Illustration depicting a person wearing a mask, symbolizing high-functioning depression.

In 2023, 29.0% of Americans reported having been diagnosed with depression, and 17.8% reported currently having depression. An average adult can experience depression at any stage of life. Depression can range from mild to severe, and it causes many suicide attempts and civil violations. In the USA,  7 out of every 100 men and 1 in every 100 women with a diagnosis of depression will go on to commit suicide. We can’t ignore this range and depressed persons. 

A major setback for depressed people is the lack of empathy and care. All around the world, people relate depression to certain factors, such as breakups, divorce, financial loss, and medical disease. Some people can’t forget their loved one’s death, and some can’t bear the loss of business. There could be major causes of depression, especially high-functioning depression. Here, we will talk about what is high functioning depression. Its symptoms, treatments, high-performing depression, a real diagnosis, and much more.

What is High Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression is the term that can be used to define a moderate level of depression. It can also relate to persistent depressive disorder (PDD), and people more often mix functioning depression with PDD. High-functioning depression is not a medical term; it has less severe symptoms than the actual depression but stays longer than it. 

High-functioning depression is not easy to recognize, as you may continue to work with your full energy and socialize with your friends. It is a silent killer that can take away your energy gradually. It can also increase the likelihood that people may ignore the symptoms and continuously drain into the ocean of darkness.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of High-Functioning Depression

Although the symptoms of high-functioning depression are not easy to identify, clinical psychologists have prepared multiple pointers to locate the symptoms of high-functioning depression.

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
  2. Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  3. Feeling irritable or anxious
  4. Trouble in focusing, remembering, or making a decision
  5. Thinking about death, self-harm, or suicide.
  6. Low self-esteem
  7. Oversleeping or insomnia
  8. Extreme fatigue
  9. Lost interest in daily activities
  10. Low confidence and poor communication skills

Remember, these symptoms are general, but we can’t predict depression just based on these symptoms. High-functioning symptoms are hidden, and we can’t predict depression easily. It is advised to talk with a psychologist or at least any trusted person who will not judge you.

Diagnosis of High-Functioning Depression

As High functioning depression is not a legal medical term, a doctor can’t easily diagnose this kind of depression. However, Professionals in mental health use various methods, such as full mental health tests, diagnostic interviews, and reviews of how well someone performs in different areas of their life. 

Self-assessment and working with other medical professionals may be needed to get a correct diagnosis for people with high-functioning depression who don’t show clear signs of it.

Mental healthcare can determine whether your symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria of any depressive and other psychiatric disorders listed in the link below

Treatment of High Functioning Depression:

High functioning depression or any other depression can be treated by the same method and in the same place. However, its treatment is possible; a patient must undergo it immediately. 

  1. Therapy: 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other mindfulness techniques can help the patient become aware of their circumstances. Therapy can be a great way of showing vulnerability and expressing concerns with a therapist.

A therapist can examine the patient through interviews, tests, and one-to-one sessions. After collecting the related data from the patient, a therapist can design the treatment procedure. A therapist will consider the patient’s cultural background, family details, and work life. 

  1. Medication:

High-functioning depression can also be treated by medication processes such as antidepressants, which can help you to stay calm. The medical consultant will suggest a medicine that suits your condition. Kindly don’t take it on your own and consult your doctor. Medications can also cause side effects in the patient, i.e., insomnia or low appetite. Make sure to use the medicines 

as your doctor suggests.

  1. Support Groups:

Support groups are groups of people in the rehab process, i.e., with the same conditions. You can share your concerns with them as they are the ones who once had depression in life. Support groups can be a good alternative for those who have no one to share their concerns. You can find many free or paid support groups on social media, with additional benefits like coaching and meetups.

What Happens if High-Functioning Depression Remains Untreated?

A high functioning depression is not a severe type of depression. Although, in the long term, it can have a severe impact on the patient. This type of depression usually does not show any symptoms or mild symptoms from which we can diagnose it.

However, if high-functioning depression remains untreated, it will have a severe impact on the patient’s life. A patient may lose interest in fun activities, meetups, or even going out with friends and family. However, the patient can perform their daily activities normally and have a good time with friends and family. 

High-functioning depression can cause a lot of bad things to happen if it is not handled timely. Even if a person seems normal outside, their symptoms may worsen, leading to a persistently bad mood and less interest in daily activities. Depression that isn’t handled can hurt your health by lowering your immune system and making inflammation worse. 

Staying away from social activities may stress your relationships and make you feel alone. Problems at work can happen, such as less work getting done and having trouble keeping professional relationships. 

There is also a higher chance of abusing drugs as a way to deal with things, which makes things even more difficult. In the worst cases, untreated sadness can make people think about committing suicide. Overall, the untreated condition lowers the quality of life, which shows how important it is to get professional help to handle the condition and ease its symptoms.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the fact that so many people are depressed is a big problem since a big part of the population is affected by it. Due to its subtle nature, high-functioning depression is not always easy to spot. It comes with its own set of problems that can get worse if not handled. As we talk about the signs and diagnosis of high-functioning sadness, it becomes clear how important it is to get professional help. People who are dealing with mental health problems are hurt by the fact that others don’t understand or care about them. It’s very important to recognize and deal with the symptoms of high-functioning depression because if it isn’t treated, it can cause a lot of problems, such as a drop in quality of life, problems at work, strained relationships, and even a higher risk of substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. It is very important to create a supportive atmosphere, raise awareness, and encourage those affected to get help and treatment as soon as possible. This will lead to better mental health and a better future.

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