Depression is a term many people associate with being unhappy. They may have had a bad day at work or had a fight with one of their best friends and identify the feelings they’re having with depression.
But depression is more than just feeling sad. Oftentimes, it changes your mood, takes the pleasure and enjoyment out of things you once loved, causes sleep problems, zaps your energy, makes you anxious and irritable, and can even lead to suicide or thoughts of suicide.
So, what does high-functioning depression mean?
It is a nonmedical term used to describe people who suffer from clinical depression but are productive. They may be public figures or not. It may or may not be formally diagnosed. People with high-functioning depression are women, men, and youth who have various roles and positions, such as educators, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, healthcare providers, financial experts, janitors, entrepreneurs, students, etc.
Essentially, it can be more difficult to spot as the person is viewed as “normal” in their daily functioning. But any level of depression can still have a major impact on someone’s life and shouldn’t be overlooked just because it’s considered “less severe.”
In fact, former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst had high functioning depression, as did Regina King’s son, Ian Alexander Jr. Both were high achievers who seemed to have everything going for them on the surface, but both were suffering internally. Sadly, Kryst and Alexander Jr. died by suicide in January.
Many people with high functioning depression appear to act normally, that’s one of the reasons why it’s so hard to detect. But they struggle with things like low self-esteem, fatigue, trouble concentrating, changes in habits and feeling hopeless. These feelings often persist for two or more years.
Here are 5 signs to look out for in yourself and others:
Sign #1: Low Self-Esteem
Regardless of your accomplishments, you still feel inadequate. You constantly compare yourself to others. You’re self-critical, blame yourself when things go wrong, you feel sad, worthless and don’t believe you deserve to enjoy things.
Sign #2: Trouble Concentrating
You go about your day and get things done but struggle to focus and concentrate. You may feel restless, find it difficult to make decisions or perform complicated tasks. And while you do get things done, it takes you longer and is more of a struggle.
Sign #3: Change in Eating or Sleeping Habits
You may lose weight from not eating or gain weight from overeating to try and calm yourself. You may also sleep more or sleep less. Some people with high functioning depression struggle with insomnia. Also, others oversleep and still wake up feeling tired.
Sign #4: Fatigue and Lack of Energy
You’re exhausted and even though you’re able to do all the things you need … you feel like you can’t find the energy to do anything more than that. For example, just going to work or going to the grocery is the max you can do for the day.
Sign #5: Feeling Down Most Days
Even if you’re out with friends or ready to kick off the weekend, you feel less than excited … and even if you feel happy, it’s fleeting. Your friends may call you “Debbie Downer” or joke that you’re always in a grumpy mood. But if you’re feeling gloomy all the time, this is something you don’t want to ignore.
Do these 5 signs hit close to home? Do you believe that you, or someone you know, could be suffering from high functioning depression? Don’t let these feelings go unchecked and don’t simply brush them off. Book a complimentary consultation with me and let’s work through what you’re feeling, so that we can get you on a better path. Book Your Complimentary ‘Dare to Live Happy’ Consultation HERE.