High-Functioning Depression: The Silent Sufferer

Are you the gloomy friend? The cynical one, who never seems to see the positive side of things? Or maybe you find yourself feeling low all the time, but just chalk it up to another stressful week. You’re tired and feeling socially withdrawn–that’s just “how I am” you think. Or…maybe it’s something else entirely.

If you’ve ever felt like this, or seen a loved one with similar symptoms, you or your loved one may suffer from more than just “bad days” or a cranky disposition. You may be struggling with high-functioning depression. 

What is High-Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression is a condition in which an individual experiences symptoms of depression, is able to maintain a high level of functioning in their daily life, and appears to be living a “normal life.” Often this type of depression is overlooked, especially by the person suffering it. For example, you may think that because you’re successful at work, have friends and family in your life, and generally “keep it together” you can’t possibly be struggling with a mental health condition.

One of the challenges of high-functioning depression is that it can often go unnoticed or unrecognized, both by the person experiencing it and by others around them.

Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression

Generally, high-function depression means that you often feel down, but may be able to otherwise function throughout life. So many people from so many different walks of life may suffer from high-functioning depression; a stay-at-home mom, a successful business owner, the straight-A student, or your best friend. The symptoms are often “silent” and not easily observed by even those closest to you.

High-functioning depression can manifest itself in many different ways. You may:

  • Feel unworthy and generally look down on yourself
  • Have difficulty concentrating, whether at work, school, or during a conversation
  • Struggle to go to social outings and find that you’d rather withdraw from everyone
  • Lose interest in activities or hobbies that you otherwise would enjoy
  • Feel tired or have low energy all the time
  • Feel guilty for no apparent reason
  • Lose your appetite or not be able to satiate yourself
  • Find yourself tempted to rely on substances like drugs or alcohol to feel happy 

What to Do if You Suspect You Have High-Functioning Depression

If after reading this blog you find yourself thinking “Wow, maybe I have high-functioning depression,” first know that there can be better days. You may not feel as if you need or maybe deserve help but you should know that regardless of whether your depression is labeled as “severe” or not, any sort of depression diminishes your quality of life. You shouldn’t have to live a life that’s lacking. High-functioning depression is treatable with therapy, especially with CBT, a type of therapy that I specialize in here in Parkland, FL. If you’d like to read more about how I treat depression, you can do so here. It may be hard to recognize the signs of high-functioning depression, but it is important that you recognize that it’s time for you to thrive again.

Dr. Lindsay Howard, Parkland, FL

Dr. Lindsay Howard, Psychologist, Psy.D.

Hi! My name is Lindsay Howard, and I specialize in CBT therapy for depression and anxiety. I serve the community of Parkland, FL, and all residents of Florida. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you, feel free to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me.

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