High Functioning Depression

Depression is one of the most common psychological problems globally.  It leads to a great deal of disruption to people’s lives. Depression is much more than feeling down, and can affect a person’s sleep, appetite, energy level, interest in social activities and other areas of daily functioning.

Another little known fact about depression is that many people suffer while looking like they’re fine on the outside. Many people experience what is known as high-functioning depression.

This is a type of persistent, low-level depression that people learn to live with, but that affects their quality of life. It tends to affect high achievers and can affect self-esteem.  It be a surprise to friends and family because the person doesn’t “seem” depressed.

Some signs and symptoms include:

  • Being self-critical and hard on yourself
  • Imposter syndrome – doubting your accomplishments and fearing you’ll be exposed as a fraud
  • Feeling there is a big difference between image that others see and the “real” you that others don’t see
  • Feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted
  • Feeling you have low self-esteem
  • Feeling unable to ask for help
  • Feeling it takes a lot of energy to make it through the day
  • Feeling you have to hide your struggles from people around you
  • Can look like you have it all together but feel like yfalling apart inside.

Asking for help can be very difficult, but it is also half the battle. Therapy can help:identify some of the triggers for feeling depressed; address the cycle of negative thinking and self-doubt; and encourage ways to replace the façade on the outside with a more authentic expression of yourself.


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