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How To Treat High Functioning Depression And Anxiety?

how to treat high functioning depression

When it comes to mental health, the term “high-functioning” frequently downplays the severity of problems people have with problems like anxiety and depression. On the outside, they may seem successful, but on the inside, they struggle with debilitating emotions of despair, anxiety, and uncertainty. It takes a sophisticated strategy that incorporates self-awareness, self-care routines, and support networks to manage high functioning depression and anxiety.

To help people take charge of their mental health, this blog will discuss effective and practical methods on how to treat high functioning depression and anxiety.

What Is High Functioning Depression?

High functioning depression refers to a depressive condition in which the patient appears to be doing OK on the outside while actually suffering from the disorder.

On the contrary, it’s a more informal word for the subtle signs of depression that don’t show up in people’s observations or don’t seem like they’re affecting daily life.

Also, “high functioning depression” isn’t a medically accepted term, yet it can describe a severe form of depression in certain people. Just because you’re going about your day normally and getting things done doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Unless you disclose it, no one around you may know that you’re depressed. On the other hand, you might not be okay.

An estimated 1 in 6 individuals will experience high functioning depression at some point in their lives. So, there is a need to find symptoms, causes, and treatments for it.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Functioning Depression?

Some of the physical and mental symptoms of high functioning depression are as follows:

  • Working too much
  • Strive for perfection
  • Surpassing expectation
  • Seeking approval from those outside of oneself
  • Disguising symptoms in social situations with an optimistic attitude

Along with the symptoms of high functioning depression, the patient can also feel the symptoms of actual depression, which are as follows:

  • Experiencing a lack of joy or fulfillment on a regular basis
  • Having a negative or miserable mindset
  • Worrying that you don’t matter
  • Experiencing agitation or nervousness
  • Lack interest in everything
  • Isolating yourself from others around you
  • Exhausted and weary
  • Moving or speaking slowly
  • Problems with concentration, memory, or decision-making
  • Dealing with variations and challenges in sleep
  • Observing alterations in weight and hunger
  • Considering withdrawal, self-injury, or suicide
  • Feeling physically ill with no apparent cause and no relief from treatment for things like headaches, cramps, aches, and digestive problems

What Causes High Functioning Depression And Anxiety?

There are many factors that could cause high functioning depression and anxiety, including brain chemistry, genetics, life events, trauma, medical conditions, substances, or personality.

There aren’t always clear reasons why you can handle your regular tasks while someone else struggles. When it comes to dealing with mental health issues, everyone is unique.

For example, there is no magic bullet that will magically increase or decrease your motivation to brush your teeth first thing in the morning.

Moreover, each person’s unique set of resources, including their motivation, support network, and methods of dealing with stress, can play a big role. You should also consider how easily you can get the resources that are part of your treatment plan and how effectively you are following it.

Also, people with mental health conditions may still have certain abilities that allow them to perform at a higher level. For example, if you have outstanding accounting skills, you might give the impression of being highly productive even when you’re actually not.

So, it’s difficult to find the actual cause of the high functioning depression and anxiety.

How To Treat High Functioning Depression And Anxiety?

There are effective treatments for high functioning depression problems. Having a high functioning level does not mean that treatment is unnecessary.

Although some people may seem to be functioning well, that doesn’t mean they don’t require help or therapy. It is essential to seek professional support and engage in self-care techniques for general well-being, as everyone’s experience with mental health disorders is unique.

So, you can consult a mental health specialist or your primary care physician to begin treatment for high functioning depression and anxiety.

Treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders may require both psychotherapy and medication, although specific treatment options will depend on the medical condition you are dealing with. So, there are many treatment methods for dealing with depression.

1. Therapy

Therapy

 

You can overcome not just the depression itself but also the judgment and fear associated with it by practicing mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). If you’re depressed and want to hide it from everyone, therapy can help. Also, if you are experiencing a need to cover your depression, a therapist can help you do so by working within the boundaries of your professional life, family life, cultural background, and other relevant areas.

