People with high-functioning depression are typically able to get through the day, often performing well at work or other areas of life despite feeling the constant drag of low mood, fatigue, poor concentration, and other symptoms of depression. While major depression can be completely debilitating, preventing someone from so much as getting out of bed, people with high-functioning depression can do what they need do most of the time. Indeed, they sometimes do it so well that people who know them don’t even suspect they’re always exhausted and miserable. High-functioning depression isn’t an officially recognized condition. It mainly applies to people who have depression but are still able to manage a normal life. Typically, people who can pull this off have a condition called persistent depressive disorder, or PDD, and is sometimes called dysthymia. PDD is characterized by the same symptoms as major depressive disorder, or MDD, except the diagnosis criteria are slightly different. These symptoms include persistent sadness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, loss of appetite or overeating, sleeping too much or too little, fatigue, poor concentration, feelings of hopelessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. While a diagnosis of MDD requires you have at least five of these symptoms most of the time for at least two weeks, PDD requires that you have at least three of these symptoms for two years. The symptoms of PDD are also not as intense as those of MDD. This is why people with PDD can still get things done while simple tasks such as showering and getting dressed might feel impossible for someone with MDD. There is also a condition called chronic MDD, which lasts for at least two years and has all the symptoms of MDD. People with high-functioning depression often find themselves in a bit of a gray area. They realize something is wrong but they think depression should be more debilitating. Since they may have good jobs and a good family life, they might feel guilty about feeling depressed because they think they have nothing to be depressed about. They may expect the mood to lift eventually, or they may just feel like their low mood is just the new normal. Either way, they are less likely to seek help, since they seem to be getting along despite the depression. There’s no need to keep going through life feeling like you’re trudging through mud. You may not be as impaired as someone with MDD, but just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get help. And it is possible for someone with PDD to suffer an episode of major depression, a condition called double depression. PDD is treated much like other forms of depression, with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Treatment can be very effective, improving both your mood and your productivity.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.