Could I be faking depression?

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    So, just to give you a context, I’m a 17 year old girl, currently in high school.

    When I was 15, I started having panic attacks (later I discorvered that I had panic disorder). It sucked, but hey, I didn’t give it much attention that year. The next year was terrible for me. I had been a pretty happy person (like, maybe, too happy), always laughing, but… I felt like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be happy. I remembered having some happy moments, but not having a happy general life. When I told my parents that I would like to see a psychiatrist, they didn’t listen, like I was exaggerating. I felt like I was faking it. I thought, I do have fun sometimes, am I faking it?

    So, then, it only got worse. I went to school, but I didn’t want to. I missed school many, many, many times. I didn’t feel like studying (and I used to love studying, a lot) and I felt so sensitive to everything. I would feel guilty for anything. I felt like I was just lazy. So I started self-harming, usually like a punishment. When I would told that I self-harmed for a friend, I felt even more guilty, like I just wanted attention, when, in fact, I just wanted help.

    One day, I felt so guilty about everything and for the suffering I was bringing to my parents that I had insane suicidal thoughts, non-stop ideas, like I was in a trance. I tried to strangle myself, but when I started being breathless, my mother found me in the bathroom. It was a really though day for me and my family. This day, I thought that I probably wouldn’t have the total guts to strangle myself to death, so I felt like it was a lie, like I was just faking it and making my family sad.

    I started seeing a doctor, I changed schools, which made a huge impact in my life, I started taking the right medicine, and, right now, I’m really happy to say that I am, again, the person that I used to be and that I enjoy my life.

    Even now, is kinda hard for me to understand that I wasn’t faking it. Sometimes we feel so guilty that we think we are just faking feelings, but, it’s a disease. When we have a cold, we can’t help but feeling tired and sick. It’s the same thing with depression, we can’t help but feel like that. Of course, that are many people who think it’s “trendy” to have a mental disorder, but, trust me, it’s a really lonely and so sad place. If you think you have anything, please go see a doctor or a psychologist.

    Thanks for reading 🙂

    I see what’s happening to you.Believe me I do.I am not an expert or heavily educated in the subject matter. Whatever I am giving here is from my own experience of travelling through the same road you’re about to join.

    It happens when you make yourself aware that you (might) have a mental illness then the exaggeration and comparison comes in where you (and in general most people) are programmed to think that a certain problem should have defined symptoms. Like, if someone’s leg was amputated they’re not supposed to have a leg.It’s axiomatic right But, that’s not the case with depression as it manifests in different ways for different personalities and mindsets. There is no defined pattern for this thing.You make up your mind that the predefined result should be visible at some point of time with you.If they are not then you come to the conclusion that maybe you don’t have the illness

    You are programmed to think that people with depression are supposed to be always gloomy and sad and never laugh or have a good time if they are depressed.

    How the “questioning yourself” part works

    • If something positive happens-

    See you are not depressed cause if you are in this particular situation at this moment you are not supposed to be feeling good or be capable of doing stuff and function normally.So, you don’t have depression cause others have it worse.Where they are effected more seriously.

    So, you are faking it.

    • If something negative happens-

    See as you’ve accepted that you have depression or thinking that you might have depression .You just agreed upon that. You gave up and not even ready to fight or try to do things. So, you’re just using depression as an instant gratification excuse to justify your inability to do stuff and get things done. These are just your laziness and procrastinating (or any of the basic traits) innate qualities that are working here.

    So, you are faking it.

    You question it the same way a person who doesn’t understand what a mental illness is does..

    Why don’t you just snap out of it? You’re capable of functioning normally at times.So, just do it all the time and simply get over it.

    Why the struggle?

    Depression is just like any other illness. There are different types and different levels of severity. May be you’re just having episodes of depression or mild depression or seasonal depression and not dysthymia. But, you are comparing yourself with the symptoms of the people with major depression where the case is severe. They don’t match and you are not ready to accept that you have mental illness when it’s not showing all the symptoms

    I am loosely quoting the statement that I read somewhere.

