The 6 Signs of High Functioning Depression

High functioning depression is not a real diagnosis, it is simply more catchy than the real diagnosis term, "dysthymia". Dysthymia (also called Persistent Depressive Disorder) is described in the DSM as "depressed mood most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by subjective account or observation by others, for at least two years" includes the presence of two or more of the following symptoms: "Lack of appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, low concentration or difficulty making decisions, feelings of hopelessness." People with dysthymia They can still get up, go to work or school, and from the outside they look good. But inside they are exhausted, frustrated and feel terrible about their situation. To know if you have high functioning depression or dysthymia problems, these are some of the most common symptoms:

Avoiding social situations: often, when we are able to strive to function in our daily lives, it does not leave extra energy to socialize. We can find ourselves canceling plans, just wanting to be alone and moving away from those we love and care for.

Feeling more irritable: when we do not feel our best, we can have little patience for the people in our lives. We can find that everyone is getting on our nerves, and we could even start fights with those we love. Observe if everything people do around them seems to be frustrating and annoying.

Are you constantly tired? Can you barely get everything you need to complete every day and feel annihilated afterwards? Are you always tired, when you used to feel that you had so much energy? It could be dysthymia

Do you fight to concentrate? Read and re-read the emails still do not know what it says. Is it difficult to focus, even watch television? Many of my clients will tell me that it is difficult for them to even follow an argument in a movie or television program, and they will have to go back to see parts of it. This can be so frustrating and make school and work much more difficult.

Are you using an unhealthy coping skill more and more? This could be drinking more alcohol, zoning in front of the TV or playing a video game, or even above or below the treatment. If you find yourself going back to old unhealthy (or even new) habits, contact someone and talk to someone. Early management of these problems allows us to find healthier coping skills to replace them more easily.

Constant worry about the past or the future: I believe that this sign occurs because anxiety and depression are close friends. Is it hard for you to fall asleep because you can not stop going over that stupid thing you said years ago? Maybe you can not sleep because you're so worried about tomorrow or next week? If you always feel that you can not control and stop those negative and worried thought cycles, it could be a high functioning depression.

WHAT CAN WE DO? If you nodded when talking about these 5 common signs, ask for help. Those with high functioning dysthymia or depression often do not receive treatment for years. Do not let it be you! The sooner we get closer and get some help, the less time we will spend feeling bad. For many people, all that is needed is conversation therapy, while others consider that medications are the most useful. Whatever helps you, be sure to speak up, reach it and get it as soon as possible. Because it can and will improve.

More on dysthymia:


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    The 6 Signs of High Functioning Depression

    Comments 45

    1. Thank you so much for this. I've been visiting few psychologists that haven't said much about my problems….(I live in small city and nearby cities have no places for such help and even with that one, an adult that is not a teacher or parent cannot get a truly professional help….restrictions are horrible!)
      I've been through real depression two times, but even if I got out of this, I still got problems I cannot overcome, and you've described these, so now I know I suffer from dysthymia.

    2. A long comments right ? But I can not talk like that in real world , i feel aggressive all the time and listen to sad people , but there is nobody that can listen to me

    3. My mom had a great parents , and she says as child or before she got married she said “I aggressive people only existed in fairy tales , and I never thought aggressive people existed “ her family was very soft and peaceful. But her kids eventually we think like peaceful people belong to fairy tales .

    4. I feel myself comfortable with more silent , sad people , but I am not extremely introvert person , I am in the middle as usual . At first I know how to talk to regular fun friends but I really don’t know how to continue since I didn’t have any experience. I somehow look for supportive ones but it’s hard today everyone needs a support . You know I feel like I wanna have fun at the same time , I can’t . I feel like I am still not over with childhood and whenever I start to have fun I feel like a teenager who is growing up . But I need matureness since I am getting old day by day and soon I will need to get married . I am so stuck lol. Idk

    5. Thank you for your video. I found it very helpful. I feel like I relate to most of these symptoms in varying degrees with the exception of the first one. Sometimes I do find social settings exhausting if I feel alone in a crowd. But for the most part, I crave social activities with close friends because I don't want to be alone all the time. The problem is I fear they will think I'm being too needy. I constantly feel like I'm telling myself that everyone has better things to do than spend time with me. I cherish the social time that I do get with friends, and am all too familiar with the emotional "crash" that comes after several days go by and I have nothing to do again but be alone in my house. I don't know how or even if that makes sense..

    6. I zoned out watching this thinking about how much I want mcdonald’s and talking myself into going instead of doing a load of work laundry and going to bed. I know I need some kind of therapy but I don’t have the money for it.

    7. could you do a video for advice for those who might not have access to therapy? for money reasons or no transportation or parents that are unable to get us into therapy

    8. these.. these symptoms are fucking hitting me right now like these are going on right fucking now what the hell

    9. So, what do you do if it's been around 2 decades like that, already?

      Additionally, I'm po', and I live in a red state, so there really isn't anything in the way of free, or even affordable, mental healthcare (or any healthcare) of functional quality.

