"Smiling depression" can make cheerful children suddenly commit suicide! Parents can effectively identify through these 7 points
01. These very sensational suicides are actually caused by "smiling depression"
In September 2016, domestic actor and singer Qiao Renliang committed suicide due to depression. This shocked the public! Every time he appeared in the public eye with a "sunny and handsome" image and a smile, even his parents only learned that their son was suffering from major depression on the day he committed suicide!
In 2021, Xiao Lin, a high school student at Chengdu 49 Middle School, suddenly fell to his death in the school, and the school said that it was suicide, but his parents were completely unacceptable. Because Xiaolin had not been diagnosed with depression, there was no abnormality that day, and he smiled and discussed with his mother where to go during the summer vacation. It wasn't until they saw through monitoring that their son had frantically self-harmed before committing suicide that they gradually accepted the facts.
In October last year, the "disappearance of Hu Xinyu" shook the whole country, and family members, school authorities, and police conducted many carpet searches but could not find anyone. It was not until January 28 this year that Hu Xinyu's body was found, and the police determined that he had hanged himself after investigation. But many people did not believe this result, and always believed that Hu Xinyu was "murdered".
In fact, the protagonists of the above tragedies are all "smile depression" patients, which is an extremely hidden and very dangerous type of depression.
The public has a stereotype of depression, thinking that depressed people are depressed, sad, and do not like to talk. But "smile depression" patients are the opposite, they usually behave normally, and even some patients look optimistic, cheerful, always have a smile on their faces, and are very funny.
Image from the Internet
In fact, they are very depressed and painful in their hearts, just a long-term disguise, hiding their true emotions. This false "mask" will make them bear more psychological pressure, and strong negative emotions are more difficult to release, so they are more likely to worsen than other typical depressed patients, have a higher risk of suicide, and the success rate of suicide is extremely high!
Because they covered it up too well, the news of their death would have a great psychological impact on the family, and the family simply could not accept, "My child is so cheerful, how can he commit suicide?" ”
And because the patient's death is so sudden and shocking, it is likely to become a news event, and the public also finds it incredible and incomprehensible. In addition, many self-media deliberately "lead the rhythm" in the process of disseminating information, and netizens are prone to various "conspiracy theories" under misleading.
Like the "Chengdu 49 Middle School Student Fall Incident" mentioned above, the child suddenly fell from the building, and the school's communication work was indeed insufficient, leading many people to speculate that Xiaolin was killed, and there were even rumors on the Internet that "offended school leaders and were persecuted because of the quota of studying abroad".
There are more conspiracy theories in the "Hu Xinyu incident" and more extensive influence. Even after the police determined that Hu Xinyu committed suicide, until now, many people still do not believe in this result, believing that there is a shady crime behind it.
There are insufficient work in schools, police, etc., the distorted psychology of rumor-mongers, and the blind obedience of some netizens, but the more important reason is that the public lacks a deep understanding of "smiling depression", and even many people do not know about it.
Therefore, after such news events, we all wrote articles and filmed videos for the first time, analyzing the spiritual psychology knowledge behind the tragedy and popularizing the knowledge of "smile depression", hoping to attract the attention of the public.
Not long ago, the "group suicide of 4 people in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province" occurred, among which there were also patients with "smiling depression". At that time, we also carried out analysis and popularization of science.
In order to make more people pay attention to and know how to identify "smile depression", this article once again introduces the scientific knowledge of this disorder in detail.
02. "Smiling" will become a tool for patients to successfully commit suicide
First of all, it must be explained that smile depression is not a standard diagnosis in psychiatric clinics, but a common name for depression with specific characteristics - the patient's words and deeds seem normal, and even appear positive and sunny, but the heart is actually very depressed. Therefore, it is also known as "sunshine depression".
So why do these patients feel very painful, but force a smile? There are many factors behind this.
Part of the reason is "stigma." They realize that they have mental and psychological problems, but they are afraid that when others find out, they will discriminate against and alienate themselves and treat themselves as monsters.
Another part of the reason may be that they have received excessive praise since childhood, are very in the eyes of the unexpected world, and do not hesitate to maintain their beautiful "personality".
Part of the reason may be due to the "flattering personality", which is always tolerant in interpersonal communication, deliberately considerate and friendly to others, and pleasant.
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Some patients may not be out of pleasing others, but they think that they should behave appropriately, be polite and generous, and know how to take care of others' feelings in front of others, which is likely to have a "compulsive personality" behind their strict requirements.
In solitary moments without the presence of others, patients with "smiling depression" show their true emotions, cry alone, and even self-harm.
Yaoyao, a teenager patient we have treated, has a typical "smiling depression". Her mother's education method is relatively simple and rude, and she attaches great importance to academic performance, which puts a lot of pressure on Yaoyao, always comparing her with "other people's children", saying that she is inferior to others, and urging her to learn from others.
