When we hear about people who suffer from depression, more often than not they have major depression, which is clinically different and requires a different depression treatment program than other types of mood disorders.
What we don’t frequently hear about is high-functioning or functional depression that is a very real disorder, yet it can go undiagnosed, or people think they can simply suffer in silence and live with their symptoms. Unfortunately, it diminishes their quality of life and can become a severe problem if untreated, as with other types of depression.
The following are some things to know about functional depression.
What Is Functional Depression?
Functional depression is a scenario where you may be able to get out of bed, live your life, go to work and even maintain relationships, but it’s difficult for you. It can feel overwhelming to live your daily life, and people with functional depression tend to lose motivation, feel sad regularly, and they don’t derive a lot of joy from their life.
There’s not a defined definition for it, and it’s not in the DSM-V, but if you’ve experienced it, you likely know how to describe it. In simplest terms, when you have functional depression you may be able to do the things you need to do, but you’re really just going along at the minimum level required.
If people do notice something is going on, in many cases, they may attribute it to the person lacking in ambition, but that’s a symptom of the disorder itself.
Quality Of Life
A lot of people who suffer from functional depression will wonder why they should even try to treat it, because after all, aren’t they still functional at least at some level?
This is a misconception, however. If you are suffering from functional depression, it means you’re experiencing a low quality of life, and there are options for treatment, which are usually similar to those depression treatment programs for clinically diagnosed mild to moderate depression.
You Can’t Alleviate Your Symptoms With Positive Thinking
Another misconception that occurs not just with functional depression but all forms of depression is that you can simply think yourself back into positivity or will your depression away. With all types of depression, it’s a scenario that’s a mental health condition comprised of factors including chemical and biological imbalances.
Even what you view as mild depression needs to be medically treated, and you can’t simply try to think positively to alleviate these symptoms.
It can be more common with functional depression to convince yourself that you’re fine or that you’ll get past it, and then avoid seeking treatment as a result.
Finally, if you or someone you know has the symptoms of high functioning depression, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. As with other diseases and health conditions, even if your depression starts out as something that seems mild, it can progress and become more and more severe. Early detection and treatment can help people receive treatment for the problem before it gets to the point where it does interfere with their level of functionality in their daily life.