    10. Wow! Every day, all day this is me! I’m a new subscriber to your channel 🙂 thank you so much for doing all these videos for us 🙂

    11. Would talk therapy from a book have the same effect as actual talk therapy? The book also gives you "homework" to do. Ive had dysthmia for 6 years

    12. I'm educated, I have a great job, but my dumb coping mechanism with my high functioning depression is to starve myself because in my head – when I punish my body, I'm eventually rewarded with something good. Good things happen to pretty skinny girls, huh? And in my logical scientific mind i know that there's no higher power that would reward me for that behavior, but the hope is still there. And somehow, every time I get back to my lowest weight, somebody finally notices that I need help and I get taken care of for a moment.

    13. This almost brought me to tears. Major Depression severe without psychotic feature.. That's my primary diagnosis. My symptoms are inexcusable in all aspects of my life. The pain I feel is invisible till tears start running down my face.

    14. Hmm… As someone who was diagnosed as dysthymic by my psychiatrist, I figure I should chime in. For years, I described myself as a 'functional, cyclical depressive’. Someone who dealt with ‘high-functioning depression’. I worked in various elements of customer service, and so interacted with people the entire time, wearing a ‘mask’. Nobody at work had any clue as to my full story. Not even friends. Or family. Flash-forward decades, and after a suicide attempt, I was prescribed Wellbutrin. Eventually, I had two more meds added to my cocktail. For me, they ‘cut the fuel lines’ to what ails me. The issues remain, it’s not like the meds do anything about them…but they’re simply not as potent as they are without the pharmaceuticals.

      Having said all that, I’ve only ever had one of the symptoms you list. I can recall the first time I saw the word ‘dysthymia’ on my medical records, and not having a clue as to what it meant. When I eventually looked it up, I came across ‘unable to find joy or happiness in anything’. I still don’t think I’m dysthymic, but sometimes we can get caught up in semantical gymnastics. (As a sidebar, whenever I find myself in a discussion about depression and suicide, when people are bewildered by someone in the news exiting of their own freewill, leaving behind loved ones (and/or fans) who don’t understand why they did what they did, because 'they never seemed like things were bad’, I explain ‘We can be the most incredible liars.’)

    15. Damn, that's why almost no one believes I have depression. Because I look "fine" on the outside.

    16. Thank you Kati. I have every single symptom and I'm a nutritional therapy practitioner. I went off meds 10 yrs ago and I'll never go back on. It's a racket. However, here are the reasons I have this depression:
      Narcissistic Mother
      Unhealed childhood trauma
      Gluten intolerance
      I go on and off sugar
      ACA, OA, no sugar, no gluten, supplements and exercise help me the most.

    17. I feel as thonive been miss diagnosed the told me i had dysthymia along suicidal ideation. It feels much more crippling

    18. I totally have it. My excuse for not getting help…"It's the world not me, if the world can be helped then maybe I can too." Sounds funny but I really believe it.

    19. I think u r the only one talk clear cuz i can't concentrate on anythig. Not even 5 mins without getting lost in my head

    20. I think I have High Functioning Depression since 2013-14,aka since I was 12/13. After the death of my grandpa and the divorce of my parents of I started to blame everything on myself. It didn't got better,it got worse to the point I almost killed myself. And even classmates told me to kill myself since I skipped school cause of these symptoms. And the worst thing is,I don't have real life friends. Or my family thinking that is not real. Only my online friends kept me alive so far. And I've known them for years.
      And honestly,I don't know what to do,I can't afford to go to a therapist.

    21. Depresion has been with me for a long time? From the ages of 12yrs old coz of what happend to me. Its to private to be on this. But the depression stoped when i was25 yrs old. Then in 2016 my wife left me coz she sed she cudnt handle how often i was having epilptick fits. I loved her and i still do . But i hate her to and now i dont trust any women at all . Im still very depressed and very angry . And im very lonly.

    22. I have taken zoloft and other meds for years but this only keeps me at a level of Dysthymia. Frustrating.

    23. Well, I have a question, everyday I always come to school (during school days) and first I look like feeling happy, but I feel sad, worry and sometimes, don't feel anything at all, I'm always exhausted because I always sleep at class even tho I don't want to, and sometimes I can be too hyper that I cannot stay still because I feel uncomfortable especially in my class, I don't know what happen to me, so I hope you can explain to me what's wrong with me (^~^")

    24. I've had this since 2002. On drugs, made quite a few positive life changes, and was doing very well. These days not so well.

    25. This video was very helpful to me, Kati. I have been dealing with high functioning depression for years and to me, I just always thought it was "normal"- that everyone felt like me. It's hard to admit it, but I feel better doing so. I am taking a light dose of medication and I am trying to be more open with talking to people, something I've always had trouble with (you know the "man" mentality- keep it to yourself). So yes, thank you for this video. 🙂

    26. what if you have all those symptoms, except they only last 6 months, not 2+ years. What would that be called?

    27. Hi katy, I'm from Morocco and I struggle with the diagnosis here. It's really clear to me that I have high functioning depression since I remember, always hopeless with low energy and I can sleep 12 hours a day and sometimes still need to sleep. But when I went to see a doctor, he told me that I have MDD, and this is not true because I can easily manage my day but still sometimes suffer from anhedonia…so I just wanna know if MDD has the same treatment as the one used for my case, because I dont really see any changes with medications which leed me to stop them immediately. I REALLY DONT WHAT TO DO !! U GUYS LUCKY YOU LIVE IN SUCH A COUNTRY.

    28. This is a good video…i always knew i had depression just wasnt sure which kind, this video explains a lot now.

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