In order to meet her mother's expectations, Yaoyao was cheerful and excellent externally, but she had a large amount of negative emotions in her heart, and often cried so much that she couldn't stop crying when she was alone at night, and even fainted crying.
If the condition continues to worsen over time, the "smile" will even become a "tool" for these patients to realize their suicide plan.
Some patients deliberately show a positive attitude so that the medical staff will think that their condition is stable and agree that they will be discharged or reduced their medication. Some patients will make a rational and positive appearance, so that those around them can relax their vigilance and facilitate the execution of suicide plans.
Director Chen Hongmei of Beijing Huilongguan Hospital once mentioned that some patients with smiling depression have a very clear behavioral purpose, they are very good at disguise, understand the psychology of medical staff and accompanying family members, and know how to exchange others for relaxing their vigilance.
This kind of "suicide plan" under the cover of "smile" has a very high success rate, is very hidden, and the psychological impact on relatives and friends is extremely strong, and the people around them often feel incredible.
Therefore, if the child has been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, but suddenly becomes sensible, rational and optimistic, the family must be vigilant. For example, some patients will persuade parents to go to work and do not have to accompany themselves, or when their enthusiasm and happiness are inconsistent with the situation they are in, or even seem unnatural, family members should strengthen their accompaniment to prevent them from making extreme behaviors.
Some people wonder, why has the concept of "smiling depression" only appeared in the public eye in recent years. Why are there significantly more "smile depression" patients in recent years in suicides?
In fact, the public's understanding of mental and psychological disorders needs a process. In the last century, most people did not have an objective understanding of depression, they thought that depression is a problem of personal character or thought, it is the patient's "no disease shouting disease", "glass heart", "full of food" and so on, and even think that depression is an excuse for patients to escape reality.
But with the public's increasing attention to mental health issues and more and more popular science information, many people now have a basic understanding of depression. As a special type of depression, "smile depression" is naturally recognized by the public more slowly and later.
Moreover, ordinary suicides are often difficult to make news, but everyone is surprised that a seemingly happy and very normal child suddenly committed suicide, and this is news. Therefore, when the news media chooses the subject of the report, it is easy to pick the suicide caused by "smile depression".
Moreover, some netizens already have a certain awareness and cognition of "smile depression", so when browsing information, they pay more attention to this aspect of the report and have a basic recognition awareness, which is a good thing.
Of course, although no authoritative organization has made professional statistics, it is indeed possible that there are more and more patients with "smile depression".
Now is the era of the digital planet, post-00s and post-10 teenagers are born in the era of material surplus and information explosion, they are involved in a wide range, mature faster mentally, and have stronger emotional needs.
If their parents do not know how to respect and understand their feelings, and always ask and criticize them, they are prone to superimposed psychological trauma and become more and more depressed inside.
However, in order to be recognized by parents, teachers and other elders, some children may learn to observe words and colors, deliberately play the roles of "good girl" and "good boy" that adults like, and always appear obedient and sensible, cheerful and optimistic.
At this time, they are at increased risk of "smile depression".
In addition, when a patient with "smile depression" commits suicide and becomes a hot spot in public opinion, this may lead to a certain "imitation effect".
For example, Hong Kong star Leslie Cheung committed suicide on April 1, 2003, and many depressed patients followed his example and committed suicide on April Fool's Day in the following year.
After the "Hu Xinyu incident" came out, there were 7 consecutive suicides of students jumping off buildings in Tianjin, and it cannot be ruled out that some of them were more determined to commit suicide after reading the report of the "Hu Xinyu incident".
Many depressed patients have been in a depressed and depressed mood for a long time, and have long had the idea of not wanting to live. However, because they still have a fear of death, they dare not take action for the time being. But after reading such news, they may mistakenly think that these suicides are very brave, see them as heroes and role models, and decide to imitate.
Therefore, if there are people with mental and psychological disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder around you, whenever there is suicide news in the society, we should pay special attention to the patient's state and be careful to prevent tragedy.
03. Through these 7 points, identify whether the child has "smiling depression"
In the clinical diagnosis and treatment of psychiatry, depression still stays on the "symptomatic diagnosis", that is, the psychiatrist only diagnoses the patient's superficial symptoms.
Psychiatrists are also very busy, and it is difficult for them to consult each patient in detail, making "smile depression" more difficult to identify. In addition, many patients with "smile depression" are not willing to seek medical treatment and have not been diagnosed and treated. This condition is really hidden and insidious.
Therefore, parents must master the method of identification in order to try to avoid the occurrence of tragedy. Parents can strengthen their observation and vigilance from the following aspects:
First, patients with "smile depression" tend to cry late at night when they are alone. Parents can observe more during this period, combined with whether there are signs such as crying, tear wipes, pillow tear stains, etc. to make a preliminary judgment.
