High-functioning depression is something that many people around the world are dealing with, and their daily battles are fought in silence.
When we think of someone who is suffering from depression, we immediately imagine someone who can’t get out of bed, who lacks energy, who can’t perform daily tasks- basically someone who can’t function on a normal and healthy level.
But what about high-functioning depression?
Psychologist Rita Labeaune explains that HFD (high-functioning depression) is like someone is constantly wearing a mask, and they show no signs of their problem to the outside world. “They often maintain a full-time job, run a family household, participate in sports, and have a fairly active social life. With their mask on, everything looks great, even at times perfect. However, underneath the mask they are suffering from sadness, panic attacks, low self-esteem, and insomnia.”
While most of us would like to think we know what is going on with our mental health, the truth is that we let our busy schedules, deadlines, and bills overshadow the most important aspect of our lives. Our well-being.
Labeaune believes that some people might not even realize that they are depressed, “especially if they seem like they’re managing their day-to-day life. It doesn’t seem possible that someone can be smiling, chipper, functioning, and at the same time, depressed.” Yet, it does happen.
These are 5 daily battles that every person with high-functioning depression faces:
1. The mask is heavy
Wearing a constant mask is a heavy burden. You don’t want to “bother” anyone else with your problems because you know everyone is going through something. But the truth is, your friends and family care about you and wouldn’t mind if you shared the load.
2. Sudden irritability
3. The mind never stops
One way to avoid facing your emotions or what is really bothering you, is to overthink about everything else. Shifting the spotlight to daily tasks, bills, and even other people, keeps your mind busy on overdrive all the time. It’s exhausting.
4. No one knows the real you
That’s how you feel. You never really open up to anyone to let them get close enough to know who you really are, or what you’re going through. This contributes to feeling unsupported and unloved. To stop the cycle, you have to let your guard down a little.
5. Today might be the last straw
Every day feels like it might be the one that pushes you over the edge into a complete meltdown. Feeling like an emotional mess on the inside without being able to release, or cry, makes the battle that much harder.
Tom Wootton, author and creator of Bipolar Advantage, reminds us that “Real functionality includes the ability to get along with others and for them to be comfortable with your behavior.” If you are doing the best you can, and still functioning in a high capacity, then there is still time to recover before going through a complete breakdown.
Take time for yourself, even if it’s five minutes a day, and dedicate that to your happiness and well-being. Everyone deserves to have some time spent on themselves.
And remember that talking to someone about your depression can help. Local community outreach programs, toll-free helplines, counselors and many certified mental health professionals are available to help you through this.
You don’t have to go through it alone.