Depression is an invisible mental health issue that is slowly getting some awareness. In the Mesopotamian culture, it was considered demonic possession. However, the scenario is somewhat a bit changed nowadays.
But the thing is, most people won’t realise the symptoms or pain of a depressed person. No one will understand what is happening in the affected person’s mind until he or she is affected personally. That is why they will probably see your depressive symptoms as drama. Therefore, it is quite possible that they make you believe that you are so dramatic.
In this invisible mental health issue named depression, you have to recognise the symptoms correctly. When you ask, “Am I Depressed or Dramatic?” we must say there is a huge difference between being dramatic and depressed. Once you know the characteristics of these two terms, you will understand the whole situation. So, without any further delay, let’s just get into the topic.
Am I depressed or Dramatic?
As mentioned above, there are huge differences between being dramatic and depressed. Certain depression symptoms can be considered dramatic in the eyes of family members, friends, and other surrounding people.
But that does not necessarily mean that you are dramatic. The reason is that all the people around you might not understand the symptoms. We have already said that until a person gets affected by this mental illness, won’t realise how painful the depression can be.
Therefore, when you want to control your emotions but fail, the people will possibly get on the wrong side. They will make you believe what they believe. As said, they will not understand that you need some mental support. If anyone understands, that will be a blessing. But that is not the scenario in all cases. In most cases, your depressive symptoms can be pretended as dramatic.
So, you have to identify the symptoms on your own. You can take mental health support from mental health professionals. Also, you can identify whether you are dramatic or depressed on your own.
For that, you have to know the characteristics of both. It is always recommended that you don’t act on what people say. It is always best to take help from family members, friends, and professionals. Family and friends know you the best. Even in some scenarios, they can feel the same as other people. In that case, you have to have believed in yourself.
What Does Being Dramatic Mean?
First of all, let us define what it means to be dramatic. Being dramatic means showing some characters as we see in plays or in movies in general. That means when we don’t expect any particular expression or emotion in real life, but we discover the character in someone, we call that person dramatic. In this sense, you can relate to a lot of people surrounding you with being dramatic.
Now that you know what being dramatic means, let’s get into its sub-sections. Subsections mean melodramatic and overdramatic. There can be a basic comparison of melodramatic vs overdramatic. A melodramatic person is the one who finds fault in every little thing, and therefore, creates a scene on that.
On the other hand, an overly dramatic person is the one who expresses every situation with an expression that is more than necessary. The difference between the two is very lean in characteristics, But the definitive meaning has a huge difference.
What is Depression?
Severe depression refers to a mental illness when a prolonged depressed mood and other symptoms affect thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and the entire body. It can happen because of any reason from poor academic performance to losing friends, or any other reason. There can be many social factors that may affect specific behaviors of a person. Losing friends or other social factors need to be recognized.
While talking about depression in general, many problems can be understood by this word. The word “depression” refers to both a sensitive state and a mental disorder. It can be referred to as malaise that passes fairly quickly, i.e., blocking, exhaustion, deterrence, and emotional state of dejection that happen in our normal life.
Sometimes depressive state means a depressive mood that can exist between a few days to months. Passing, caused by frustration, such as bad moods, is not a mental health disorder. Experiencing them does not necessarily mean any illness and, in most cases, do not even need any medical treatment.
The difference between being dramatic and severe depression is huge. In the case of dramatic character, there is generally an object with a cause. The dramatic person shows overexpression on a little cause with the object. But in the case of depression, however, it is rare to be able to classify one particular cause.
Depression is defined as a mental health disorder in case of prolonged depressive mood and other symptoms that affect thoughts, feelings, performance and the full body.
Causes behind depression that require treatment can vary. Usually, depression is a combination of biological, social, and psychological factors. Rarely, any specific reason leads to mental illness like depression.
Inheritance, early developmental conditions, poor academic performance and features of a person’s life determine his or her vulnerability to depression. Finding out the cause behind depression is the first step to limit tension.
Finding out the symptoms and recognizing them is the second step to limit tension about this persistent sadness. The symptoms of major depression can be described as below. Based on the severity of the symptoms, depression can be classified as mild, modest and severe.
