New research shows that when people who are perceived as outgoing or extroverted become depressed, people are more likely to miss these symptoms. Perhaps because the expectation is that they are feeling good most of the time and symptoms of depression are inconsistent with this.

The take-home point is that friends, family and healthcare providers should not presume that people who are typically upbeat and positive in nature are immune to depressive disorders.

I would add here, that women who describe themselves as “always positive” or generally optimistic are often stunned, themselves, and find their symptoms of depression to be impossible to reconcile because it’s “just not like me.”

Depression can affect any personality, any “type” of person, whether they view themselves as someone vulnerable to depression or not.

Reference: Paul R. Duberstein, Yan Ma, Benjamin P. Chapman, Yeates Conwell, Joanne McGriff, James C. Coyne, Nathan Franus, Marnin J. Heisel, Kimberly A. Kaukeinen, Silvia S?rensen, Xin M. Tu, Jeffrey M. Lyness. Detection of depression in older adults by family and friends: distinguishing mood disorder signals from the noise of personality and everyday life. International Psychogeriatrics, 2010; 1

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