Woman with high-functioning depression looks at her computer screen

Understanding High-Functioning Depression

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions throughout the United States. But did you know there are different types of depression, and some of them can be difficult to recognize? High-functioning depression can be one of the trickiest types to spot, so it often goes untreated. Getting to know the symptoms of high-functioning depression will empower you to help yourself or a loved one get the treatment needed to lift the dark cloud of depression.

Whether you believe you may be dealing with high-functioning depression or any other type of depression or mental health condition, Washburn House has a program that is right for you. Contact us through our online form or by calling 855.298.3104 to learn more about our depression treatment program in Worcester.

Different Types of Depression

Since there are different types of depression, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with them and how they may present themselves. 

Major Depressive Disorder

This is the type of depression people are most familiar with. It involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, and sometimes suicidal ideations.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Also referred to as dysthymia, this type of depression consists of long-term, chronic symptoms that are less severe than major depressive disorder but still disruptive to daily life.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

This form of depression correlates with the changes in seasons. It primarily impacts people during the colder, darker months, but in some cases, it can be the reverse.

Bipolar Disorder

This form of depression is characterized by drastic fluctuations in mood, varying between depressive and manic episodes.

Postpartum Depression

This type of depression affects new mothers, typically within the first year of giving birth.

High-Functioning Depression

This is often the least visible form of depression as the person tends not to show symptoms and seems to have it all together.

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression is a particularly challenging form of depression because a person with this disorder is typically able to carry out daily activities and maintain an outward appearance of success and functionality. They often hold down high-powered careers, have active social lives, and have a happy family—basically, they appear to have it all.

But on the inside, they quietly struggle with persistent feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem, and a lack of joy. And since their symptoms usually go unnoticed, they may feel isolated and unable to express their emotional discomfort for fear of being judged or misunderstood.

How Can You Tell If Someone Has High-Functioning Depression?

Because the symptoms of high-functioning depression are often masked, it can be more difficult to recognize this condition in others. Some signs to look out for include:

  • Overworking or constantly staying busy to avoid confronting uncomfortable emotions
  • Overachievement or perfectionism
  • Difficulty opening up about personal struggles
  • Putting up an emotional front and acting like everything is fine
  • Being very critical of oneself

Although people with high-functioning depression tend to project an image of success and happiness, they still struggle with the classic symptoms of depression, like sadness, emptiness, and low self-esteem. The primary difference is that they are better at hiding it than those dealing with other types of depression.

Getting Help for High-Functioning Depression

If you recognize the signs of high-functioning depression in yourself or a loved one, it is important to reach out for help. Just because depression does not seem to negatively impact one’s daily life does not mean it is not taking a toll on one’s mental and emotional health. 

Treatment for high-functioning depression may include various therapies, medications, lifestyle changes, and support from loved ones and a team of professionals. 

Call Washburn House to Enroll in Our Depression Treatment Program in Worcester

Depression comes in multiple forms, and each type deserves proper treatment. When you enroll in depression treatment at Washburn House, you can enjoy brighter days ahead. Call us at 855.298.3104 or fill out our online form to learn more about how we can help.

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