    The fact that you even question it unfortunately solidifies the fact that it’s real. People who fake it never ask themselves are they faking it, because they want to put on a show for everyone or themselves. If you think you’re faking it, it means you’re most probably not, because self criticism and uncertainty can be side effects of the very depression/suicidal thoughts themselves.

    Final Word-

    No one on the internet can give you the real sense of openness ,clarity and a valid diagnosis that a licensed psychologist can provide.

    I don’t know if you have or haven’t consulted one yet.

    If not, please go consult a doctor. Forget everything I told here and just do that right away before you give this issue any more thought.

    If you already have, don’t ever hesitate to express all these inner feelings and questions. Don’t hold back these emotions just cause you are afraid that may be the doctor would see you as a fake or not understand your predicament. This questioning debate of back and forth is never going to give you a solution.The mental energy you waste on this is going to take a serious toll on your already existing situation.You’ll be always stuck deep down in the dark well to the point where no one seems to understand you and giving up seems like the only valid solution.

    Just so you know.

    If at any point of time. You need to talk to someone or just share your feelings. Feel free to contact me. Just remember that there is someone who gets you.

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    Almost any negative mental health symptom is fairly easy to fake, as are the positive symptoms. Strangely the mental health community calls things like mania, hallucinations and so on “positive”. It isn’t to say that they are somehow desireable.

    I’ve met some pretty effective actors and am relatively sure they could fool a fair number of mental health professionals but not all. It would take extreme inside knowledge of what it feels like to be depressed, and the ability to adapt that symptom set and not repeat the same thing. Treatment resistant depression does a number of things that are hard to repeat, and convincing a treatment provider that you’re sick when you don’t respond or properly engage in treatment is a lost cause.

    What is curious is why anyone would want to. There are easier mental disabilities to fake for the money. It’s excruciatingly hard to get social security with depression, recovery is purposefully easier.

    I don’t know why someone would want to go to treatment for an illness they don’t have. They’d be lying about a number of things so the intimacy and rewarding nature of treatment wouldn’t be a thing for them. The drugs all have side effects that are only worth it if they relieve symptoms. In a healthy person they would likely do some pretty unfortunate things.

    Further if the initial drug set fails they go back to older and older treatments. First they run through SSRIs, then tri cyclics, they might try mixing medications, anti convulsants are sometimes added. If all of these fail they look into lithium, which is a very dangerous drug. Weekly blood tests come with that. After that fails to cure your depression you get the worst two options of all; ECT(Electro Convulsive Therapy) and/or MAOIs.

    MAOIs are really rough. While on them the depressed person cannot have anything fermented or aged. This includes a large amount of dairy, chocolate, nuts, wine, beer, other alcohols, coffee, etc.

    Does any of this sound like fun? Does it seem fun spending a large portion of your income ($5000-$20,000) yearly on treatment? There are better and more entertaining ways to spend that much money if you aren’t sick. Is it fun having to schedule your life around doctor and therapy appointments?

    I don’t get it. I do what I do because it is what it takes to function. If I could function without all the drugs and therapy I’d jump at the chance.

    Faking depression seems like willingly selling oneself to a human trafficker. The willingness to do so should qualify one as mentally ill. Such a person is either unaware of how unpleasant life is for those dealing with depression, or a masochist.

    When I first got depressed I went through this weird logic where I basically didn’t believe in depression. I thought that if I didn’t want to be depressed, I wouldn’t be depressed. I could just pull myself out of it, like everyone says. After all, I had done that before.

    So here I was, depressed, and I didn’t believe in my own feelings. I thought I could pull myself out of it if I wanted to, and the fact that I was still depressed meant that I didn’t want to pull myself out of it. Since I didn’t believe depression was involuntary, it must be voluntary, but it wasn’t really real, since it couldn’t be voluntary, so therefore I must be faking it.

    Ok, to most normal people, that line of logic sounds completely nonsensical, but I’ll bet it actually makes sense to you. Depression isn’t real, right? So you must be faking it?

