Every year, millions are affected by depression. People experience symptoms of depression differently, and high-functioning depression, sometimes called dysthymia, often goes undetected. Depression symptoms often inhibit one’s ability to function – to complete basic tasks and self-care, much less to set, follow through, and achieve any goals. There are some individuals who, though driven to press forward, wrestle with symptoms of depression.
High-Functioning Depression – An Internal Struggle
The struggle with a mental health condition is usually internal one. With high-functioning depression, you may hold a job, care for a family, engage in social and community activities, or thrive academically, but the feelings and symptoms of high-functioning depression makes one’s experience of these experiences difficult – sometimes miserable. Though a person may lead a normal life and appear to have everything going right, inside, they are suffering.
Symptoms of high-functioning depression may include:
- Feeling sad or hopeless most of the time
- Crying often with or without reason
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty experiencing joy
- Critical of oneself and others
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Constant self-doubt
- Negative thoughts and beliefs
- Difficulty slowing down to rest
- Small events feel overwhelming
- Changes in appetite and body weight, even when not intended
- Social activities take tremendous effort
- Low energy or tired most of the time
Diagnostically, symptoms of high-functioning depression occur on most days for at least two consecutive years without relief, and the symptoms cause some level of impairment in normal functioning. High-functioning depression is less severe than major depression, but it can have serious consequences if not identified and addressed.
Treatment of High-Functioning Depression
Treatment is available and effective and may include residential or outpatient care. A comprehensive approach to mental health treatment includes evaluation for other mental health issues, substance abuse, trauma, disordered eating patterns, or unhealthy coping mechanisms. Individualized treatment planning is imperative, as each person’s needs and recovery look different. Evidence-based treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy and certain medications, as well as lifestyle changes, exercise, nutrition, and holistic therapies, can help. See a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of high-functioning depression.
If you or a loved one are in need of treatment for depression, please give us a call. We are here to help.