What Is High-Functioning Depression?

Anxiety and depressive disorders are common but not always easy to recognize. Different types of anxiety and depression present themselves through varied signs and symptoms, so while you might be able to tell when someone is struggling with a major depressive disorder, you may be surprised to discover that another person is secretly dealing with a high-functioning form of depression or anxiety.  

There’s no need to continue to battle mental health symptoms on your own. Help is available at Promises Right Step. Call us at 17135283709 or complete our online form to learn more about our anxiety treatment programs.  

What Is High-Functioning Depression? 

High-functioning depression is a type of depressive disorder in which a person appears fairly happy, confident, and successful on the outside. To onlookers, there are often no telltale signs of depression like: 

  • Chronic feelings of sadness 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Emptiness 

People with high-functioning depression typically mask what is going on on the inside by suppressing their feelings around others. They may even try to overcompensate for their internal struggles by overachieving or exhibiting perfectionistic tendencies. 

What Are the Different Types of Anxiety? 

Like depression, anxiety disorders are not one size fits all. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including: 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder 
  • Social anxiety disorder 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Phobias 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • High-functioning anxiety 

Regardless of which type of anxiety disorder a person is dealing with, it can significantly impact their daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. 

What Is High-Functioning Anxiety? 

Similar to high-functioning depression, people with high-functioning anxiety appear to be calm and composed on the outside. However, they battle internally with intense feelings of: 

  • Worry 
  • Fear 
  • Stress 

High-functioning anxiety can cause people to hold themselves to very high standards, constantly seeking validation.  

Similarities between High-Functioning Depression and High-Functioning Anxiety 

There is plenty of overlap between signs and symptoms of high-functioning depression and high-functioning anxiety. Both conditions can involve:  

  • Perfectionism 
  • Persistent self-doubt 
  • Fear of failure 
  • Burnout 
  • Emotional exhaustion 
  • A tendency to hide their struggles from others 
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships 

Since the symptoms of both conditions can be similar, it may be tough to distinguish which condition you may have. To get an appropriate diagnosis, you should schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. 

Tips for Managing High-Functioning Anxiety and Depression 

The strategies for managing high-functioning depression and anxiety are mostly the same since these conditions both present similar symptoms. The following tips can help you manage a high-functioning mental health disorder: 

Find Professional Help 

One of the biggest differences between high-functioning anxiety and depression versus another type of anxiety or depressive disorder is masking one’s struggles. This can make a person less likely to seek treatment, but ignoring or denying the issue can only worsen things over time. 

Talking to a mental health specialist is the first step toward overcoming the challenges of a high-functioning mental health condition. Enrolling in mental health treatment gives you access to medications if needed. It also allows you to work with a counselor to overcome perfectionistic tendencies and heal from burnout due to putting unrealistically high standards on yourself. 

Practice Self-Care 

Besides enrolling in professional treatment, the best thing you can do to support your mental health is to practice self-care. Meditation, exercise, proper nutrition, and good sleep hygiene can all help you feel calmer and more balanced. 

Develop Healthy Coping Strategies 

Untreated high-functioning anxiety and depression can put you at risk of reaching for unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, alcohol, gambling, and shopping to escape from emotional discomfort. Identify healthy coping strategies to replace these potentially harmful behaviors, such as journaling, picking up hobbies, going for a walk, or talking to a trusted friend or family member. 

Get Help for High-Functioning Anxiety and Depression by Calling Promises Right Step Today 

Promises Behavioral Health is here to support you or a loved one overcome the hold depression and anxiety have on your life.  

 If you recognize the signs of high-functioning anxiety or depression in yourself or a loved one, schedule an intake assessment at Promises Right Step by filling out our online form or giving us a call at 17135283709

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