What is High Functioning Depression?

What is High Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression, also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a form of clinical depression that is characterized by its low intensity and long duration. It is often referred to as hidden depression because individuals who suffer from it can maintain their daily routine and appear “normal” to those around them.

While most forms of depression have periods of remission, high-functioning depression can persist for years, making it a chronic condition. It is estimated that around 3% of the population suffers from this type of depression.

How is High Functioning Depression Diagnosed?

Diagnosing high-functioning depression can be challenging as its symptoms may not be as obvious or severe compared to other forms of depression. To receive a diagnosis, individuals must exhibit at least two of the following symptoms for two years:

  • Constant feelings of hopelessness and sadness
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities

In addition to these symptoms, individuals must also not have experienced major depression or manic episodes during these two years.

What are the Symptoms of High Functioning Depression?

The symptoms of high-functioning depression can vary from person to person, but some common ones include the following:

  • Feeling persistently sad or empty
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Changes in appetite and weight (either loss or gain)
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Unlike other forms of depression, individuals with high-functioning depression may not exhibit obvious signs of distress. They may appear to function well in their daily lives, holding down a job, maintaining relationships, and even participating in social activities. However, they may be struggling internally with feelings of emptiness and hopelessness.

What Causes High-Functioning Depression?

The exact cause of high-functioning depression is not fully understood. However, experts believe that a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors may play a role in its development.

Some risk factors for developing high-functioning depression include:

What Does it Feel Like to Live With High Functioning Depression?

Living with high-functioning depression can be a daily struggle. Individuals may feel like they are constantly fighting an invisible battle within themselves, trying to maintain a facade of normalcy while dealing with intense emotions and thoughts.

It can feel exhausting to put on a happy face for others while feeling empty and hopeless. This constant effort to hide their true feelings can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

What are the Signs of an Episode of Major Depression?

An episode of major depression is characterized by a more severe and intense manifestation of depressive symptoms. These episodes can occur in individuals with high-functioning depression, making the diagnosis and management of their condition even more complex.

Some signs to look out for during an episode of major depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in all activities
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions

Individuals with high-functioning depression need to seek professional help if they experience an episode of major depression. Proper treatment can prevent future episodes and improve their overall well-being.

How is High Functioning Depression Treated?

Because high-functioning depression can be difficult to detect, it often goes untreated. However, just like any other form of depression, treatment is available and effective.

Some common treatment options for high-functioning depression include:

  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy) such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy
  • Medication, such as antidepressants
  • Lifestyle changes, including exercise, healthy diet, and stress management techniques

It is important to seek professional help if you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from high-functioning depression. With the right treatment and support, individuals can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Coping With High Functioning Depression

high functioning depression treatment

Coping with high-functioning depression can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Some strategies that may help include:

  • Talking to a therapist or counselor about your feelings and struggles
  • Finding a support group with others who also have high-functioning depression
  • Engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies
  • Educating yourself and loved ones on the condition to increase understanding and support
  • Being open and honest about your struggles with trusted friends and family members

Remember, high-functioning depression is a real and valid condition. Seeking help and support is not a sign of weakness, but rather a brave step towards managing your mental health. With the right treatment and coping mechanisms, individuals can find ways to live fulfilling lives despite their condition.  So take the first step and reach out for help today.

Let’s work together to break the stigma surrounding mental health and support those living with high-functioning depression.  Remember, you are not alone in this journey.  There is hope, and there is always someone willing to listen and help.  Keep fighting, and know that brighter days are ahead.

Free by the Sea Can Provide Depression Treatment

high functioning depression

If you or a loved one is struggling with high-functioning depression, know that there is professional help available. At Free by the Sea in Ocean Park, Washington, we provide comprehensive and personalized treatment for individuals seeking to overcome their mental health struggles.

Our experienced team of therapists and counselors can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and challenges. We believe in treating the whole person, not just the symptoms of depression through holistic treatment.

Don’t let high-functioning depression control your life any longer. Contact us today to learn more about our depression treatment programs in Ocean Park, Washington. Together, we can help you on your journey towards healing and recovery.  Remember, there is always hope for a brighter future.  Take that first step towards a happier and healthier you.  You deserve it.

Get in touch with Free by the Sea

(844) 906-2300

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