Question

Masked Depression

What is masked depression?

A Answers (2)

  • Masked depression is a term used to describe depression that is hidden by other conditions or symptoms that are not associated with clinical depression. People suffering from masked depression may not feel particularly sad or irritable, the emotions most commonly associated with depression. They may exhibit other conditions such as eating disorders, hyperactivity, or substance abuse problems. Treating these conditions does not get at the true source of the problem, which is depression.

  • ALara Honos-Webb, PhD, Psychology, answered
    Many psychologists use the term "masked depression" to mean the experience of a person who is depressed but does not directly report the symptoms of depression, because she has found a strategy to cover over or mask those symptoms. In many ways, a masked depression is more difficult to treat, because once the strategies for masking depression are removed the person is left to face the pain of depression. Therefore, this therapeutic work of "unmasking" depression can be felt as punishment, since the result of the therapy is the full experience of depression.
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