High-functioning depression or dysthymia is harder to spot than major depression, and though the latter might seem more severe, many with high-functioning depression remain undiagnosed, leaving those who struggle with it suffering in silence. Read on to learn what high functioning depression feels like.
When you think of a depressed person, what often comes to mind is a person who struggles to get out of bed every day, someone who just can't stop crying, someone who can't muster up the energy to leave the house. But depression doesn't always look like this.
Some people with depression look perfectly fine on the outside. They excel in work and school, they have flourishing social lives, but deep inside, they're miserable.
This is what high functioning depression feels like, according to some Redditors.
1. You never feel like you're doing enough.
"After I complete all my tasks/responsibilities for the day, I feel the emptiness surface all again." (via)
2. It's hard to make people believe that you're depressed.
"I exercise regularly, go to uni, eat well, cook a lot of fresh meals for myself, socialise and work... But nobody really expects this from a depressed person, it seems like I get through life just fine because I do get through life but it's actually much harder than it seems." (via)
3. You feel like you're faking it.
"It feels like wearing a mask sometimes. You keep pushing forward to make others happy. You do what's expected. But nights you take off the mask. Or sometimes, it just weighs too heavy and you are forced to take it off. Sometimes it cracks." (via)
4. Sometimes, you just can't appreciate the good things in your life.
"Got a prestigious degree, got a job in a field I used to be passionate about, got a family that cares about me and sends me messages asking why I haven't called in so long. I come home from work, lie to my mother that I'm feeling okay, and cry myself to sleep. Don't even know why I'm sad any more; it's just a state of existence. Having parts of my life together just makes it worse. I feel so much guilt that I'm in a good place in my life, but I can't seem to appreciate it. I know it's just the depression speaking, just the chemicals in my brain - but it's really difficult sometimes." (via)
5. You have unrealistically high standards for yourself.
"I'm basically a perfectionist, I take hours to do something and when I do less than perfect, I panic. If I don't look like the most successful person on the planet to everyone else, I begin to panic." (via)
6. You get easily overwhelmed by small things.
"Some days I can't bring myself to open my email. Just can't do it, the thought makes me cringe. Picking up the phone can be a feat — especially when I don't know the number. My body weighs 900 pounds and I feel like I've been shot with a tranquillizer dart. But the worst part is the rationalization afterwards. Am I a lazy person? Procrastinator? Afraid of commitment? How can I ever be productive?" (via)
7. Your default emotion is just "sad"
"I describe myself as a robot that may seem ok usually but it's main directive is to be sad. And it's really good at it." (via)
What to do if you have high functioning depression
If you recognised yourself as you read through these descriptions of what high functioning depression feels like, don't dismiss them as simply part of your life. You should seek help from a mental health professional or reach out to someone who can help you get treatment.