Mental health issues will affect one in four people at some point in their lives. This is an incredibly alarming and eye-opening stat. However, what’s even more alarming is that many people fail to recognize that the particular issues they are facing are in fact mental health problems.

People with mental health concerns tend to sweep their problems under the carpet until sooner or later they are bursting at the seams with mental and emotional turmoil.

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions because it is an illness that can affect anyone at any time. The need to tackle depression has been a serious talking point in the media for many years. And it makes total sense: as human beings, pretty much everything we do is in pursuit of our own happiness. We strive to be as content as we possibly can be.

Concealed depression is one of the most dangerous forms of depression because as the name suggests, sufferers keep their condition under wraps. This then means that loved ones are often completely oblivious to the fact that there is a problem.

Chester Bennington may have been known as the lead vocalist of Linkin Park, but unfortunately he too had concealed depression. Ultimately, it ended up costing him his life. Very few people suspected that Bennington had a problem. He seemed like any other family man who adored his wife and kids.

However, lurking beneath the surface was an immense and seemingly unsolvable sadness.

Here are 12 signs that you could be suffering from concealed depression…

1. Nothing brings you joy anymore

The hobbies you once loved no longer make you happy. And you can’t explain why you no longer value your former interests. Very few things fulfil you as a person, and you become increasingly wary of the fact that you’re getting older and older and life is just passing you by.

2. You cultivate new interests as a way of adapting

Being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean you lose the will to do anything. Some people with concealed depression will make changes to their lifestyle in the hopes of curbing the ongoing sadness they feel. You may take up new forms of exercise, buy things you have your heart set on, go on walks etc.

3. Your sleeping and eating habits have changed drastically

If you can’t get to sleep at night, if you’re perpetually tired, if you have lost your appetite or are insatiably hungry, you may have concealed depression.

4. You’re afraid of scaring away your loved ones

Sufferers of depression feel the weight of their condition very strongly and assume it is just as burdensome on their loved ones.

Often those with depression will refrain from opening up about their condition for fear that their friends or family won’t be able to handle it. They constantly fear that their loved ones will grow tired of dealing with their depression.

5. You have an almost perfect facade of happiness

A lot of people with depression feel ashamed of their disorder and the control it has over them. They try to combat this by pretending to be happier than they actually are. In fact, many depressed people are the life and soul of the party. They’ve simply learnt to hide their true emotions.

6. You constantly think about death

You develop a sort of obsession with the idea of death. Life often feels bleak and pointless and you wonder what the point is.

You may consider suicide because taking your own life seems like the only way to end your intense sadness.

If you are feeling like this, you should speak to someone you trust so that they can help you through your feelings of hopelessness and prevent you from doing anything drastic.

7. You like to express your creativity

Sufferers of concealed depression will often go to great lengths to resolve their depression on their own. Often they’ll do this by finding an avenue through which to express their creativity. Extensive research has shown that sufferers of depression often make for talented musicians, artists and writers.

8. You have an “excuse” for your unhealthy behavior

You always have an explanation up your sleeve to account for things like cuts that have stemmed from self-harm or your excessive crying.

You lie to prevent your secret inner turmoil from being detectable by those around you.

9. You feel like you have lost all control

You feel totally helpless. The depression controls you so much that, you feel it has taken over completely. Everything you do and say is dominated entirely by your depression.

You don’t want anyone to realize you’ve lost control so you try desperately to get it back again. This makes your life agonizingly exhausting.

10. You have a lot of empathy for people in pain

You have been around plenty of people in deep emotional turmoil, and so when you experience this yourself, you decide that you don’t want to feel what you’ve seen them going through. You try to remain strong, but feel anything but strong.

11. You strive for total perfection

You don’t want to be perceived as weak so instead you aim for the very best in all aspects of life.

12. Your relationships have changed drastically

If you are suffering from concealed depression, it is not uncommon for your relationships to feel less significant than they used to. You become less keen on spending time with your friends and family, and would rather be entirely on your own. It’s exhausting keeping up a cheerful facade, and when you’re on your own you don’t have to do that.

If you think you may be suffering from depression, please do find someone you can talk to about it with. Know that you’re not alone and that there are so many people you can go to for help.

Depression is a condition that doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time. Unfortunately, African Americans with depression tend to suffer in silence for a number of complicated and deep-seated reasons: