Most people are familiar with the idea of clinical depression. People who receive that diagnosis often exhibit symptoms you can quickly pick up on as part of the disease. However, you can appear outwardly fine to friends and family yet still feel unhappy with yourself. Maybe you find yourself feeling tired all the time, even if you’re able to smile your way through social situations. While high-functioning depression isn’t a clinical diagnosis, it’s often used to describe people living with less debilitating symptoms of depression. If you’re battling an addiction due to or that is causing depression, please learn more about our men’s depression treatment center in North Carolina at Red Oak Recovery® today by calling 828.382.9699.
What Is High-Functioning Depression?
People with high-function depression are typically diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Common symptoms of PDD include a lack of energy or constant fatigue. In addition, those with PDD or high-functioning depression experience the symptoms for at least two years.
Recognizing that someone may be living with high-functioning depression can be difficult. The effects can creep in gradually until it finally gets to a point where a person realizes there is a problem. Sometimes a stressful life event can make things more complicated.
People with the illness tend to have the kind of personality where they push through their feelings. Others may see them as perfectionists, which can add to their determination to live up to a specific image. Those with the disorder may have trouble admitting they need help, which can lead to a build-up of emotion that spills over at a critical point.
What Are the Signs of High-Functioning Depression?
Those who feel they may be suffering from the effects of any form of depression, including high-functioning depression, should seek help from a mental health professional. They can make an accurate diagnosis of whether a person is genuinely suffering from PDD or other mental illnesses. Some of the common signs of PDD or high-functioning depression include:
- Bouts of insomnia or sleeping too much
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Lack of self-esteem
- Constantly feeling that you have no energy
- Difficulty making firm decisions
A psychiatrist or mental health professional will look for signs that the mental health condition disrupts your ability to function normally. They can rule out other issues that could cause your symptoms and assess whether you suffer from a more severe form of depression.
Signs You May Be Dealing with High-Functioning Depression
While there are clinical clues that professionals look for in diagnosing PDD, you may have different experiences than others. Here are some signs that you may be dealing with a form of high-functioning depression.
- People tend to describe you as gloomy or a downer. It may be hard for you to see the bright side of any situation.
- Some may describe you as lazy because you find it difficult to muster the energy to accomplish basic tasks.
- It’s hard for you to feel good about yourself, even when given a compliment. You may continuously look for ways to criticize yourself, either internally or to others.
- Your weight fluctuates without you being on a diet plan because your appetite grows or recedes depending on your mood.
- You may find yourself crying or experiencing feelings of hopelessness for seemingly no reason.
- Your performance may seem fine at school or work, but you’re struggling to appear normal to peers.
- You find yourself tempted to use substances like drugs or alcohol to make yourself feel better.
What Happens When High-Functioning Depression Co-Occurs with Substance Abuse?
A dual diagnosis is when someone suffers from a mental health condition and an addiction. A high-functioning depression diagnosis can occur alongside any other mental illness, but it’s more likely to co-occur with addiction. People suffering from high-functioning depression may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with their condition. The problem is that this only makes things worse in the long term.
A dual diagnosis requires treatment for both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition. It’s essential to address both because they feed off each other. Without treating high-functioning depression, it’s more challenging to recover from the addiction. Likewise, treating the addiction without addressing the high-functioning depression can lead to a relapse.
The best way to treat a dual diagnosis is through a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both conditions simultaneously. At Red Oak Recovery®, we offer treatment for a wide array of substance use disorders, including:
- Alcohol addiction
- Heroin addiction
- Cocaine addiction
- Opioid addiction
- Prescription drug addiction
Dual diagnosis treatment at our facility is designed to help you understand and manage your high-functioning depression. Our goal is to equip you with the tools you need to lead a happy and healthy life in recovery.
How to Manage High-Functioning Depression
In some cases, it may seem like depression is an insurmountable obstacle. Many people fall into the trap of believing that nothing can help them now or that any relief they get will be temporary. Sadly, this maladaptive thought pattern can keep you in the cycle of doing nothing.
There are specific steps people can take to deal with their high-functioning depression, such as:
- Take steps to get active: Though it may be challenging to do so, it’s vital to get at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day. For instance, you may choose to go for a jog, do yoga, or even go for a walk. If this action doesn’t seem feasible at first, try starting with a five or ten-minute walk at first and add a few more minutes each day.
- Watch your diet: It can be tempting to ignore your diet but make sure you are eating healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Get some rest: Get enough rest each day, but be careful not to oversleep. Doing so can improve your mental well-being.
- Step into the sun: Taking time to be outside in the sunlight has been shown to improve a person’s mental health significantly.
If none of these strategies help, you may require a mental health treatment program, such as the one at Red Oak Recovery®.
Get Help at Red Oak Recovery®
You should seek treatment if you believe you are experiencing some form of depression. Red Oak Recovery® has programs available to help you manage the symptoms of your illness. We also offer a variety of programs to address other issues you may be experiencing, including:
- Holistic healing
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy program
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Addiction therapy services
Learn more about how Red Oak Recovery® can help with high-functioning depression by calling 828.382.9699.