High Functioning Depression

High Functioning Depression

The symptoms and signs of high-functioning depression are close to severe depression, although they are less intense. Changes in sleeping and eating habits, poor self-esteem, exhaustion, hopelessness, and trouble focusing are all possible symptoms. Symptoms occur most days, resulting in an almost permanent state of depression that can last for two years or longer. The majority of people work nearly typically but suffer on the inside. The treatment of high-functioning depression can include medication and therapy.

High-functioning depression exists, and if not approached and handled, it may have drastic effects. The official term for high-functioning depression is PDD or a persistent depressive disorder. People with PDD exhibit many of the symptoms of depression, albeit to a lesser extent. It encourages the individual to behave mostly normally, such as going out to work or school, working well, catching up with household duties, and participating in most community activities.

It may be challenging to recognize this form of depression in oneself, let alone in others. An individual with PDD seems normal to the external world. However, that individual is suffering internally. While high-functioning depression does not seem to be as severe as major depression, it really should be treated and diagnosed. Living with PDD is difficult and reduces one’s quality of life, but self-management and medication can improve.

What Is The Concept Of High-functioning Depression?

Many mental disorders are severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to cope. In particular, severe illness is a diagnostic criterion for certain mental health disorders. Impairment refers to a person’s inability to work entirely in one or more aspects of life. It could include being reluctant to hold down a career, doing poorly in school, avoiding social interactions, or being unable to maintain stable relationships, among several other possible areas of instability.

A mental disorder can be less severe in some instances because after experiencing symptoms, a person can function adequately, or nearly so, much of the time. It is known as a high-functioning person or psychiatric disorder. It is critical to understand that high functioning is not the same as fully functioning. There is also an impairment in this form of depression. A chronic depressive disorder occurs where a person can cope but has severe symptoms of depression. This psychiatric condition was formerly known as dysthymia, and it is now often referred to as such.

High Functioning Depression

High Functioning Depression Diagnosis And Symptoms

PDD, also known as high-functional depression, is a known mental health condition that a psychiatrist or another mental health practitioner may successfully treat. Specific symptoms clarify the signals that may appear to make a diagnosis. They work in the same way as high-functioning depressive assessments and work in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Most of those signs are similar to those used to diagnose major depression, but they are usually milder.

The first condition for PDD is that a person has a depressive mindset most days and most of the day for at least two years. Two or more of the following signs must be present for a person to be depressed:

  • Decreased overeating or appetite
  • Oversleeping or Insomnia
  • Fatigue and a lack of energy
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Difficulties focusing and making decisions
  • Feeling hopeless and sad

In response to these signs, which many of the time result in a depressive mood, there are just a few other conditions that must meet to allow a diagnosis of PDD:

The depressive mood characterized by the above signs must appear on most days for at least two years with no relief from sadness for more than two months throughout that time.

The individual has never had an unusually euphoric and enthusiastic state of mania or hypomania.

Any other mental disorder, medical disease, or substance abuse cannot explain the signs of depression.

The signs and depressive mood must affect one or more areas of normal functioning and cause substantial individual distress.

PDD patients can also follow the requirements for severe depression.

What It’s Like To Have High-functioning Depression

In clinical terminology, the diagnostic guidelines for PDD outline precisely what it means to deal with high-functioning depression, but that’s not always how it sounds. So instead, it might be more helpful to remember how this psychiatric disorder feels:

Much of the time, you are depressed. Others may note this and label you as pessimistic, harmful, or a downer.

Your bad mood is often there, and it looks like you’ll never be able to break out of it. If you finally feel happy, it is fleeting.

And when you get sufficient or too much sleep, you can feel exhausted all of the time.

You may appear sluggish, but you cannot simply do anything more than what is needed to work typically.

You feel horrible for yourself as if you are incapable of being satisfied or loved by someone.

You do whatever you want to do, such as go to work or maintain the house clean, but it still feels like a massive effort.

You lose or gain weight without wanting to, so you have no appetite or overeat without worrying about it.

You might be hopeless a lot of the time, or you might weep a lot for no apparent cause.

You perform well enough in the work or school; however, it is challenging, and focusing on assignments is difficult.

When you’d instead leave, you have to push yourself to participate in social interactions.

PDD may lead to unrelated conditions, such as drug misuse, chronic pain, marital issues, and work or education problems.

Symptoms Of A Major Depressive Episode

In reality, most individuals with PDD would experience at least one episode at any point in their lives. However, for specific individuals with PDD, chronic, low-level depression can appear as though it might transform into extreme depression at any moment. Although the two conditions are identical and can occur in the same individual, there are several key differences.

The length and magnitude of the variations are essential. PDD lasts for two years or longer, while severe depression happens in smaller periods but always at least two weeks. Throughout a significant depressive disorder, the effects are related but more intense.

The difference between operating is also essential.PDD patients usually function, but throughout a significant depressive disorder, their functioning deteriorates. They can continue to do worse in work or school, be unwilling to complete those tasks, miss events in which they usually participate, appear socially isolated, or even neglect self-care and personal hygiene.

