What’s your idea of depression? Do you know that there are people who may have high-functioning depression and you don’t even notice it?
Depression comes in many forms. It’s just not people who can’t get our of bed or those who are crying all day. Depression can be that college-educated professional coming to work everyday, or your successful boss who has garnered accolades under her name. It could also be that barista you’re getting your daily coffee fix from, or that mom who seems to have it all together.
There is such a thing as high-functioning depression, and knowing about this can help you spot loved ones who may have it.
What is High-Functioning Depression?
High-functioning depression is clinically termed as dysthymia. It is a mental health disorder which involves depressed mood for days, poor appetite or overeating, disrupted sleep habits such as insomnia or hypersomnia. It also is characterized by poor energy, fatigue, low self-esteem and difficulty concentrating as well as feelings of hopelessness.
While dysthymia may sound like clinical depression, the people who has it may not have the severe levels of impaired functioning that’s why they can still move and even excel in what they do.
Signs of High-Functioning Depression
1. Difficulty being happy. You have a hard time experiencing joy. Evn the things that you used to love doing don’t have so much appeal now. It seems like nothing makes you happy anymore.
2. Relentlessly critical. You’re critical of yourself and the world in general, thinking you’re a failure, your partner is a jerk, and so on. This negative though pattern is just hard to turn off.
3. Constant self-doubt. You feel like you’re not good enough. You keep on thinking that you made the wrong choices. You doubt if you’re in the right career path, chose the right relationship, and so on. These thoughts constantly nag at you day in and day out.
4. Diminished energy. It’s tough getting through each day. It’s like every single day is a matter of survival. Even if you’re able to become productive, the energy it takes for you to do things seem to be humongous.
5. Irritability and aggression. The smallest things can tick you of. You blow up over the simplest things.
6. Feeling overwhelmed. Even the small things can make you overwhelmed. Small tasks seem like a huge deal and not accomplishing what you set out to do can feel like the end of the world.
7. Guilt feelings. It’s hard for you to get over guilt about the mistakes you made in the past. You worry about what you’ve done before even if it’s irrational and has nothing to do with your present situation.
8. Perfectionism. You have unrealistic demands on yourself and on others. You are beating yourself up when you fall short, and you do the same on other people.
9. Inability to rest and slow down. You can’t handle slowness or not having something to do. Even if you come home exhausted, you still find something to do instead of resting. You’re uncomfortable with the idea of just resting or slowing down.
10. Generalized sadness. If you have feelings of sadness, but you can’t pinpoint the reason why, then this could also be another sign of high-functioning depression.
The thing with dysthymia and depression, like all other mental health disorders, is that people who struggle with it may tend to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, usually alcohol, drugs and dysfunctional behavior which can lead to addiction.