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Smiling depression

Community Member
Hi everyone, I have been living life with a mask of happiness for the last 22 years. Know one in my family or friends knows of my inner sadness. Recent events in my life have made me realise I have been living a lie and deceiving all the people I love. For years I knew something was wrong with me, but not sure what. I could see happy people everywhere, and just wanted to be one. So I put on a smile and got on with life. I remember feeling truly happy and I know the catalyst that put me on this path, what I don’t know is how to rid my mind of this horrible feeling. I can feel the mask slipping off and it scares the shit out of me. My daughter often asks me if I’m ok, of course I always say yes I am just tired from work. Thanks for listening . Willson
3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Willson, welcome to the forums.

I think most people carry this mask around and pretend to be OK, it's fighting a battle with yourself and any questions asked we tend to brush off with an answer that isn't relevant, the trouble is it seems to be digging another hole for us to lie in.

22 years is far too long to be suffering from any type of depression and someone I've learnt is the more we open up about how we feel, the less power it will have over us.

If you know the catalyst then that's good so that once you see your GP and refers you onto a psychologist the problem can be targeted, but there maybe so many other issues that have caused all of this that need to be addressed.

Over the 22 years, the build up must be exhausting, and it can gather other issues along the way, but please remember, no matter what area you are struggling in, you are not alone.

Please let the person who knows about how you are feeling know that you have reached out for advice.

If you can see a psychologist using the mental health plan which is issued by your doctor, this entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions per year.

Best wishes.


Community Member

Hi Willson,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for posting. It is great to have you here! You will find that these forums are a super caring, loving and non-judgmental space where your concerns will be taken seriously.

Sorry to hear that you have been struggling for a long time and no one deserves to go through what you have endured for all these year, however, your experiences are far too common unfortunately!

I would like to let you know that the fact you have posted and shared your story with us is amazing. That takes so much strength, courage, bravery, resilience and you should be extremely proud of yourself! Hats off to you!

There is no shame in not telling people how you feel. That is your right and please don't be too hard on yourself. You have been through so much and you are still standing so be proud of that. You have not been living a lie. To be honest, much of what your feeling and thoughts are a result of the negative mental health stigma which plagued our society and still does plague our society. It is improving but we still have a ways to go!

Telling someone and expressing yourself is always the hardest thing to do and it is most definitely a step in the right direction. I believe that if you feel comfortable doing so, please visit your GP and discuss treatment options available. A combination of medication with therapy is usually the most successful treatment method/form of intervention. Treatment can be scary and not one glove fits all, however, it is an option that is generally beneficial.

Besides seeing a health professional you may also want to eat well, sleep well, ensure you receive enough vitamin D and get enough exercise. These might sound cliche but healthy body does contribute to a healthy mind. You may also want to log your thoughts in a journal just so you can see whether there are any patterns in your behaviour etc.

I look forward to hearing back from you and let us know how you go!

All the best,


Community Member
Hi Willson, I know just what you mean by "the mask of happiness". We get very good at pretending for the sake of others, don't we. I suppose to a certain extent it is a good thing, but I hope you can find one or two people close to you with whom you can be open about your feelings. I found that helped not only me but also the other family member who actually was wanting a chance to be openly supportive. Often those closest to us realize there is a problem but are reluctant to talk about it unless we open up first. That was how it was for me.