As with other aspects of mental disorders and conditions, understanding highly functional depression can be difficult. Because symptoms vary among people, it can be difficult to understand whether someone is having a bad day or going through a difficult depression. And since depressive episodes can last a few days to several months, the situation can be even more confusing. Recognizing signs of highly functional depression, whether we recognize them in others or in our own behavior, is one way to improve the situation. I have compiled a list, based on personal experience and the advice of others, of how high-functioning depression can show up in our lives.
Before I go any further, I want to point out that while these are symptoms or actions that may be associated with highly functional depression, just because someone shows it doesn’t mean you should diagnose or label it. Just because someone looks “dejected” or “sad” doesn’t mean we have the right to decide what they are going through. Instead, I want to look at situations that people can identify so that they can get the help, love, and support they need – because that’s what we all deserve.
Possible signs of highly functional depression
There are some symptoms of depression that are easier to spot than others, but much of this detection ability depends on how well trained we are to look for them. Long-term occurrence of these symptoms can have debilitating effects on a person’s psyche and affect their quality of life. These signs and symptoms include:
You will feel a little downcast most of the time. Other people may refer to you as gloomy, cynical, or a downer. There is a difference between being labeled somber because of an earlier event and being labeled someone who is always a “downer.” If so, maybe it is time to find out what is going on.
A bad mood is almost always present and it feels like there’s never any relief. My thoughts of depression rest in my head, but they are always present. If this is a new feeling you feel like you can never escape it. When someone expresses that they never feel relief, it is important to find a way to bring that feeling out openly.
You may seem like you are lazy, but you just cannot muster the energy to do more than is necessary for normal functioning. This seems complicated, but when a simple task feels like the most difficult in the world, there is usually a reason for it.
Doing everything you are supposed to do in life seems like a monumental effort. As a friend once said to me: “It is difficult to pass”. For a long time, I assumed that everyone struggled with everyday tasks because it’s so hard when you spend all day thinking negative thoughts. Now I know it isn’t and I can adjust accordingly.
Have trouble concentrating or making decisions. Since this is one of my most noticeable symptoms, it makes me feel more secure talking about it. There are many reasons people have difficulty concentrating, and depression isn’t always the reason. But when someone can constantly remember things or decisions are terrifying, it reflects a pattern of thought that exists and may need to be investigated.
Doing good enough is not enough
Another important point about high-functioning depression is that people’s internal struggles are often explained by telling a person (or telling themselves) that whatever is going on is not a big deal because they are “good enough ” are. in life. The more I learned about mental health, the more I understood that what I see and experience, what other people do, is only a small part of their story. You never know what’s going on in someone’s head, and if you think they’re fine, there is no way to help.
It seemed to me to be fine for years. People I know seemed fine for years. But we struggled, we hurt, and we felt pain every day. Most of us still are. However, if you ask someone how they’re doing and are able to listen from actions you’ve seen someone else do – or what you’ve seen yourself do – this is a starting point. It’s easy to believe that once you speak to someone, you have a responsibility to solve their problem. It’s a simple thought. But I want to challenge you to break out of that mindset. When I talk to people about my sanity, I am not looking for you to solve my problem. I just hope you are listening. And when people listen to what you have to say, you feel a little less alone.
Have you noticed symptoms of high-functioning depression in others? How did you react? Let me know in the comments. The signs and symptoms for this post were inspired and used by Bridges to Recovery and Medical News Today. Thank you for writing on this important topic!