It includes normal moodiness, difficulty concentrating, sadness, trouble sleeping, tiredness, rapid mood swings and touchiness. The future scenes seem miserable and meaningless. There may be a significant increase in tearfulness.
All the things that are used to convey good spirits are no longer nourishing or interesting. Happiness has vanished from life.
Mental illness creates a loss of creativity, inertia and feeling tired; there doesn’t seem to be enough energy to do small things.
Thoughts of one’s weakness and insignificance are characteristic, and belief in one’s success is very rare.
The affected person feels guilty and thinks that he deserves punishment. The feeling of guilt often arises concerning problems that the person himself or herself cannot affect or in which the person has not made mistakes.
The affected person may have negative feelings of suicide, wishes for his or her death, or suicidal threats. Substance abuse is significantly shown in this scenario. The affected person should talk openly about this situation with the family members and other close ones.
The person faces difficulty concentrating or performing even on works that formerly seemed very easy.
Symptoms of depression can vary quite a bit from person to person. Sometimes the principal symptoms of a depressive state may be a variety of physical pain and malaise, in which cases it may be hard to classify depression itself. The depressed sufferer also has a lot of difficulties describing how he or she feels too important ones or medics, or he or she may talk about, for example, associations with people, sleep problems, or concerns about assets or health instead of depression.
Now coming to the part where we relate depression with being dramatic. Till now, we have tried to show that being dramatic does not necessarily mean you are depressed or vice versa. But in one scenario, a depressed person can show dramatic behaviour. Depression and being dramatic can be called a disorder in combined mode. The disorder is called histrionic disorder.
A histrionic personality disorder is characterised by theatrical, affected, and at the same time egocentric behaviour. Sufferers tend to show strong, exaggerated feelings and have a strong need for attention, recognition and praise.
They present their feelings theatrically and can quickly switch back and forth between different feelings. To others, this behaviour often appears superficial. Furthermore, they have a low frustration tolerance, so that even small occasions often lead to a strong outburst of feelings.
People with a histrionic personality style, similar to a histrionic personality disorder but less pronounced, tend to be particularly expressive. They are often amiable and are guided more by their intuition than by analytical, goal-oriented thinking. Such people are easily influenced by others or by external circumstances and have a good sense of atmosphere. Often, they also tend to be volatile. They often work in professions where self-expression plays a role, for example, as actors.
What are the typical symptoms of histrionic personality disorder?
In severe cases, those affected show a profound pattern of excessive emotionality or a constant striving for attention. The disorder begins in early adulthood, and the behaviour manifests in a wide variety of life situations. At least five of the following criteria must be met:
- Affected individuals are uncomfortable in situations where they are not the centre of attention.
- In contact with others, they often behave in an inappropriately sexually seductive or provocative manner.
- They display rapidly changing superficial emotional expressions and rapid mood swings. Also, they want emotional support from the surrounding people.
- They regularly use their appearance to attract the attention of family members, friends, and others.
- They have an exaggerated impression-seeking, low-detail style of speech.
- Their behaviour is characterised by dramatising their person, being theatrical, and exaggerating their feelings.
- The sufferers are suggestible, that is, easily influenced by other people or circumstances.
- They perceive interpersonal relationships as closer than they actually are.
- They also face trouble sleeping because of their condition.
This disorder is also thought to be caused by an interaction of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
From a psychoanalytic point of view, the relationship with the parents was disturbed in childhood.
According to this, the parents behaved coldly and controllingly, and the affected person did not feel loved and was constantly afraid of being abandoned. As a result, they have developed a pronounced self-esteem problem. They now behave overly emotionally or deliberately create crises because this is their only way to get attention or support. Substance abuse sometimes plays an important role in developing the problem.
From a cognitive behavioural therapy perspective, the overly emotional behaviour and constant preoccupation with self could result in less room for objective factual knowledge or accurate memories.
This could explain the vague, less detailed way of thinking and speaking and the strong impressionability. In addition, sufferers are likely to have unfavourable beliefs, for example, that they are incapable of caring for themselves. As a result, they feel they constantly need others to meet their needs.
Treatment of histrionic personality disorder: Psychotherapeutic approaches
Compared to other personality disorders, those affected often come to therapy of their own accord. However, they usually seek help for other problems, especially depression, psychosomatic complaints, or dissociative symptoms (in which someone experiences themselves or their surroundings as unreal).
