Living in a chronic state of unhappiness or feeling depressed “for as long as you can remember” is not living, it is merely surviving.
Like high functioning anxiety, you will not find “High Functioning Depression” in any mental health diagnostic manual. However, we find it important to discuss it and characterize it here, as many folks self-identify with it.
It is not uncommon in our society (and, often times even romanticized) to hear such things as:
If you have caught yourself in any one of these patterns (or the many others), you may also consider yourself having high functioning depression.
Depression is vile. It can appear in many various forms and it can appear at many various times. One this is for sure, however, living in a state of “functioning” is detrimental to our long term emotional wellness.
Based on depression statistics, most of us can take a look at the Depression Spectrum and find ourselves somewhere along the way. Those in the middle will often identify as “functioning” because they can go to work, pay their bills, and care for their families. This is often at the detriment of their own emotional health as their social relationships, hobbies, and ability to participate in “non-essential” functions is hampered.
Individuals who identify as having functional depression may have received a diagnosis of Persistent Depressive Disorder, which is a diagnosable condition whereas functional depression is not. It is considered a diagnosis of “mild to moderate” depression.
The most significant characteristic with Persistent Depressive Disorder is that symptoms last more than a few years, making the depression chronic. However, many with this condition do find themselves able to maintain portions of their lives, such as caring for a family, paying bills, and even holding employment.
Symptoms of this condition, while certainly interfering with our emotional wellness, could be described as mild to moderate, making it possible to experience them without it being detrimental to our ability to function all together – thus, making us “functionally able” to live.
These can include:
Unless you find yourself on the “emotional wellness” end of the Depression Spectrum, underneath any severity of depression is unresolved pain. Whether living in a state of merely surviving or comfortably functioning, the long term effects when left untreated will be detrimental.
At The Bridge to Recovery we have been helping individuals and families heal from unresolved and chronic depression symptoms for five decades. Take your life from surviving to thriving, and begin living again.
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“ Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself. ”
- Jewel, Alumnus