    The only problem is that depression actually isn’t something I could control. I really was depressed. I wasn’t faking it. I just bought into the whole myth about depression, and so I couldn’t be that person — the depressed person. I had to be faking it.

    Well, I wasn’t. It really was not something I could control. I understand that now, but I didn’t understand that then. My psychiatrist and my wife were saying it was ok. I was depressed. It wasn’t my fault, and I simply couldn’t understand that or believe that. In my mind, depression wasn’t real, so I had to be faking it.

    Now, I see that as a form of self-hatred. I couldn’t allow myself to feel what I was feeling. I didn’t deserve to be depressed. I had a good life. I was a bad person. I brought everything on myself and I was just trying to get sympathy by pretending to be depressed. I didn’t deserve anyone’s sympathy, especially my wife’s, because of all the things I had done to her that she didn’t know about — yet. So in reality, I felt, I was a bad person pretending to be a good one, and to cover it over, I was faking depression.

    I couldn’t see that all the contradictions in my life were untenable, and were making me twist my mind inside out with guilt, self-loathing, and pain, and I was denying every single bit of it. I was in complete denial about all my feelings, and that was what caused me to be in this bind, and it made everything worse, which was a real feeling. I thought I had no right to feel bad.

    So I don’t believe it is possible to fake depression. I think the idea that I was faking depression was a form of denial about my life and my feelings. I came up with the idea of faking depression as a last gasp way of denying reality. In reality, I was in pain, but by denying the pain, I just made it worse.

    I don’t know if this makes any sense, and I don’t know for sure this is what you’re going through. But it was something really weird I did. I think of depression as a kind of “Though the Looking Glass” event: where Alice (in Wonderland) discovered that if you walked away from things they got closer but if you walked towards them they got further away. Depression is real but it seems fake, and feeling like a fake is part of what makes it worse. It’s a kind of logic that I don’t think anyone can understand if you haven’t lived it, because it sounds so ridiculous and illogical. But, well, what can I say? If I hadn’t lived through it, it wouldn’t make any sense, but I did live it, and that’s the best I can come up with.

    They don’t call it “craziness” for nothing.

    I used to ask myself this question a lot. Yes, I genuinely felt miserable a lot of the time, but sometimes I felt OK. I rarely felt like I couldn’t do stuff, but somehow I would just… not do it.

    I would wonder if there was some sneaky part of me, hiding somewhere deep down in my mind, that was choosing to be that way. Like I had deliberately chosen to avoid doing chores and homework and all that stuff, and then chosen to lie to myself and pretend I didn’t really have a choice. I wondered maybe it was because I really was just lazy and didn’t want to admit it to myself.

    Is that anything like what you feel? Does that sound at all like the thoughts that run through your head when you wonder if you’re somehow faking depression, even though you aren’t consciously deciding to fake it?

    Well, maybe your thoughts are like mine and maybe they aren’t. People are really different in lots of ways. So maybe this won’t help you, but maybe it will.

    In order for you to be faking depression without intentionally choosing to do so, some part of your subconscious mind would have to be influencing you, convincing you to feel miserable and to stay in bed and all that stuff.

    But, you know what?

    That’s exactly what depression is.

    Now, if you’re anything like I was, your brain probably just made a million excuses in three seconds, for why that isn’t true and you don’t really have depression and maybe you are consciously faking because there was that one time…

    But even if I’m wrong about everything I’ve said so far, here’s one thing I’m pretty sure I’m right about: you aren’t enjoying your life a lot of the time.

    That’s reason enough to get help. You don’t actually have to know whether you have depression. If you are faking it, there must be something going on in your life that motivates you to fake depression. A counselor can help you discover what that might be. If you have some completely different illness, a counselor can help you discover what that might be. If you have no illness at all, but something entirely different is happening, a counselor can help you discover what that might be.

    Seriously, go talk to a counselor, a clinical psychologist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker… whoever is available. Tell them what’s going on in your life. Heck, tell them why you think you might be faking depression. I can only guess what’s going on with you. Somebody like that can actually help.

