Have you ever started your day in a normal routine? Maybe had some breakfast, gone for a run, dropped the kids off at school, and then all of a sudden you get to work and your depression sinks in? Well if so, don’t feel alone. Someone around you is more than likely feeling the same way.
High Functioning Depression is one of the most common disorders found in Americans, just second to anxiety-related mental illnesses. Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in many areas of life. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 17 million adults had some form of depressive episode in 2017. High functioning depression or better known in the medical field as Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) is a type of depression where the person can still function through their daily routine while having symptoms of depression. While not as serious as Major Depression Disorder, it still needs to be addressed and treated by a medical professional such as a doctor or psychiatrist. High functioning depression left untreated can have negative side effects on a person in numerous aspects of their life.
Symptoms of High Functioning Depression
The truth is for those who have High Functioning Depression everyday life can be difficult. Doctors in the mental health field use a manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5 to diagnose people with this type of depression. Hundreds of medical professionals have dedicated hard work and time so a manual with the common language used to identify and treat this mental illness could be published. People with this illness may experience symptoms such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of energy
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Guilt and feelings of worthlessness
- Focusing on the past
Is High Functioning Depression Common?
People with High Functioning Depression are more likely to maintain jobs and carry on with everyday life when compared to people with Major Depression. High functioning depression is not as serious as major depression but has a tendency to last longer when compared to other types of mental illnesses. According to the World Health Organization over 264 million people suffer from depression across the globe. Every year over 15 million Americans are diagnosed with depression. Often people with cases of High Functioning Depression left untreated are found to have short episodes of Major Depression as well as other severe side effects. This can lead to poor performance academically, losing focus at work, withdrawing from social events, lack of self-care and personal hygiene, or suicidal thoughts.
What is a High Functioning Depression Test?
When the signs of depression are in effect, it is best to consult with a doctor to figure out how to best treat the condition. Taking a high-functioning depression test can help one decide if seeking medical advice is right for them. There are many different variants of these tests, generally just being a series of questions provided by a psychiatrist or doctor. These questions relate to the experiences people with this disorder have on a daily basis. Some of the many common types of depression are listed below:
- Major Depression
- High Functioning Depression or PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic Depression
- Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Situational Disorder
- Treatment-Resistant Depression
- Atypical Depression
People with depression often think that they are just “different” or “born this way”. The truth is that yes some people can genetically inherit certain types of depression but many depression-related illnesses are caused by chemical changes in one’s brain or certain events that take place in one’s life. Listed below are some of the most common causes for depression:
- Mental and Physical abuse
- Age (usually dealing with older people living alone)
- Death or loss of a loved one
- Gender ( Women are two times as likely as men to become depressed)
- Genes ( Family history of depression increases one’s chances)
- Substance abuse
Can High Functioning Depression “just go away”?
Many people will tell themselves that having depression is just a short-term issue and that life will get better. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a case of the daily “blues”. It is a lifelong battle for many and in some cases may come and go with seasons. The good news is with proper medicine and treatment, depression can be manageable leading to positive changes in one’s life once the action is taken. Along with psychiatric treatment, an antidepressant is usually prescribed in this case. These two are almost always paired together and many doctors will always recommend the two together. Antidepressants are generally started at a lower dose and gradually increased as time goes on. Antidepressants can be extremely beneficial in getting a patient well. The four most common types of antidepressants prescribed are:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRI’s)
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
Different forms of meditation and therapy also help with High Functioning Depression. These can range from yoga, simple one-on-one meetings with a psychiatrist, and brain stimulation therapies. Once help is received, the patient can aim to start making changes to rebuild purposeful lives. This can include exercising, engaging in social events, setting positive goals, eating healthy, and reconnecting with loved ones.
Am I Alone?
Living with depression doesn’t have to be just a lifetime of sadness. With the right help and medicine, millions of people have conquered the disease and now live a productive and healthy lifestyle. Just to name a few recognizable names Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, JK Rowling, Robin Williams have all dealt with depression and lead very successful lives. Being open to others about personal experiences with depression-related illnesses helps bring awareness to the subject of mental health. When sharing a personal story, you never know how many people it could potentially help.
If you or a loved one is suffering from High Functioning Depression, please feel free to reach out to a medical professional or treatment center such as Oasis Recovery to get the help that is needed.