In the professional structure, you thrive. You know and follow the rules. You work hard and are successful.
Yet true intimacy requires vulnerability. The rules, such as they are, are much looser; the roles less defined. And as we’ve already discussed, vulnerability is much more difficult for you. So, being a good giver, you may have attracted really good takers. Or you may have chosen a partner who isn’t comfortable with vulnerability either. Your relationship may be based primarily on what you do rather than who you are for each other, with the emphasis staying on the kids, your careers, and being the perfect-looking couple to others.
If you’ve woven an intricate façade of the perfect-looking life, it can be terrifying to reveal more of who you really “are.” There are multiple mental and emotional hurdles; the perceived stakes can be very high; the strategy can be conscious or largely unconscious; the predicted loss of status or control can be frightening. Yet there are those who decide to risk the revelation of early trauma or childhood struggles, realizing if they do not, the lives that they’d fought so hard to create might end by their own hand.
If you identify with perfectly hidden depression, you can risk. You can learn to accept your vulnerability. You can confront shame.
And you can begin to live more fully and freely, no longer silent in your struggle.
Perfectly Hidden Depression® is a registered trademark. If you’re wondering where you might stand on the spectrum that is PHD, take this questionnaire.