- High Functioning Depression – The Complexities, Signs, and the Solution
November 10, 2023
Category : Uncategorized

We all are living under some sort of stress one way or another. Stress and anxiety has become a big part of our lives, rather unwantedly. There are different ways these stresses and anxieties show in different individuals. In some people, it shows as depression, where they are not able to do anything. In another way, they seem to have some sort of hyperactivity. This hyperactivity can be termed as high functioning depression. Surprisingly, now we know that depression has many types. It does not always have to mean that the individual going through it leaves all kinds of work that they have to do or want to do. Depression can also cause one person to become a bit too worked up or “high functioning.”

In this article, we will get into the basics of high functioning depression and see how it can affect an individual, what it feels like, and what could be the possible antidotes.

What is High Functioning Depression?

High functioning depression, as the name suggests, is feeling blue but on fire. You are not able to sit down with the uncomfortable feeling of being depressed, so you mask it with unhealthy coping mechanisms. These involve working a lot, being too social, taking part in too many activities to the point of exhaustion. It is like someone is trying to escape from the reality of the emotion. High functioning depression, it turns out, has debilitating consequences for the individual in the long run.

On the other hand, Productivity is appreciated when it is in balance. However, when there is too much productivity that it imbalances your wellbeing, it becomes toxic. This is something that people with high functioning depression need to understand.

Furthermore, high functioning mental illness is sadly not easy to recognize. You might see a person who is confident, productive, cheery, and even social that is hiding behind the mask. You may think they make an ideal personality but that is not the case here. High functioning depression can mitigate the happiness of the person that they are trying to show to others. It is not the full picture that you can see. So, unless you are really close to them, you cannot observe this variation in their behavior.

High Functioning Anxiety

Similar to high functioning depression, high functioning anxiety targets masking the mental illness of a person. A person may have anxiety speaking in public but they may come off as highly confident individuals. They may speak too loud or too friendly. There are some subtle signs to know if a person dealing with high functioning anxiety or depression is in their defense mode. Let’s see those signs.

Signs of High Functioning Depression

signs of Functional Depression

As discussed above, it is quite hard to spot a person dealing with high functioning depression. So, it is important to understand the various ways through which they can mask their feelings and emotions. Here are some signs of high functioning depression:

More in Their Plate: A person with high functioning depression may take extra work upon them or have the urge to please a crowd around them. This is a massive hint that the person might have something to hide.

Chronic Sadness: Living with high-functioning depression entails a persistent sense of gloom or emptiness, even while managing daily tasks with apparent ease.

Masters of Deception: Those with this condition are skilled at concealing their emotions. They may project a facade of happiness or appear seemingly unaffected in social settings, making it difficult for loved ones to detect their internal struggles.

Driven to Succeed: Interestingly, many individuals with high-functioning depression excel in their careers, academics, or personal pursuits. Their exceptional accomplishments can serve as a façade, disguising the inner turmoil they experience.

 Socially Savvy: Despite their emotional struggles, individuals with high-functioning depression may be quite outgoing, making it challenging for others to recognize their hidden battles.

The Perfectionist’s Struggle: These individuals can be their own harshest critics, relentlessly striving for unattainably high standards and berating themselves when they fall short.

Some Other Signs of High Functioning Depression

Physical Side Effects: The impact of high-functioning depression extends beyond the mind, causing physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and stomach issues. Unfortunately, these issues are often disregarded as mere stress or something else entirely.

Troubled Sleep: Sleep troubles are a common battle for those with high-functioning depression. Falling and staying asleep can be a constant struggle, only adding to the already overwhelming stress.

Weight Fluctuations: Many may observe fluctuations in their appetite and weight, with their depression causing them to either lose or gain without explanation.

The Loss of Enjoyment: Despite maintaining a facade of normalcy, those with high-functioning depression may find themselves losing interest in activities they used to love.

Procrastination: For them, putting things off is the ultimate game. Participants battle with their motivation and their focus takes a sharp dive.

Going Lonely and Numb: As for Going Solo, you may notice a gradual withdrawal from social events and a growing preference for solitude. Isolation plays a significant role in this scenario. In regards to Emotional Icebergs, they may appear emotionally detached and struggle to connect with their own emotions and the emotions of those around them.

These are all the different signs of someone having high functioning depression. It is possible someone you may know has these signs. However, you need to keep a keen eye and see for any unique information corresponding to the individual as everyone is built differently.

How to Help People with High Functioning Depression?

High Functioning Depression help

It is key to understand that there are certain ways through which you can help people with high functioning depression. However, you can only do this if you are good with empathy. Without moral empathy, it is not a lot that you can do. You can also check our Chakra Meditation quiz and get help from it if you are suffering from high functioning depression. By anwering these questions, you will be able to understand about your depression. Now, let’s discuss how to overcome with high functioning depression.

Take Care of Yourself: It is highly essential to take care of yourself first. Only then, you are able to extend your hand to help others around you. Otherwise, you are only going to make things more problematic in the end. You need to identify any shortcomings in your mental wellbeing, fix them, and then get started with the process of helping others.

Have a Shoulder to Lean On: Let them know that you’re there, for them ready to help tackle any challenges they may face in seeking assistance. Dealing with insurance and scheduling can feel overwhelming. Your guidance and support can truly make a difference.

Be Active: Check in on them regularly during their days. Sometimes they may let their guard down. Its comforting for them to have someone to rely on.

Establish a Connection: Loneliness can be particularly tough so keep inviting them to activities even if they often decline. Just knowing that they have a support system can bring them comfort and solace.

Encourage: When it comes to getting help gently suggest therapy or counseling as an option. Offer assistance in finding the therapist or doctor for them. If they’re comfortable with it, offer to accompany them to appointments.

Give them Assistance: Provide assistance during times when they may feel overwhelmed. Something simple as helping with groceries tidying up their space or running errands on their behalf can make a difference.

Tips From The Experts 

Self-Care: Encourage self care activities such as regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep – these practices can help alleviate some of their symptoms.

Have Patience: Remember that recovering from depression is a process that requires time and effort. It’s important to be patient with their journey, towards healing. Be patient and understanding when it seems like progress is hard to see.

Be Compassionate: Start the conversation gently. Show that you care and inform them that you are available to listen and assist if they require it. Be a listener, without passing judgment.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to help someone struggling with high functioning depression. High functioning depression is hard to spot in the first place. However, if you do it well, you are able to get them to be happier and satisfied. These are the many ways that you can help them be more vulnerable and easy on themselves.

Final Words

To conclude, it is important to appreciate the differences between human emotions and see the various outcomes of a certain struggle they are going through. High functioning depression is one tricky mental illness which is quite hard to navigate. However, with enough education and awareness, you can notice the subtle signs and do something about it. In this article, we dwelled into the definition and manifestation of high functioning depression, the different signs of high functioning depression, and in the end we discussed how you can help someone who is facing this trouble in their lives. With an honest and empathetic approach, anyone can navigate through the signs and extend their helping hand to solve this complex problem. After all, it is up to us humans to see how we can help each other in times of distress, especially when someone is not allowing their distress to be shown to the world.