What is high-functioning depression

Depression can manifest in different, including non-obvious ways.

And regardless of whether it depletes a man to such an extent that he can’t move, or not, she is characterized by panic attacks, or mood swings, similar to what happens to us under stress, it is still a depression.

I think that if you are able to five times a week for eight hours to go to work, then you are definitely not depressed? Actually, not necessarily.

Dysthymia and anxiety high functionality

Despite the fact that high-functioning depression (dysthymia) is not currently included in the list of official clinical diagnoses, many people suffer this type of depression. In fact, dysthymia – the same depression with the same symptoms, which, however, are not as potent and therefore allow the patient to do more and, presumably, feel better patients with depressive disorder.

“So many people can identify themselves high-functioning depression – Refinery29, says family psychologist Kati Morton (Kati Morton). – At least because many of us have depressive symptoms, which, however, does not prevent us to live a normal life, carrying out habitual actions every day.” The expert adds that the unofficial diagnosis also helps to classify people who do not meet the criteria necessary for the production of generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder (episodic paroxysmal anxiety).

To diagnose such a violation, said Morton, you must commit the manifestations of at least three symptoms for six months including trouble sleeping, unexplained anxiety and difficulties. In this case, however, talk about high functioning depression and high functioning anxiety.

“People with dysthymia or anxiety high functionality face the same problems as patients with a classic diagnosis, but they can still get up in the morning and go to work, without any special effort. Because, in particular, that the symptoms in their case, not so aggressive,” says Kati Morton.

How to identify high-functioning depression

But the fact that functional disorders are not included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM), which doctors use to diagnose mental health disorders, does not mean that they do not exist. According to statistics, only in the United States with something similar faced about 40 million adults. And it is difficult to imagine what will figure when to collect data from around the world.

Experts explain that “high functioning depression” and “functional anxiety” is still not recognized, partly because everyone (and every doctor, respectively) understand functioning of different. Is it fair to measure the functioning of the ability to walk to work? Maybe it will be enough opportunity and desire to get out of bed and make yourself Breakfast? Or, on the contrary, we can talk about high function only in the case if the patient just comes in and works, but finds the strength to go somewhere after work? On these issues the scientific community has yet to respond.

The problem here is that even if you feel well enough to go to the office, to meet friends, enjoy a favorite show in the evening, the symptoms of depression or anxiety can be felt in the long term.

“I think sometimes we need to dig a bit deeper to understand how anxiety affects us, our lives and our ability to function,” says Morton. She admits that there is one question that helps to identify patients at high-functioning depression or anxiety, even if the overall clinical picture does not show aggressive symptoms: “When was the last time you felt really good?” And advises everyone to ask yourself when the last time he was happy, I was relaxed and carefree when asleep all night. But, most importantly, to answer these questions as honestly as possible.

“The trend is that if we are sick in the mental sense, but we are still able to go to work or to study, we can lose sight of, to overshadow how actually feel, says Kati Morton. This is becoming the new norm, and it’s sad”. That is why if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety that continue for more than a week, you should see a specialist. Yes, even if you think that everything is in order.

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