What High-Functioning Depression and Anxiety Are Like And What To Do In Case You Are Affected
How healthy are people nowadays….mentally?
Being anxious or feeling sad under stressful or painful circumstances are normal reactions to the negative events that all of us experience from time to time.
However, if you often fall victim to anxiety attacks or live in a permanent state of sadness, it might be a red flag for your mental well-being because you are probably suffering from a more serious condition than just an ordinary mood swing.
Fortunately, unlike 100 years ago contemporary medicine has made significant progress regarding diagnosing and treating mental health issues. That is why today a lot of conditions that put our mental health at risk have been officially diagnosed. Scientists have found medication and treatment that could stop serious mental disorders from progressing, and some are successfully treated.
Speaking of mental health issues we cannot go without mentioning the most common ones – anxiety disorders and depression.
Here are definitions about them provided by the National Institute of Mental Health:
“…anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Various types of anxiety disorders exist, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.”
On the other hand, ” Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. “
However, nowadays as already mentioned above these conditions are successfully treated through special therapy or medication. So, no matter how serious or long-lasting they might be people who have been diagnosed with the one or the other has a high chance of recovering.
So is there a real problem then?
Yes, sadly it’s the stigma which still applies to all issues related to mental health that makes too many people frightened to admit that they have a mental condition. Many men and women struggle
to keep a normal pace of life by going to work, having friends and families while at the same time living with deep emotional pain or in constant distress.
Here is what Dane Cobain, a 27-year-old social media marketer and writer, says to International Business Times about her struggle with depression and anxiety. The latter he developed 2 years ago:
“The problem is that sometimes if I’m working too hard and I’m also struggling with things then sometimes I burn out and have a big crash that can last for quite a while,” Cobain explains.
“People who don’t know me well might not realize that I struggle with it, because I put myself out there with my work – I also do speak word and perform at open mic nights, but then one of my favorite poems to perform is about anxiety,” he adds. “But people that know me well know about it all. I try not to talk about it at work because there’s still something of a stigma attached to mental health issues.”
According to experts people like Dane actually suffer from the so-called “high-functioning depression” or “high-functioning anxiety” although these two terms do not stand for officially acknowledged mental conditions.
“High-functioning depression is not a category that appears in the textbooks,” explains Carol Landau, a clinical professor of psychiatry and medicine at Brown University, to International Business Insider.
Usually, such individuals, have good professional achievements and can maintain superficial social relationships, but according to Landau, the symptoms of depression could emerge at night. Here are other symptoms of these conditions:
“Many people with high functioning depression feel more of a loss of interest,” Landau explains. “Two other interesting subcategories are awareness and lack of awareness.
Most people with high-functioning depression realize, especially when they are alone, that they are not doing as well as they could or as well as they’ve done in the past.”
Even the closest people of the affected are not aware of the condition of their relatives or friends. Usually, depression and anxiety are manifested through clear indications, like changes in the work or school performance, or mood swings. Still, people who suffer from high-functioning conditions to maintain a normal life, but this is just an attempt to hide the truth from the rest of the world.
The typical symptoms that reveal depression and anxiety prevent the others from understanding their close people are suffering from a mental condition and makes it more difficult for the affected to tell about their condition. College student Amanda Leventhal had to struggle to keep up with a regular class schedule while she was suffering from high-functioning depression. Here is her opinion published in Medical Daily:
“No matter how many times we are reminded that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, we revert back to a narrow idea of how it should manifest, and that is dangerous,” Leventhal explained in an editorial published on Upworthy. “Watching person after person — myself included — slip under the radar of the ‘depression detector’ made me realize where that fear comes from.”
Medical Daily also mentioned that Harvard School of Public Health announced a theory according to which adults might suffer from chronic low-level depression for around five years and kids and teenagers for one to two years. And despite the fact it’s not directly affecting the body of a person long periods of depression or anxiety could seriously harm a person’s mind and could cause major depression in most than half of the cases.
Of course, people shouldn’t allow things to get that serious and should seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Moreover, according to the Anxiety Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders could be successfully treated.
That’s why starting communication lines and initiating regular check-ins with friends and relatives, could help that people suffering from high-functioning depression are recognized more easily.
Sexy Intelligence also recommends that you get professional help in case you suffer any of these conditions.
Have you ever suffered from a mental health condition?
Please, share your experience in the comments below.