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High Functioning Depression: What This Is And How To Deal With It

When you think of depression, you may think of someone who is lying in bed, sad and crying. They're not able to function normally. It's like their depression is a weight sitting on them making them unable to move. They may not even be able to get up to get dressed, go to work, or hang out with loved ones. Depression creeps into their daily life and routine and takes full control over them.


But what about high-functioning depression? Someone who is high-functioning is able to get all of their daily tasks and to-dos done. You don't usually associate this word with someone who has depression, but that's exactly what it is.


High-functioning depression is one of the various forms of depression. Let's learn more about high-functioning depression, what it is, and how you can deal with it.


What is High-Function Depression?

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects the way that you think, act, and how you can feel. It involves feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Typically with depression, someone will have low energy, be extremely self-critical and negative about their life and life in general, and may even have suicidal tendencies.


This is what separates depression from high-functioning depression. Someone with high-functioning depression may be experiencing all of the signs and symptoms as someone who has depression, but they're still able to function almost completely normally. This form of depression is a lot harder to notice, diagnose, and treat because someone may not be able to pick up on the signs and symptoms.


The Signs

and Symptoms

Someone who has high-functioning depression may appear to be fine since they appear to be functioning normally. Someone with high-function depression actually experiences a lot of the same signs and symptoms as someone who is experiencing any other form of depression. The signs and symptoms just may appear to be less mild or noticeable. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of high-functioning depression:

  • Anger

  • Change in appetite

  • Change in sleeping habits

  • Decrease in productivity

  • Frequent crying

  • Irritability

  • Lack of concentration

  • Less social or involved

  • Low energy levels

  • Self-critical

  • Statements of feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or regretful of past actions

The Causes

Just like the signs and symptoms of depression, the causes are very similar between high-functioning depression and any other form of depression. These are the most common causes and factors of high-functioning depression:

  • A past or former trauma

  • Brain imbalances

  • Chronic pain

  • Family history of depression

  • Financial issues

  • High-stress levels

  • Medical illness

  • Relationship problems

  • Substance use or abuse

  • Unsafe living environment

How to Deal with It

Depression isn't something that should be taken lightly. No matter what form of depression you or a loved one is struggling with, you should reach out for help as soon as you can. Signs and symptoms can worsen over time, especially if left untreated. The top way to deal with depression is by working with a licensed and trained therapist.


Luckily, there are things that you can incorporate on your end to help reduce some of those signs and symptoms and get back on the right track again.

  • Set daily goals

  • Eat between three to five meals a day

  • Move your body

  • Create and stick to a sleep schedule and routine

  • Lean on family and friends for support

  • Limit the use of drugs or alcohol

Next Steps

Don't delay in getting the help you need and deserve. A therapist will be able to work with you to help you get to the root cause of your depression and help you come up with ways to better manage the signs and symptoms you're experiencing. We're here for you when you're ready. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for depression therapy.

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