Important goals in therapy are for patients to develop a more stable self-image, gain more self-control and self-confidence, and establish more stable interpersonal relationships. In addition, they should learn to reduce their emotional volatility, also to endure being alone and bored, and think about long-term goals in life.
A histrionic personality disorder is often difficult to treat because sufferers often do not see their behaviour as problematic and can be slow to change it. Other difficulties in therapy are that patients often have excessive demands, dramatise their problems, tend to have unmediated emotional outbursts, or only initiate superficial changes – for example, to please the therapist.
It is therefore important to gently make them aware of the psychological background of their manifold problems. The therapist should establish clear rules and set limits because of manipulative behaviour (for example, dramatising one’s own problems to achieve a certain purpose). A structured approach that gives patients orientation is also considered useful.
It is also problematic that a dilemma can easily arise in therapy. If the therapist gives a lot of help or takes decisions away from the patient, he indirectly promotes the need for constant attention and support.
On the other hand, if he or she is reluctant to provide assistance, this can lead to the therapy being discontinued. Therefore, it is important to find a middle ground in therapy in which both the need for support and attachment and the need for self-control and autonomy is supported.
It is usually assumed that longer-term therapy is necessary. In this process, the therapist should behave in a supportive and appreciative manner and give the patient a sense of security. In this way, he provides him with a positive model for interpersonal relationships. This can help reduce the tendency to overemotional behaviour.
Over time, the therapist should gently educate the patient about his disorder. In addition, work toward challenging the constant craving for attention and for satisfying needs immediately. Patients should learn to distinguish between real needs that can be met and those that cannot be met socially and develop behaviour that is more in line with reality.
Longer-term therapy is also considered useful in cognitive behavioural therapy. In therapy, patients should gradually become aware of their tendency to satisfy their needs only through others. Subsequently, they can learn to fulfil themselves and to reduce their needs toward others to a level that can be fulfilled.
An important aspect of therapy exercises is the perception of feelings. In this process, patients gradually learn to distinguish their “real” feelings from those they are merely enacting. In addition, unfavourable beliefs can be worked out, questioned and gradually changed – for example, the belief that one is helpless and always dependent on others. To change difficulties in interpersonal relationships, concrete situations can be practised in role plays. Patients can also practise problem-solving strategies that enable them to assess problems more realistically and systematically search for solutions.
To create more structure in patients’ lives and strengthen their independence and self-control, self-observation tasks and homework assignments are often used in which they are asked to take on tasks independently. In addition, sufferers can practice doing something on their own or completing a task they have started on their own, thus reducing their emotional volatility.
To ensure that the changes are maintained in the long term, therapy should be continued for some time after the symptomatology has improved significantly and patients have achieved greater self-confidence. In this phase of therapy, they can be encouraged to reflect on the meaning and most important content of their lives and on future goals.
In group therapy, patients receive feedback from other group members. This can help them to recognise their behavioural problems better and thus gradually change them.
Psychotropic drugs are not usually considered useful in treating histrionic personality disorders. They are usually only used if another mental disorder is also present, such as depression or an anxiety disorder.
We have already mentioned that it is quite common to have suicidal feelings when you are depressed. So, when you are diagnosed with depression, feeling suicidal is not just dramatic. It is something that indicates major depression. In this case, mental health support from mental health professionals is recommended. Also, stay away from any kind of substance abuse.
Actually, there is nothing particular to say. If the teenage girl is someone related to you, make her believe that you are by her side. Giver her the emotional support she needs. Be aware of the fact that depressed persons often get vulnerable to substance abuse. Tell her to take medical advice from professionals. Do not take the condition on your own. All you have to do is to support her.
For your question, “am I depressed or dramatic?” Now you know that being dramatic and depressed is a bit different in most cases. But there is a connection between the two in some cases. Sometimes, with the symptoms of your mental disorders, you may feel like you are so dramatic.
But do not ignore the symptoms. It can lead to major depression at any time. If you are confused, seek treatment from mental support care or a mental health professional. Also, this article is for getting a general idea of the issue. For a severe form of depression, talk openly with your close ones and take help from the professionals.