In a recent blog, we discussed the reality of high-functioning depression. While not an official mental health condition, high-functioning depression can be associated with various depressive disorders. No matter what kind of depression an individual is diagnosed with, they can be determined as “high-functioning” if they successfully navigate life without disclosing their symptoms to their loved ones. This article will discuss depression treatment for those who struggle with their diagnosis.
Here are some of the types of depression that mental health professionals commonly treat:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): Also called clinical depression, major depressive disorder is a significant depression that lasts for more than two weeks.
- Persistent depressive disorder (PDD): Dysthymia is a depressive disorder that lasts for more than two years, with symptoms coming and going throughout that time.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): This type of depression is not typically seen here in Florida, as a lack of adequate sunlight causes it.
- Perinatal depression: This type of depression is experienced by some women who are pregnant. It is comprised of antepartum depression (depression during pregnancy) and postpartum depression (depression after pregnancy).
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): PMDD is a severe type of premenstrual disorder (PMS) characterized by prominent mood swings, typically occurring in the days leading up to the menstrual period.
- Bipolar depression: Those individuals with bipolar disorder typically alternate between significantly elevated, high-energy moods (known as mania) and periods of pervasive depression.
- Psychotic depression: Those with psychotic depression (diagnosed as a major depressive disorder with psychotic features) also experience hallucinations and delusions (believing things that are not true).
Those with high-functioning depression may be diagnosed with any of these other types of depression. The term refers to the fact that regardless of their diagnosis, they can rise above it when living their daily lives, and those around them may not be aware of their mental health condition. However, this can be very dangerous, as they put additional stress and anxiety on themselves and are not availing themselves of the support their friends and family could provide.
Here are some reasons that you may try to hide your condition and avoid depression treatment:
- Your culture, tradition, or family teaches you not to discuss mental illness.
- You think you can handle it on your own.
- You don’t want your boss or colleagues at work to think less of you or treat you differently.
- You have never learned to show vulnerability and don’t want to appear weak.
- You are ashamed of your depression.
- You feel that you will lose family or friends or that your life will fall apart.
Depression Treatment Options
The term ‘high functioning’ may make someone think that they do not need treatment. However, treatment is highly recommended to restore the quality of life you deserve. Treatment options may include:
- Therapy: Your mental health counselor can help you to understand the therapies and techniques that can help you through any negative emotions surrounding your depression. Counseling can help you to speak with others about your depression, keeping in mind any unique challenges involving work, family, or cultural background.
- Medication: Antidepressants can be prescribed for moderate to severe depression and work to rebalance the neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Support groups: Support and peer groups can provide a safe environment to discuss your depression with people who understand.
Denise Schonwald is a nationally certified mental health counselor who provides compassionate mental health counseling and coaching to those in need of depression treatment. If you need someone to speak with and prefer an unbiased professional, Denise is here to help. Call today to learn more about video consultations conducted at your convenience.