For many people when they hear the word depression, it conjures up images of someone being in bed for three weeks, someone not bathing or showering or eating for days or weeks, and someone just sitting in a silent blue room staring at the walls. While that’s like true for a very small percentage of human beings, that’s not how depression actually manifests itself on average.
Consider for one moment, the possibility that, for so many people depression doesn’t look like that at all.
It’s important to realize that for many people, depression isn’t something that instantly takes you to rock bottom, like in the movies. Many people just keep plugging away, despite the depression.
Take a look at some common ways depression shows up in those of us who live with functioning depression.
(And PS? You don’t need to have ALL of these in order for this information to be applicable. Even just one symptom makes you eligible to be a candidate and is worth considering.)
Read this blog through a few times, and maybe check in with a trusted friend and see if they see any of these symptoms present for you.
It’s also crucial to consider that some people we categorize as lazy, are actually living with functional depression.
In my experience, human beings are rarely lazy! It’s just easier to call ourselves lazy than to look at the reality of having functional depression.
SO, back to the symptoms of functional depression that include but are not limited to:
Wonky Sleep: This can range from insomnia to hypersomnia. Whether you are sleeping 16 hours a day, or three hours a day balance is (as typical) a sign of a healthy and well-balanced life. Even if you are not sleeping too much or too little if you are waking up when the alarm goes off and you don’t feel well rested this might be a factor for you. So much research talks about the importance and validity of deep, healing, rejuvenating sleep.
Life Has Lost Its OOMPH: You likely can’t remember the last time you laughed so hard that you cried. You also can’t even conceptualize feeling so much joy that your soul soars! Things that you previously enjoyed, have become very hoe hum and have lost their appeal or their zest. Think about this one for a sec, k?
Inability To Rest Or Engage In Down Time: This is that constant sense of needing to be busy or productive. It’s the drive to prove your worthiness that destroys your ability to engage in downtime or actually just sit and rest. If you feel yourself struggling with downtime, rest, slowness, or stillness it may be helpful for you to seek out some outside help. When’s the last time you did something without fidgeting or feeling like you were relaxed?
Decrease In Energy: That feeling or sensation of just not being well rested, the fear or worry that you just don’t have enough energy to get through the day, and not having the physical or mental capacity to engage in the situations in your life; are all symptoms of living with high functioning depression.
Increase In Irritability and Anger: Things that in the past would not have been any big deal, are more frustrating than normal. You can cognitively know that you may be overreacting, but you just can’t seem to reign in your anger responses. Sometimes it has nothing to do with other people. Often times it’s the inability to fight back the tears or reduces yourself to a demonized sense of self.
The Little Things Send You Over The Edge: Most of the clients that I work with are very skilled at handling huge and life-altering crises. In fact, for many of them, there is no crisis so huge that they will not soar through it with the most wonderful amount of grace and ease...and yet, things like a light bulb blowing out or burning the toast are enough to create absolute meltdowns.
Everyone Thinks You Are Doing Great: People who live with high functioning depression, typically are experts in masking and denying their own feeling and emotions. (I see you.) The people around you have no clue how upset, stressed, worried, lethargic, fatigued or hopeless you are. You’ve become so skilled at denying the struggle you are living with, that you can even convince yourself that it’s all in your mind.
If ANY of these pertain to you, get some help. It’s okay to need or want help. While many of us have subscribed to the belief system that it’s noble to suffer in silence, the exact opposite is true with depression.
Be brave, reach out, ask for help!
Don’t continue just “living” with high functioning depression, connect with me to grab a solution to it, so you can not only live, but live OUT LOUD. Schedule your FREE 15-mins solution chat here.
You can also read the next blog in this series, 5 Ways to Cope with High Functioning Depression by clicking here.