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    Probably not!

    The common analogy of depression like swimming is a good one (but rather depressing). If you are feeling great you swim like a champ, if you are feeling okay you can swim fairly well, if you are feeling sad you struggle and if you are feeling really sad you need someone to pull you out of the water.

    So what is probably happening is that during some days of the week you somehow manage to do things that keep your mood fairly good (figure out what that is!!!). And during some days you aren’t and thus you feel more depressed during those days (staying indoors, social media, meaningless work and procrastinations are example of things that hurt your mood) .

    The human body isn’t a magical place where all we can do is hope to guess what is happening. We now know that all humans has to follow the laws of physics and the laws of biology and it is logical to assume that you are depressed some days because the way you interact with your surroundings is bringing you down.

    The shitty thing with depression is that knowing really isn’t half the battle. It’s probably only 25 percent. Doing things that you really really don’t feel like doing but are good for you is the big challenge.

    Good mental health is a habit and it is much easier once we are feeling okay, but sadly there aren’t any real shortcuts.

    Figure out what behaviours make you feel good and what behaviours make you feel awful. Incorporate the good ones into a routine of your life so they can be as natural to you as brushing your teeth.

    That will help you not get depressed in the future.

    If you want to learn more about how to cope with depression you can sign up for online cognitive behavioural therapy for depression at

    Good luck!

    It sounds like you are indeed suffering from depression, but you are able to pull it all together when you know there is something you have to do and to keep taking care of responsibilities. It bothers me that you state that you have suicide ideations….please consult a licensed psychiatrist/psychologist so that you not go this alone as if you are having those type of feelings you need to be able to talk to someone and for them to correctly diagnose your condition and be able to decide what is the best therapy for you and if medication may also be in order. Anti-depressants can greatly help someone suffering with depression if it is truly warranted. It may be that your serotonin levels fluncuate and medication could help keep the levels consistent all the time. You are a wonderful person with a lot to contribute to the world, so please if you are having any type of suicide ideations please consult a doctor right away who can best diagnose your condition and take the appropriate measures to bring everything under control. I hope this helps!! Please do this today!!

    Sure, you could be. But why would you want to?

    If you think you may be depressed visit your primary care professional who can administer a simple painless questionnaire, which, if you answer truthfully, will help both of you discover if you are indeed depressed and require treatment.

    I understand though. I used to wonder if I was just a selfish, extremely moody bitch, who always wanted my own way before I was diagnosed. That’s the tricky part about mental illness, there is that piece that seems so like typical misbehavior, it’s hard to determine who has a real illness and who is just acting like a jerk.

    Visit your primary care doc as soon as possible. At the very least it will alleviate your concerns.

    Good luck.


    I have been wondering this myself too for like quite some time and still haven’t figured it out. It could be, if you’re a teenager, your hormones and stuff but I personally don’t think that is it for me, especially because it gets so bad that it is not normal compared to my friends. I also thought it could be something like a mood disorder where you also have really really happy days and really bad days but I don’t have these really good days in an extreme way, I just feel fine. I am going to a phycologist soon and maybe I will get an answer and help if needed. This is always a good way to get answers to your questions and I think you should definitely try to see one.

    Depends what kind of depression you are talking about. Short, acute depression brought on by a life event such as a heartache or loss of someone yes, it’s deep sadness where you can’t eat or enjoy anything or want to do anything. But real depression, this goes on for a very long time without any breaks. You feel it every waking moment and nothing makes it better and it only gets deeper and worse unless you get help. That is hard to fake. It is hard to fake not being interested in anything. It is hard to fake isolation and not wanting to leave your home or see anyone.


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    Probably not. If you are feeling down all the time it likely that what you are feeling is real. My advice is go see a doctor. They will be able to tell you if you are depressed or recommend you to someone else. If you thought you might have broken your leg you’d go for an x-ray right? So if you think you might be depressed go see someone. It can help a lot.

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