freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger Give us a smile (if you’re depressed, that is)… | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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Riskfactorphobes and hypochondriacs alike are going to love the story published in yesterday’s Daily Mail. ‘Could YOU be a victim of smiling depression?’, it asks.

Apparently comedian and all-round national treasure David Walliams recently owned up to the fact that, for much of his life, he’s suffered from depression. And he’s not the only funny person to be so afflicted: Ruby Wax, Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry have all experienced the big D while simultaneously putting on a happy face for the rest of us (or, as the Mail colourfully puts it, they chose ‘to mask their inner torment with a ‘happy’ public persona’).

The problem could be widespread, say experts such as London-based Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, a leading psychiatrist. Apparently the one in 20 statistic for people suffering from depression could be far higher, since so many more are believed to be victims of so-called ‘smiling’ depression (the alternative term is high-functioning depression, in case you’re interested).

Let’s be frank. Depression is an incredibly serious illness, that goes without saying. But don’t you often wonder whether the experts – in this case the psychiatrists – will never be happy until the vast majority of the population are being regularly medicated with antidepressants?

Do we have to question whether what we’re really feeling is the blues every single time we crack a smile? I know some people will after reading about ‘smiling’ depression (riskfactorphobes, you know who you are).

If you do have a problem with depression, it can be exceedingly difficult to get the treatment you need. One thing you can do for yourself, however, is to arm yourself with as much solid, non-scaremongering information as possible. Find out more at and at Or you could take the Depression Self-Assessment Test at (scroll down the page to get to the link). There’s also a free helpline and intervention service for people suffering from drug addiction, alcohol addiction and mental health problems at Rehab 4 Addiction.

But above all, don’t stop smiling.