High Functioning Depression

The symptoms of high functioning depression are comparable to those of major depression. however, they are less severe. The symptoms include changes in eating and sleeping patterns, poor self-esteem, weariness, hopelessness, and difficulties focusing. Medication and counseling are options for treatment.

The formal term for high-functioning depression is a persistent depressive disorder or PDD. Many of the symptoms of depression are present in someone with PDD, albeit to a lesser extent. PDD can be difficult and have a negative impact on one’s quality of life, but therapy and self-management can assist.

What is High Functioning Depression?

Many mental diseases are serious enough to interfere with a person’s capacity to function. In reality, severe impairment is a diagnostic requirement for many mental health problems. Impairment refers to a person’s inability to operate completely in one or more aspects of life.

This may include being unable to keep down a job, performing poorly in school, avoiding social activities, or being unable to maintain healthy relationships, among many other potential areas of dysfunction.

In certain circumstances, a mental disease may be less severe, and while experiencing symptoms, a person is nevertheless able to operate normally, or nearly so, most of the time.

This is known as a high-functioning Depression. It is critical to realize that high functioning is not synonymous with fully functioning. There is still some impairment with this sort of depression. Persistent depressive disorder occurs when a person can function yet still feels many symptoms of depression. This mental disorder was once known as dysthymia, and it is still frequently referred to as such.

High Functioning Depression Symptoms and Diagnosis

PDD, also known as high functioning depression, is a recognized mental health disease that really should be diagnosed by a psychiatrist or other mental health expert. Certain criteria define the symptoms and must be satisfied for a diagnosis to be established.

They perform in the same way as a high functioning depression test and are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Many of the symptoms are comparable to those used to identify serious depression, but they are usually milder. The first requirement for PDD is that a person has a low mood over most days and for the majority of the day for at least two years.

Two or more of the following symptoms must be present for a person to be depressed:

  • Appetite suppression or overeating
  • Oversleeping or Insomnia
  • Fatigue and a lack of energy
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Difficulties focusing and making judgments
  • Depressed and despairing

In addition to these symptoms, which most of the time result in a sad mood, there are a few more criteria that must be satisfied to make a diagnosis of PDD:

  • The above-mentioned gloomy mood must be present on most days for at least two years, with no remission from depression for more than two months during that time. The person has never experienced mania or hypomania, characterized by an extremely high and active mood.
  • The symptoms of depression cannot be described by some other mental disorder, a physical ailment, or substance addiction.
  • The symptoms and low mood must hinder one or more areas of normal functioning and give considerable individual suffering.
  • PDD patients may also fit the criteria for severe depression.

What It’s Like to Have High-Functioning Depression?

In clinical terms, the diagnostic criteria for PDD explain exactly what it means to battle high-functioning depression, but this is not always how it feels. It could be more helpful to consider how this mental disorder feels:Most of the time, you are depressed. Others may notice this and label you as pessimistic, cynical, or a downer.

Your bad mood is nearly constantly there, and it feels like you’ll never be able to get out of it. When you do feel pleased, it is fleeting. Even whether you get enough or too much sleep, you may feel weary all the time.

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You may appear sluggish, but you lack the stamina to accomplish more than required to operate normally. It can make you feel horrible about yourself, as if you are undeserving of being joyful or appreciated by others. It feels like a huge undertaking if you do everything you’re required to do, like go to school or keep the house tidy. If you either have no appetite or overeat without realizing it, you may gain or lose weight unintentionally.

You do satisfactorily at work or school, despite your inability to concentrate on tasks. When you would rather withdraw, you must push yourself to participate in social events. PDD can lead to seemingly unrelated concerns such as substance misuse, chronic pain, interpersonal difficulties, and challenges at work or school.

Symptoms of an Episode of Major Depression

Most persons who suffer from chronic, low-level depression (PDD) will experience an episode at some time in their life. Anyone suffering from PDD is at risk of developing serious depression. Major depression expresses itself in shorter-duration spells that last at least two weeks.

PDD patients operate normally, but during a significant depressive episode, their functionality deteriorates. A depressed episode might also result in psychotic symptoms such as delusions and paranoia. Major depression can also result in a loss of interest in previously loved activities, strong feelings of guilt, changes in emotional affect, and thoughts of suicide and acts.


It’s not always simple to spot the symptoms of high-functioning depression. It is a sneaky mental disorder that lies beneath the capacity to operate. Even for the individual experiencing these symptoms, it is difficult to recognize that there is a serious, underlying mental disorder. Getting assistance is critical since therapy may make life more joyful, enhance mood, function, and improve outlook and overall quality of life.

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