What are High Functioning Depression and High Functioning Depression Symptoms?
What does it mean to have high functioning depression? When you hear the term high functioning depression, what comes to mind? Most people imagine an intelligent and ambitious person who can juggle multiple projects at once and perform well in many different environments, all while maintaining an air of confidence and positivity.
This isn’t necessarily wrong—the symptoms of high functioning depression do often present themselves in this way—but this definition misses an important part of the picture: what happens when people with high functioning depression aren’t able to perform their jobs as well as they normally would.
What it is, why you might have it, & how to manage it: Often considered a contradiction in terms, high-functioning depression is a form of depression that doesn’t disrupt or prevent one from maintaining an otherwise normal life. If left untreated, however, high-functioning depression can develop into major depressive disorder (MDD), which is characterized by daily symptoms that prevent individuals from going about their day.
High-functioning depression can manifest in several ways—from feeling incredibly unhappy on a daily basis to developing phobias related to ordinary activities—and there’s no way to tell whether or not someone has high-functioning depression by simply looking at them.
High Functioning Depression Definition
High functioning depression is a condition that tends to occur in people who have many responsibilities, multiple commitments, and who try to accomplish too much. A person with high functioning depression will often appear to others as if they have it all together, however internally there is a sense of unhappiness or even despair which can lead to seeking help for depression.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, lack of interest in life’s joys, plus feelings of worthlessness or guilt then you may be suffering from high functioning depression. Also known as an accomplishment or striving depression, symptoms can go undetected by friends or colleagues because they do not see how hard you work.
Causes of High-Functioning Depression
As with any mental health condition, high-functioning depression can be caused by a number of different factors. Genetics can play a role in determining whether you’re more likely to suffer from depression. If someone in your family has struggled with depression, you’re at an increased risk for developing it yourself. Another factor that plays into how people experience high-functioning depression is gender.
While it used to be thought that men were more likely to experience depressive symptoms, research has shown that women may actually struggle with depression more often than men do. Researchers aren’t sure why there is such a gender discrepancy among those suffering from depression, but studies have been able to determine some potential causes of high-functioning depression in women specifically.
Test for High-Functioning Depression
Everyone has down days. But if you experience several symptoms of depression for most of your day, nearly every day, for more than two weeks, it could be high-functioning depression. According to research conducted by psychologists at Harvard University, eight out of 10 people with depression have never been diagnosed. It’s time to figure out if you might have high-functioning depression.
Treatment for High-Functioning Depression
Treatments for high-functioning depression will vary depending on your symptoms. You may be prescribed antidepressant medication, therapy, or both. Supportive counseling can help you identify any harmful or self-destructive thought patterns. Therapy options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), problem-solving treatment, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), and mindfulness meditation.
For example, CBT can help you change your thinking patterns to reduce negative thoughts. DBT helps you develop skills to manage overwhelming emotions that may cause you to self-harm or engage in suicidal ideation or actions. REBT focuses on changing how you think about situations in order to achieve a more positive perspective.
How to Manage High-Functioning Depression
Tips for High-Functioning People with Depression – As someone who is high-functioning, you might not realize that you have symptoms of depression. Symptoms of high-functioning depression include, but are not limited to: a sense of a void, feelings of hopelessness or emptiness, lack of motivation or an inability to start tasks due to feeling overwhelmed, self-loathing or guilt, isolation from friends and family members…and more.
In addition to these symptoms associated with common forms of depression (major depressive disorder), high-functioning people with depression may also experience difficulty concentrating at work as well as increased tension between family members. Taking action against your high functioning depression can help you regain control over your moods.
Effectively Managing Stress
What is high functioning depression, you ask? It’s a question that plagues individuals diagnosed with clinical depression. While most of us are familiar with depression, less so is high functioning depression.
This particular condition goes by many other names: under stress, masked depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even ADHD. The truth is: you can have one without having another—but they often co-exist as well.
Tips to reduce stress levels without medication
Stress is a fact of life that we all have to deal with. As much as we may try to avoid it, some stressors (like tax season or travel-related delays) seem unavoidable. Still, there’s hope for better dealing with stress.
Here are some easy tips to reduce stress levels without medication: Exercise Sleep Well & Avoid Toxins Make Time for Friends & Family Meditate! Remember that there is no magic bullet when it comes to reducing your stress levels; what works for one person may not work for another—it’s important to pick out a few strategies you think will work best for you and stick with them over time.