Mental health is indispensable in the hustle and bustle of life. When it is jeopardized, our productivity is affected, and society, by extension, is also affected. One of the significant mental health disorders is depression. It is a diagnosable and extends beyond the borders of gender or ethnicity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that it is the leading cause of disability between 15 and 44-year-old Americans, highlighting it as a severe disorder. High-functioning depression (HFD) is associated with major depressive disorder. Like the latter, this disorder is becoming prevalent in today’s world.
Individuals with HFD blend seamlessly into society, acting like everything is alright. However, they are in incredible pain beneath the surface. Because of the silent nature of this disorder, it is easy to conceal expressions under a smiling face. As a result, knowing that something is wrong is challenging. Although many people with this disease continue to live happily, they feel alone, tired, and emotionally wrecked. This blog explores the meaning of this depression, its signs, and available treatment.
What is High-Functioning Depression?
HFD describes individuals who battle depressive disorder but continue their daily activities. Also known as smiling depression, this form of depression is mild and doesn’t completely shut the person off from social interactions.
These individuals experience depressive symptoms, such as fatigue, emotional disturbances, insomnia, etc., but none hamper their daily routine or performance. On the surface, they appear content and successful, but they battle depression behind closed doors. Persons with this condition are experts at masking their suffering, portraying themselves as happy people in public.
Signs of Smiling Depression
Identifying the signs of smiling depression is tricky because those affected often conceal their turmoils. But the following common signs can indicate if they have this depression or not;
- Consistent Fatigue: Affected persons may feel abnormally exhausted, even after a long day of rest and sleep. They lack sufficient energy to go through the day.
- Irritability: On the outside, they may feel easily agitated by comments, sights, or thoughts. However, they often mask the feelings, preventing the outburst.
- Perfectionism: The drive to succeed at all costs and the fear of failure can take an emotional and physical toll on the individual. They set impossibly high standards and become stressed due to trying to meet up. They falter when things don’t go according to plan.
- Social withdrawal: Affected persons have a knack for public appearances and social gatherings. However, they gradually withdraw from the scene for no particular reason.
- Emotional Disguise: Depressive individuals are professionals at hiding their emotions, often using sarcasm to mask their feelings. They might also deflect conversations, especially if it has to do with their well-being.
Treating High-Functioning Depression
This form of depression is treatable, like the rest. Treatment options vary according to the severity of the depression, underlying medical condition, and longevity. Below are the available treatment options:
- Therapy: Therapy is an effective tool for all forms of depression, including HFD. Options like cognitive-behavioral therapy and EMDR, alongside some lifestyle changes, can help manage depressive symptoms.
- Medications: Prescription drugs like antidepressants can help alleviate depressive symptoms. Some medications are potent and have side effects. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about the appropriate dosages.
- Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise, good food rich in veggies and fruits, sufficient sleep, and spending time outdoors can help effectively manage the condition.
- Build a Supportive Network: A support system is crucial in depression recovery. Build a network of supportive family and friends who understand your plight and have empathy.
- Self-care: Self-care is as important as therapy or prescribed medications. If you don’t focus on yourself, you’re pushing yourself away from full recovery. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can help you overcome high depression and keep you going. Massage can also help you to manage depression effectively.
Satori Health Can Help You Deal with High-Functioning Depression
High-functioning depression is a battle many people fight every day. Its global impact and prevalence call for awareness. Those out there are unaware of this condition and often misdiagnose it as another sickness. By recognizing these signs, you can determine if you have this form of depression or not and proceed to treatment. The most challenging part is seeking the proper medical help for high-functioning depression. If you or a loved one is battling this depression, Satori Health Center welcomes you. Our dedicated team offers support and care to those with this depression. We aim to reclaim your life from the clutches of depression and maintain your sanity.