High-functioning depression is something that affects a wide range of people, but it is also something that is often pushed beneath the rug. Many people think that if someone isn't moping around, crying, isolating themselves from loved ones, or sleeping all day that an individual can't be depressed, but that mentality can't be farther from the truth.

Why it is hard to recognize

High-functioning depression can be very dangerous when it is left untreated and in many cases can be hard to identify due to the lack of stereotypical symptoms that are often associated with depression.

It comes in many shapes and sizes, and your co-worker who is always smiling or that friend of yours who seems like she has it all together, could be suffering from high-functioning depression and you might have no idea. However, despite the fact that it can be difficult to diagnose, there are signs that could indicate that a person has high-functioning depression.

Signs and symptoms

Perhaps one of the most common signs of high-functioning depression is the inability to experience joy or happiness. Someone who suffers from high-functioning depression might no longer enjoy the things that used to make that person happy, and might even feel like spending time with friends or going to the gym is more of a chore than a pleasure.

In fact, instead of feeling joy, you experience sadness, but you can't seem to pinpoint the cause, yet again another sign. Furthermore, you may become extremely critical of everyone around you, including yourself. You speak negatively about your friends, your boss, and even strangers passing by, but continue to be harshest on yourself.

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Constantly doubting yourself is another indicator, because individuals who experience high-functioning depression will often doubt whether or not certain relationships, career paths, or decisions are right for them. This goes hand in hand with perfectionism. If you suffer from high-functioning depression, you may feel the need to get the best grades, have the perfect job, the perfect significant other, and the perfect life.

Although this is a concept that is experienced by almost everyone, to a degree, it becomes an issue when the result of not having these things causes you to permanently beat yourself up psychologically.

Additional signs and symptoms

A loss of energy is another telltale sign of high-functioning depression. If you have a hard time keeping up physical, mental, and emotional energy for even the simplest of tasks and having that energy at all seems impossible, it may be a sign. On the other hand, you may feel like you're overworked and are unable to slow down to stop and rest even for a moment, which also can be a sign of high-functioning depression as well as being consistently angry and easily irritable.

Extreme rage over the smallest things like your boyfriend saying the wrong thing or a friend picking you up late are instances of anger that would typically not be felt by someone who doesn't have high-functioning depression. In addition to becoming angered easily, you become overwhelmed by the littlest things. If you find yourself growing stressed over practically nothing, this also may be a sign. Guilt and worry are normal, but if you continually worry about the past and the future without reason, this can also be an indication of high-functioning depression.

It's okay to seek help

If you or someone you know experiences any of these feelings on a regular basis, it's important to remember that high-functioning depression can and should be treated. You are not alone, and there are several people out there who know what you're going through and want to help. You deserve to live your best life, so make sure you seek out the help you need.