Second, patients with "smile depression" often have insomnia symptoms, difficulty falling asleep, or waking up easily, and sleep quality is very poor. This, in turn, affects their learning state and mood during the day. If the learning state is not good, they are anxious, and they are more likely to have catastrophic thinking, and they cannot sleep and enter a vicious circle.
Therefore, frequent insomnia in children is a clear sign of mental and psychological problems.
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But many parents are unimpressed when they hear their children say that they can't sleep, and feel that their children are just studying too much. They simply responded "you don't think so much" and "you don't have so much pressure", and the child was dismissed in a few words.
Some parents will criticize their children, "It must be that you watched TV and mobile phones for too long before going to bed", "Are you secretly playing with your mobile phone again at night?" "I see you're cranky again, not sleeping well."
These words will not help the child, and will even increase the gap between parents and children. When it is found that the child has insomnia, parents must pay attention to it, solve it from the psychological root cause in time, and if necessary, go to the hospital to take a low dose of sedative sleeping drugs with few side effects.
Third, patients with "smile depression" are likely to decline in grades because they are prone to insomnia, high pressure, difficulty in maintaining a long-term learning state, difficulty concentrating when studying, and very nervous, anxious and other performances before the exam.
These are typical manifestations of learning disabilities, and severe learning disabilities are also one of the signs of mental and psychological problems in children.
Some children themselves also attach great importance to academic performance, once they find that their learning state is not good, they will be very anxious and increase self-pressure, but often it is difficult to work, but it forms a vicious circle. After trying to adjust the learning state again and again but failing, the child may have been "depressed" inside, but the appearance is still strong.
At this time, what parents should do is to decompress their children, help their children adjust their emotions and learning state, do not accuse them of not studying seriously and declining grades, otherwise, this is likely to become the last straw that crushes the camel, causing the child to have a nervous breakdown and choose suicide!
Fourth, if the child is always happy with his parents, or is unwilling to reveal his inner feelings, he should also pay more attention.
Do not think that children are always sunny, positive, positive energy, this is the manifestation of mental health. Children who are truly mentally healthy should have normal joys and sorrows, as well as life and study pressures, and occasional minor frictions in interpersonal relationships. But they are willing to talk, complain to people they trust, and ask for help when they encounter problems they can't solve.
Therefore, when children are very unhappy and anxious, whether they are willing to open their hearts to their parents and disclose their hearts is an important criterion for judging whether the parent-child relationship is really close and whether the child is truly mentally healthy.
If the child only loves to talk to his parents about eating, drinking and having fun, but does not talk to his parents about the really unhappy things, it means that the parents have not entered the child's heart at all. "Children tell us everything, the relationship is very good", behind this sentence is often a superficial illusion.
Fifth, patients with "smiling depression" may disguise themselves in front of their parents, but they may reveal their hearts to friends, and parents should take the initiative to maintain good relationships with teachers, friends, and classmates recognized by their children.
The vast majority of "smiling" depressed patients, even if they are strong and have good "acting skills", often reveal part of their hearts to trusted people when they are in pain that they cannot bear alone. Parents should maintain good relationships and communication with people who have a good relationship with their children, and also pay more attention to their children's usual doodles and handwritten texts, and know the psychological changes of their children in time.
Sixth, if you find that your child has self-harming behavior, you must pay great attention to it! Self-harm is an extremely dangerous signal!
Parents should observe whether there are traces of self-harm on the child's body, once found, even if the child usually behaves sunny and cheerful, even if the child says that this is just accidentally injured, parents should not easily believe it, and further seek verification.
Adolescent patients do not self-injure to hurt themselves, on the contrary, they are too painful, and self-harm can bring a brief release of stress and make them feel more comfortable. From this point of view, they self-harm, in fact, to "save themselves".
Therefore, if the child self-harms, parents should not be angry and accuseful, but realize that this indicates that the child's inner pressure is close to the critical point of mental breakdown. At this time, it is best for parents to take their children to the doctor, determine the condition, and learn the "three steps of benign communication", empathize, listen, and actively guide their children, give high-quality companionship, and relieve their pressure.
Even if the child is diagnosed and taking medication, they will still have the possibility of covering up their true condition and pretending to be well, and parents still cannot relax their vigilance.
Seventh, if parents are senior intellectuals, unit leaders, educators (teachers, principals, etc.), they may have higher requirements for their children because of their own excellence, but they lack self-reflection ability. Their children are at higher risk of developing "smile depression."
Although "smiling depression" is a special type of depression, its main cause is also superimposed psychological trauma, and many of them are often caused by parents' wrong family education.
Therefore, after parents identify that their children may suffer from "smiling depression" through the above methods, they must carry out "self-family therapy", that is, deep self-reflection, change and improvement, and consciously improve the family atmosphere and parent-child relationship.
In the future, we will also write a detailed analysis of "self-family therapy" to help parents better grasp this method and better help their children recover faster.