Eventually, there are a few different signs that may arise throughout a significant depressive disorder. Many of the effects are similar, but major depression can also trigger a lack of involvement in usually enjoyed tasks, intense feelings of regret, alterations in mental impact, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In exceptional cases, a depressive disorder may result in psychotic effects, including paranoia and delusions.

High Functioning Depression Is Treatable

Although PDD is not as extreme or disabling as major depression, it also impairs function and reduces one’s capacity to appreciate life. There is no reason educating someone should have to deal with a chronic state of depression when successful therapies are available. The first move in receiving treatment for high-functioning depression is obtaining a diagnosis. It can be troublesome if individuals do not know a curable mental disorder causes their poor mood. Therefore, it is beneficial that loved ones will find out that there might be a problem.

Once diagnosed, PDD uses along with treatment and counseling. For example, antidepressant drugs can help to elevate morale, but work takes many weeks. It could also be necessary to identify a drug that performs well in many trials of various varieties. Therapy allows people to treat PDD by helping them to understand and consciously alter negative trends of feelings. Although ambulatory care is helpful, many patients with PDD will gain from the intense, concentrated, and round-the-clock rehabilitation in the home treatment programs.

It is not always easy to recognize the symptoms of high depression. It’s a psychiatric disease that’s insidious because it’s hidden behind features. And for the individual experiencing these emotions, it is challenging to recognize an actual, underlying psychiatric condition. Getting care is critical because therapy will render life more comfortable, increase mood, work, and contribute to a healthier attitude and overall quality of life.

What They’re Feeling Is REAL

A person suffering from the chronic depressive disorder may believe that their symptoms aren’t extreme enough to be labeled as “true” depression or that they aren’t severe enough to require treatment.

Feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem are common barriers to finding treatment for PDD patients.

Avoiding treatment may encourage teenagers to develop their coping mechanisms for depression. It also leads to them turning to controlled drugs such as alcohol or recreational drug use. It is critical to keep an eye out for actions that may suggest suicidal ideation. Those suffering from suppressed depression frequently offer a minimal indication that they are experiencing deep sadness and emotional distress, and a suicide attempt can take people entirely off guard.

High Functioning Depression: Possible Causes

The typical causes of high functioning depression are close to those of other types of depression. However, a person can have more than a cause. As with Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, and different kinds of depression, potential triggers vary from biological to environmental.

Common potential causes and triggers of high functioning depression include:

The following are some of the most common causes and mechanisms of high functioning depression:

  • High levels of stress caused by the job, education, or home and family demands
  • There are financial difficulties.
  • Death of a loved one, physical violence, bullying, or relocating to a new home are all examples of trauma.
  • Characteristics inherited that raise the risk of depression.
  • Biochemistry, primarily an imbalance of a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation.
  • It Includes Medical conditions or Chronic pain.
  • It has Relationship conflicts at education, home, or work.
  • Abuse of drugs that impair one’s disposition or ability to act.
  • Living in a dangerous world causes chronic anxiety.

Ways To Treat High Functioning Depression At Home:

Sleeping More

If your teen has insomnia, is having trouble falling and staying asleep, or the consistency of their nighttime sleep is poor, consider changing their nighttime habits to eliminate stimulation from gadgets and behaviors that would agitate them.


Exercise can aid in mood regulation and the reinforcement of healthy sleeping patterns. In addition, physical activity may produce natural endorphins and dopamine, which can help you feel better.


While contact with teenagers is often more complex, it is a successful pursuit worth the effort. It’s crucial to learn how to build an open forum and a comfortable environment where all subjects are welcome. Most children are afraid of upsetting their family with their depressive signs, hiding their emotions, feelings, and gestures to themselves.


Having specific rituals provides some relaxation and protection from depression. In addition, recognizing that they should rely on daily activities and assignments helps them navigate emotional waters.


Medication can be appropriate with the supervision of a therapist, such as that at Lifeline For Youths, to provide balance and help teenagers improve coping skills to help them cope with the situations they face precisely. In addition, printouts of mood charts and journaling will help your teen track ups and downs that could become hazy with high-functioning depression. Finally, it will aid in tailoring the particular program for maximum success and result.

Whether To Get Professional Help For High-functioning Depression And How To Do So?

It is still best to pursue treatment for a high-functioning depression because it can quickly turn into a lifelong condition that lasts for years if left unchecked. A person who works at a high level while being depressed is generally a self-driven person with very high expectations. They have a tough time asking for support and admitting to themselves or others whether they will be suffering. The same holds for all those classified as having high functioning depression or some other illness that has not yet infiltrated their personal or public life.

Also, there is difficulty addressing the stigma associated with mental health issues, which is a significant obstacle to mental health treatment. However, over the last two decades, there has been some success in raising awareness and promoting conversation about anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It was carried out in schools or high schools by education on mental health and inspiring colleagues to be respectful.

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