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High-Functioning Depression: 4 Signs To Watch Out For

HighFunctioning Depression

What if you are suffering from high-functioning depression and not even aware of it?

Unlike the popular belief, depression is not about feeling sad the whole day, locking yourself in your bedroom, and avoiding social life completely. Unfortunately, that’s what most people assume and envision about people with depressive symptoms. 

Well, it’s an absolutely wrong image considering the latest research on depression. The lack of awareness is the culprit!

Relying on social media posts and online blogs not backed by medical facts may misguide anyone. This is a digital age and bulk of data is available everywhere. But, not all information is reliable and accurate. 

It’s due to the wrong knowledge of depression that people neglect seeking medical help to the point when it becomes chronic.  

There are many symptoms of depression and vary from person to person. You may not have the same depressive symptoms as that of your friends.  

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (known as the bible of psychiatry), Fifth Edition, depression is having 5 or more of the below symptoms for 2 or more weeks, which is causing tremendous emotional distress or hampering your day-to-day functioning. 

  1. Depressed or sad mood
  2. Easily annoyed or short-tempered.
  3. Loss of interest or enjoyment in hobbies or activities that was previously enjoyed
  4. Feeling guilty or worthless 
  5. Thoughts of death or suicide
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Difficulty making decisions 
  8. Feeling restless or slow
  9. Feeling tired or fatigue
  10. Overeating or loss of appetite
  11. Weight loss or weight gain
  12. Changes in sleep pattern

On this date, depression can hit anyone!


Even those who are achievers, successful, financially strong, healthy, cheerful, humorous, have high social status, and dream jobs – can suffer from depression. 

If depression is biased, then why is Jim Carrey one of the most influential comedians in history diagnosed with depression? There are many celebrities – Chris Evans, Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps, Ryan Phillippe and the list goes on. 

There are different types of depression  and the signs and symptoms may be different. 

You may approach life with indifference despite having everything that you need to live. You may have accomplished things that were on your bucket list, but never actually happy within. Your daily activities or that regular job may not give you the desired pleasure. 

Related: What Depression Looks Like: The Hard-Hitting Truth

If you are experiencing something like this, then it is time to know about High-Functioning Depression. 

High-functioning depression is a serious issue

Do you know that psychiatrists are more worried about high-functioning depression than any other type?

It is highly concerning because most people who seem to have  “perfect” lives and having high-functioning depression commit suicide unlike those who have obvious problems and struggles in life.  

Related: Loneliness: Surprising Ways It Impacts Our Health and Wellbeing

At times you may feel that you are winning over your high functioning depression by brute character alone, but your experiences can be horrifying than some people might realize.  

Therefore, it is very important to know all the signs and symptoms of high-functioning depression to help yourself and your loved ones. 

Here’re 4 signs of High-Functioning Depression

1. Being too harsh on yourself

High functioning depressives are too tough on themselves!  Being critical of yourself beyond a certain limit leads to anxiety  and negative feelings. You expect a lot from yourself and overachieve. 

Though, it’s a great thing  you are unconsciously pushing yourself to a level where you believe you are not good enough. You are beating yourself for lacking behind and falling perceivably short. 

Look out for this sign, if you are a parent of a child who’s not satisfied with achievements at all. Also, if you think any of your friends are overly self-critical, take action. 

2. Bored with work

Due to heavy self-criticism, you may lose interest in your work. Instead of gaining a sense of  fulfillment, you may see your work as a burden. Just like dragging a heavy boulder against the tide. It is those grand  expectations that created a heavy boulder on your shoulders. And, the outcome is anguish and frustration that welcomes other complexities in life. 

3. Substance Abuse Problems

Mental health experts say that many substance abusers are also high-functioning depressives. It’s not a coincidence! Substance abuse and depression is like a continuous cycle. Because, depression triggers substance abuse and addiction, which in turn boosts depression.  

The plight of parents and other family members is heart-wrenching as they struggle very hard to approach a high-functioning alcohol depressive about their problem. But for a depressive,  it’s just a burnout (those pesky stereotypes…)

Related: 3 Powerful Pointers That Will Help In Preventing Substance Abuse

Using alcohol as a means of coping with the mental health condition is common in high-functioning depressives. There is a need for healthier strategies to deal with it and overcome the mental health problem. 

4. Feelings of Wasting Time

Despite working hard and achieving goals, a high-functioning depressive may think he/she is wasting time. They want to achieve something new everyday as discussed earlier. But, end up with feelings of despair. 

Even switching jobs or taking up new hobbies may not offer them enough satisfaction or comfort. They still think they are wasting time. Little do they know that they are silently suffering from anhedonia – one of depression’s main stings.

Hopelessness sweeps into their minds to an extent that they want to commit suicide. For they think that death can bring them more appreciation.

These are few of the symptoms of high-functioning depression

Related: How to Ask for Help With Depression: 8 Ways To Reach Out & Start Recovering

Is it treatable?

As per psychiatrists and mental health experts, the high-functioning depression is very treatable and the prognosis is good. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be most effective in treating depression. Patients reported to engage in therapy and find joy in the process of self-discovery. 

Do you think you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms or do you feel you are depressed? Then consult a mental health professional without delay. The sooner the better!

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High-Functioning Depression
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9 thoughts on “High-Functioning Depression: 4 Signs To Watch Out For”

  1. Avatar of Rob

    Thank you – – found the article extremely helpful – especially so at this time as struggling to understand why I feel so low- xx

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Louisa Davis

Hi there! I'm just a normal person enjoying the process of life. Practicing Buddhism, I believe in the law of cause and effect. Reading and writing is always a pleasure. I enjoy researching on a range of subjects – science, psychology, and technology. Nothing can satiate my soul than good music, horror movies, psycho-thriller, and crime stuff. I enjoy photography, music and watching comedy videos. Talking to people, learning new experiences, sharing my knowledge through blogs, motivating others are things that I always look forward to.View Author posts

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