Are You Hiding Your Depression with a Smile?

Are You Hiding Your Depression with a Smile?

(audience applause) – Every May we team up with
Women’s Health Magazine to bring you important
information in honor of National Women’s Health Week. And joining us now is
Women’s Health Magazine editor in chief, Amy
Keller Laird, welcome Amy! (audience applause) – Hi! Thank you, thank you. – So talk to us, National
Women’s Health week, what is the big goal from
your perspective this year? – There are different pillars, but one that we’ve really
embraced at Women’s Health is mental health because, you know, if you’re not mentally sound
you can’t even take care of the rest of your body. So we’re really honing
into that and making sure, it’s something you can’t see, so it’s also something that people don’t even think about that much but– – It’s something personal to you? – Personal to me, yeah.
You know last year we did a big story about busting the
stigma around mental health issues and I talked about
my own diagnosis with OCD and it became a thing that our
readers really responded to. I think the fact that we put
ourselves into it personally and talked about it from that perspective so we’ve really made it a
pillar and something we want to explore every May. – And speaking of mental
health, talk to us about this concept of smiling depression. – Yeah, so this is something
we delved into this year. We have a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental
Illness, and it turns out we did a survey, 89% of
people who said they had anxiety or depression said that they were able to hide their
symptoms, and basically go about their day, go to work,
and nobody knew the wiser. You know, it’s sort of,
it’s something that effects very high functioning,
very ambitious women, because they want to put out this front that everything is fine,
that I’ve got it together and maybe they think, “I
don’t have it so bad,” “I don’t need to get treatment,” But really what can happen
is, things can bubble over you know, maybe they
have these mild symptoms, but the longer they keep it in and the more they don’t talk about it– – Well and that’s one of the, we pride ourselves on the
show is, if you hide something it becomes bigger and bigger. – [Amy] Exactly – I love the concept of
taking time every day to clear our minds, and
you have three really cool, quick tips on how we can do this. – Yeah, so one, we’ve got
these ice packs in front of us, this is the Ice Trick,
so actually you take it, you hold it underneath your
eye above the cheekbone hold it there for 30 seconds. So we all look silly,
but really, you know, what will happen is if we
held it here for 30 seconds it’s sort of uncomfortable so it takes you out of your
thoughts, but it also triggers a reflex, to calm down your breathing. – Well and the real
physiology to support that there are all those sensory
nerves, cranial nerves we have on the face, that
if you stimulate one area it may actually have an
overall affect not only on– – Exactly – your exterior but your
mental status as well. – [Amy] Exactly – So ice pack under the
eyes, what’s the second tip? – Second tip. So we’ve got the Trash Tip. So basically what you want to
do, you’re having a thought “I can’t do anything
right,” you write it down and then you really sort
of fact check yourself, “Is this actually true?”
And once you have it down on paper like that, you
kinda know, “No it’s not. I mean maybe I messed up
over here or I did this, but like, I’m not a mess overall.” And then you can kinda
mentally toss it in the trash, and you know, move on, get out
of those intrusive thoughts. – So it’s all your subconscious trash talk being tossed in the trash. – Exactly – Sign of flushing bad thoughts. – [Amy] Exactly – And last but not least, the Stair Trick? – So the Stair Trick, so this is sort of a visualization exercise. Close your eyes, few deep breaths, imagine yourself walking
down a spiral staircase. You’re seeing a light, you’re
feeling your foot on the floor you’re touching the banister,
and like the more you ground yourself in that experience,
the more you just, again, push away those other intrusive thoughts, and just getting yourself
out for a moment, you can kind of like,
get back to that point where you’re like, “Okay,
everything is okay.” – [Dark-Haired Woman] Sort of reset. – Yeah reset. – So tell us about your
social media initiative that’s so interesting to me. – Yeah, so you know one of the things that’s interesting about
smiling depression is that a lot of people who have it
are posting on social media about how great life is,
and you know we all curate our social profiles and
just show the best parts. So our initiative is
#howireallyfelt where we’ve asked women to go back to some of these pictures that they’ve posted you know, “I was at a party,
I was having a great time!” and really come back and post
how they were really feeling, and we have some really
compelling ones in the magazine where people were at parties
or they were you know, “I’m out on Lake Michigan,”
but really inside they were not feeling great,
and it’s just part of again, talking about it, getting
it out in the open and that helps bust the stigma
and makes people realize, “I can talk about this, and this is something that’s important.” – And these things that
we’re talking about you can check them out in
Women’s Health Magazine and for more ways to better your health you can head over to and for
exclusive web videos from us – Yeah, we’ll be there. (giggles) – In the mean time, let’s
see what’s coming up next.


  1. Absolutely!!! Nothing to do with shame or embarrassment. My choice to present a strong facade and deal with it alone. Not everybody wants to share their pain and misery.

  2. Funny thing I started with my depression since I was 16 when I was 18 i told my mother about it and she just blew me off. Now 26 and still deal with depression.

  3. wow……that could have been me writing those exact words on that letter….so it's not really depression but disappointments in life where ever you are…… it is time to throw that list in the trash people!!!!

  4. My depression has been so deep, and for so long, I can't smile anymore, but am full of rage, anger, bitterness, and a sorrow so deep suicide is on my mind 24/7. Had I not had my elderly parents to care for, I wouldn't be here, but I cannot be that selfish, they desperately need my help to survive. They've done so much for me all my life, I would never kill my self when they need me so much. But, if they die, I will too. BTW, what's caused my depression, since I was 20 (I'm 48) I've battled Crohn's disease, colon cancer, have had 33 surgeries leaving me with only 5% of my GI tract. It's totally destroyed every aspect of my life, from my sexual health, to finances, to bankruptcy and beyond. It's left me a broken, former shell of myself, and I'm in constant pain. I was forced to retire at only 46 years old and live on long term disability benefits, which is barely enough to live on, I was forced to use up all my savings just to survive, and now I face a future filled with nothing but misery, poverty, and inconsolable pain and suffering. I literally cannot remember the last time I smiled, because what do I have to smile about? I just want to die and get it over with. My life is already over, so I might as well just end it and pray the afterlife has more hope then this one does. Then again, there's a good chance the cancer is back again, and if so, I'm refusing all treatment. If I'm destined to die, so be it, I've already arranged for a caregiver to care for my folks 24/7. As I said, I won't kill myself as long as they live, but if nature tries to take me again, I'm going to allow it to run It's course and if I survive, I'll know I'm meant to still be here, but as is, I doubt many will care if I'm dead or alive.

  5. 4 years ago i used to overthink stuff thus i had depression and now whenever i use the phone or text someone my nerves get stiff and my whole body gets sore that i had to stop using it even my close friends fell out with me over that cuz they think that i don't wanna talk to them online idk what to do if any of you has a clue please get back to me

  6. I’m depressed and I hide it behind a smile and when anyone asks if I’m okay I say I’m okay

    I’m only 15 any help

  7. Writing it down would make it more concrete. Jotting down positive things seems like a better way to deal with this issue.

  8. A – ADMIT you are a sinner.
    B – BELIEVE Jesus died and rose again to pay for your sins.
    C – CONFESS Jesus is Lord of your life . Know Jesus know peace! Jesus loves you!!

  9. Water, exercise and Reese’s. Helps me… oh and I get through work with depression meds and espresso!!!! Yusss – what can ya do?
    Napssss. Lotsss of napsss

  10. Me: ma i have depression
    Ma: hit me your not crazy
    Ma:continue that i will bring you in a mental hospital

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