signs of high functioning depression

Do you have high-functioning depression?

Around 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and many go untreated.

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Depression is more common than you might think. The World Health Organization's latest statistics show that 300 million people worldwide suffer from some type of depression. If that doesn't shock you, then consider this: suicide is currently the 10th most common cause of death in the United States. Point being, a lot of people suffer from depression, and sometimes it can be hard to spot. There are over nine different kinds of clinical depression (learn more here) – major depressive disorder being what we stereotypically think of when we hear the word 'depression' – and although major depressive disorder may arguably be the most well-known, there is another form that rivals in commonality: high-functioning depression. High-functioning depression is different from major depressive disorder in that it is a milder depression that lasts for a long stretch of time. In fact, to be diagnosed with it, this mildly depressed mood has to be present in your life for a minimum of two years.

High-functioning depression is known as persistent depressive disorder (the medical-y term for it is dysthymia), and sometimes individuals afflicted with it to never even realize that they're victim to it. I've had it since I was a kid and just last year got diagnosed, so I would know. The reason it's so hard to spot is because it's insidious. It's mild and (as the name implies) persistent; it can creep into your life so subtly that the symptoms of dysthymia seem to grow into your personality. Then years pass, and you find yourself at a point where you can't remember not feeling the way that you do.

So, are you wondering if you have high-functioning depression? Check yourself on these symptoms:

  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Sadness / emptiness / feeling 'down' for no apparent reason
  • Hopelessness
  • Tiredness/lack of energy
  • Low self-esteem / self-criticism / feeling incapable
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Irritability or excessive anger
  • Decreased activity and productivity
  • Avoidance of social activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Worries over the past
  • Poor appetite/overeating
  • Sleep problems

If you have five or more of these symptoms (and have had them for over two years), chances are good that you have persistent depressive disorder. If this sounds like you, don't worry. There are a lot of ways to combat dysthymia: eating right, exercise, mood-enhancing supplements (I'd check out Sam-e), prescription medication, and therapy.

If you want to learn a little more about persistent depressive disorder, I recommend checking out this YouTube video.

National Alliance on Mental Health: Get your mental health questions answered!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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