High-functioning Depression

Just Pretending to be Fine Means Something is Wrong? What is High-functioning Depression? 6 Potential Characteristics to Pay Attention to

Modern people are under great pressure in life and work, and sometimes they always pretend to be normal even though their hearts are full of knots. Among patients with depression, high-functioning depression is the most difficult to detect or discover. Because patients usually behave normally in life and have good achievements, even the patients themselves are not easily aware of it. We will help you understand what high-functioning depression is? What are the 6 major characteristics that you should pay special attention to.

Do you always feel melancholy late at night, occasionally suffer from insomnia or sleep too much? In life, everything may seem to be going well and you can interact with others normally, but you may occasionally feel depressed. Even people who appear to be normal may be suffering from depression. In fact, there is a type of depression called high-functioning depression, which is more difficult to detect or detect than major depressive disorder (MDD) because people with high-functioning depression usually The performance in life is normal, and the achievements are even good, so it is not easy for others to notice, and even the patient himself may not notice it. The following will help you understand what high-functioning depression is.

What is high-functioning depression

The term high-functioning depression appears in the definition of persistent depressive disorder (PDD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5-TR) published by the American Psychiatric Association, and has been deleted. Another name for dysthymia (also known as depressive disorder).

High-functioning depression is not currently a recognized clinical term, nor is it used in research. However, which type of depression (positive or negative) does high-functioning depression fall within the broad definition of depression? Should people with high-functioning depression be judged by the criteria for depression? Mental health experts still don’t agree on this.

6 potential characteristics of high-functioning depression

  1. Frequently declines social invitations
    Jason Stamper, a psychiatrist at the Mountain Comprehensive Care Center in Kentucky, USA, said that people with high-functioning depression can still go to work and interact with others normally, but after work, they may Will refuse to go shopping with friends. To some extent, they tend to be isolated and keep a little distance from relationships.
  2. Accompanying health problems
    As the saying goes, psychology affects physiology, and physiology affects psychology. The two are related, so hidden physiological diseases in the body may also cause depression. Michelle Riba, a clinician at the Comprehensive Depression Center at the University of Michigan, said that some co-occurring medical conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, Illness may cause stress and lead to depression. On the other hand, depression can reduce immunity and make people more susceptible to illness.
  3. Changes in sleeping habits
    Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, often stay up all night, or have drowsiness problems, this may be a warning sign of depression, and not sleeping well can make depression symptoms more severe. Carol Landau, a professor of psychiatry at Brown University in the United States, said that good sleep quality is the key to mental health.
  4. Worry or anxiety
    When it comes to depression, we often associate it with sadness, so much so that we overlook another very relevant emotion: anxiety. Most people think that anxiety may manifest as fear, but Dr. Steinber says that anxiety can actually manifest in many ways, including feeling mentally uneasy, confused, or even feeling sick to your stomach.
  5. People with Type A personality who value work
    Even financially well-educated people can suffer from high-functioning depression. Dr. Steinber said that people with high-functioning depression are often educated and have good jobs. However, despite being highly educated or wealthy, these people are often under tremendous pressure at work and actually spend too much money. Spending too much time at work is a lifestyle habit that increases the risk of depression.
  6. Dependence or addiction to something
    Professor Landau said that if you feel sad, lonely, or have other psychologically uncomfortable feelings, you may drink more alcohol more often to numb these negative feelings. But excessive drinking is very bad for the body, because this type of substance abuse requires more levels of treatment. Becoming addicted to something, including drugs and alcohol, is more likely to aggravate symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, thereby further weakening our ability to fight these mental illnesses.
A depressed woman sitting alone is a dark tunnel with light at the other end.

How to know if you have high-functioning depression

Michael E. Silverman, a psychologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the United States, said that how to judge whether you have high-functioning depression depends on how the individual defines it. It must require clinical intervention or a formal diagnosis like major depression.

In contrast, major depression is a formal mental illness (Psychiatric disorder). Experts will prescribe medication or adopt appropriate treatment methods in accordance with its regulations. However, this does not mean that psychological treatment is ineffective for high-functioning depression. If you meet most of the above characteristics, or often feel depressed or sad, you can seek help from a psychological counselor.

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