2. Medication

Medication

If your high functioning depression is moderate to severe, your doctor will probably recommend antidepressants, online anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, beta-blockers or antipsychotics. These drugs are effective because they restore a healthy equilibrium of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It may take some trial and error with many antidepressants before you discover the one that helps you the most.

If your doctor has prescribed you certain medications for the treatment of depression, you can buy prescription medications online.

3. Support Groups

Support Groups

If you feel uncomfortable discussing your depression with those close to you, a support group can provide a secure environment where you can chat with others who understand what you’re going through.

4. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle Changes

A patient can adopt a healthier way of life that can help his mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. The following are the ways you can bring about a change in your lifestyle:.
For example, a person can reduce their high functioning depression by maintaining a regular exercise routine, consistently consuming healthy foods, focusing on getting enough sleep, writing, practicing meditation, determining objectives, being in contact with loved ones, or being thankful.

Also Read: How to Get Out of ADHD Paralysis

Key Takeaway

Some people have a hard time believing that a very functional person may suffer from depression. Keep in mind that anybody can suffer from depression; it doesn’t discriminate based on wealth, fame, success, or how fortunate one appears to be.

Having depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw; it’s also nothing to be embarrassed about. As a matter of fact, some individuals who experience high functioning depression opt to be open about their condition and even advocate for others who relate.

It is critical to get treatment for depression in order to ease its symptoms. Among mental health issues, depression is one of the most treatable, and there is a very good chance that treatment will work.

Feeling the urge to conceal your high functioning depression from others or having trouble recognizing that you have depression are both signs that treatment may be useful.

References

  1. Tennant F (2015). Status Report on the Role of Stimulants in Chronic Pain Management. Pract Pain Manag. MedCentral ;15(6). https://www.medcentral.com/pain/chronic/status-report-role-stimulants-chronic-pain-management
  2. Beliveau, C. M., McMahan, V. M., Arenander, J., Angst, M. S., Kushel, M., Torres, A., Santos, G. M., & Coffin, P. O. (2022). Stimulant use for self-management of pain among safety-net patients with chronic non-cancer pain. Substance abuse, 43(1), 179–186. https://doi.org/10.1080/08897077.2021.1903654 
  3. LaBossier, N. J., & Hadland, S. E. (2022). Stimulant misuse among youth. Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, 52(9), 101265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2022.101265 
  4. Shearer, R. D., Jones, A., Howell, B. A., Segel, J. E., & Winkelman, T. N. A. (2022). Associations between prescription and illicit stimulant and opioid use in the United States, 2015-2020. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 143, 108894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2022.108894 
  5. Ba, S. J. M. (2022, August 25). Adderall Abuse and Addiction. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/adderall-abuse-addiction-signs 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ADHD a form of autism?

Actually, the symptoms and diagnostic criteria for autism and ADHD are very different. They are distinct disorders with their own set of symptoms and treatment approaches, while they may share certain similarities, like behavioral and attention issues. ADHD is characterized by difficulties paying attention, being overly active, and acting without thinking. On the other hand, autism spectrum disorder includes issues with communicating and interacting with others, as well as limited and repetitive behaviors.

Is ADHD a disability?

If ADHD substantially limits a person’s capacity to carry out everyday duties or complete assignments for school, work, or other activities, then it might be deemed a disability. The degree and impact of symptoms can vary greatly among individuals with ADHD; thus, not everyone will develop a disability.

Can people with ADHD live a normal life?

Even though certain symptoms of ADHD may go away as you get older, the disorder itself might be permanent. Some people don’t find out they have ADHD until they are adults. Getting therapy or medication for ADHD is crucial for all adults. If they don’t, they can face difficulties in finding work.

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Melissa J. Roybal
Dr. Melissa J. Roybal

Melissa has over 15 years of experience since graduating from Georgetown University, specializing in pediatrics, adult, and geriatric care. She is passionate about helping patients via telemedicine for various conditions.

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