When we hear the word depression, we may think of a few different things. As a part of a depression assessment, a therapist may ask someone to rate their depression on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not depressed at all, and 10 being too depressed to get out of bed. So, what happens when you are severely depressed, but you manage to get out of bed and go to work? Does this mean you’re really not that or you’re being over dramatic with yourself?
“High Functioning Depression.” Yes, it’s there and it’s all too real. As with most things, people tend to see the world in a very black and white way- if you’re really that depressed, then you wouldn’t be able to get function, would you? That isn’t necessarily true. High functioning depression takes its’ toll inward and making it difficult for the depressed person to communicate and have a quality of life.
A large part of what makes depression so painful is dealing with the self-defeating symphony of critics telling you not only are you not good enough, but your loved ones have also lost interest in you. Depression is akin to another person, whispering into your ear to not get too excited that you had a good day at work, because tomorrow is bound to go wrong. Depression will tell you your friends aren’t calling because they are no longer interested or invested in you. Depression will also hold onto you, with all of its weight, making you tired and angry as you drag it with you throughout your day.
With this cacophony of negative input, you get up, shower, go to work, go home, and it becomes more normal as the days go on to slip into the feeling of “this is how it is.”
Just because you are able to maintain a job and make it through the day does not mean that this needs to be good enough.
When should you seek help for high functioning depression? Look at the quality of life- are you having more bad days than good days? Are you feeling hopeless, helpless or like your life is out of control? The good news is, depression is something that can be managed and the even better news is you never have to go through depression alone. Just because you are able to make it from the day to day does not mean your depression doesn’t warrant seeking help.
Alexis has been a part time contributor to the online website Patientworthy which is dedicated to education and awareness of rare and serious diseases. Links to articles written by Alexis: