How well do you know your friends, co-workers or even family? It would be surprising to know it doesn’t matter how well you know them, they may be hiding something from you. What you may see is a happy marriage, a great job, lots of friends. What you won’t see is the unhappiness, lack of energy, constant self-doubt and changes in appetite; a few symptoms of high-functioning depression.
Depression can be devastating and debilitating for anyone.
People are more familiar with major depressive disorder, as the symptoms are more visible. Symptoms of MDD can be physical and mental exhaustion, loss of motivation, sense of overwhelming hopelessness; to name a few. Those who live with high-function depression or Persistent Depressive Disorder will live with it and not even realize it.
The exact cause of high-functioning depression isn’t known. As with major depression, it may involve more than one cause, such as biological differences, brain chemistry, inherited traits and life events.
Depression affects nearly 350 million people worldwide, and you probably know someone who lives with depression.
One of the most difficult aspects of high-functioning depression is the way people can blend into society and the lack of understanding that goes with it. Examples are celebrities like Kristen Bell, Dwayne Johnston, Lady Gaga and J.K. Rowling.
Here are a few things to know:
- People cannot understand the complexity of the symptoms unless you’ve lived through it
- Everyday activities feel impossible
- Illness doesn’t have to be seen to be real
- Checking in on the person is appreciated
- It goes deeper than life’s circumstances
- Appearances on the outside doesn’t always match on the inside
- The tiniest gestures goes a long way
- Treatment does work and varies for everyone
Anita Levesque is a web and graphic designer, a mental health advocate with lived experience through loved ones; father – bipolar; brother – PTSD, depression, anxiety; mother – PTSD; boyfriend – clinical depression, severe OCD, GAD, personality disorders. The goal with my website, http://mentalillness-doyouknow.com is to focus on personal experiences rather than articles by doctors and medical professionals who haven’t experienced mental illness. Anita writes articles for several websites on topics such as OCD, Addictions, Suicide, PTSD and more. She resides in Stoney Creek, Ontario and interests are photography, reading, music, learning, spending time with her family.