The concept of clinical depression is common with most people around the world, yet the term “high functioning depression” raises some questions.
How can a person be depressed yet be able to maintain relationships and accomplish daily tasks with ease? It’s important to remember that while depression affects all personalities, it can look very different for each individual. To family and friends, you may seem perfectly fine yet on the inside you feel tired and unhappy with yourself.
Although the stigma surrounding mental health has lessened, damaging stereotypes about the signs and symptoms of depression still exist. It was believed that if your depression isn’t diagnosed as severe, which involves frequent emotional breakdowns and suicidal thoughts, then it’s not a real problem and should be dealt with internally.
This mindset discourages many people from seeking the help they need, which may take a toll on their mental health and worsen their symptoms.
What is High-Functioning Depression?
To put it in simple terms, high functioning depression refers to individuals who meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression but can still manage daily functions.
It can be challenging to recognize someone living with this form of depression as they tend to push through their feelings and appear as perfectionists.
Many people who suffer from high functioning depression are sometimes diagnosed with PDD, which involves long periods of depression with short instances of normal mood in between. However, persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is used to signify people who exhibit feelings of sadness that have been present for two or more years.
Symptoms and Triggers of High Functioning Depression
The symptoms of high functioning depression are typically less severe than those used to diagnose individuals with major depressive disorder.
Since persistent depressive disorder is quite similar to a high functioning disorder, most of the symptoms used to diagnose the mental health issues are the same.
Some the common signs of PDD and high functioning depression include:
- Lack of self-esteem
- Changes in appetite
- Extreme fatigue and feelings of having no energy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
The effects of this type of depression creep in gradually until the person realizes something is wrong. While depression doesn’t necessarily require a trigger, certain situations may prompt a negative mindset, including financial problems, the death of a loved one, or major life changes.
Therapy Treatments for High Functioning Depression
Do you find yourself feeling tired all the time yet working hard to keep up a certain image in front of peers and family?
Just because high functioning depression is viewed as a less severe form of depression doesn’t mean it’s any less significant. It may seem like the only person who can help you battle your mental health condition is yourself, but dealing with depression alone rarely leads to positive outcomes.
Our professional therapists at Waystone can help you identify negative thoughts and habits and build towards learning mindfulness skills and coping strategies.
If you’re experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, do not hesitate to reach out to us today.