Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression

Do you experience periods of low self-esteem? Maybe you have problems sleeping or feel rundown? These are just a few of the signs and symptoms of high-functioning depression. Many young men can experience this form of mental illness for various reasons. Learning more about this condition can help you determine when to seek treatment. 

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression, or Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), is a type of depression where the young man can function almost normally. While he still experiences many of the signs and symptoms of clinical depression, they are often not as severe. 

Therefore, to others, it appears like he does not have any form of mental illness. However, on the inside, he is struggling with persistent depressive symptoms. 

Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression

To determine if you have high-functioning depression, you must understand the common signs and symptoms. While it is normal to have bad days where you feel sad, down, and blue, these feelings should not linger for an extended time.

The first sign associated with high-functioning depression is when you experience depression symptoms on most days that continue to linger for at least two years or longer. In addition, the depressive state will feature two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Changes in appetite where you are overeating for comfort or eating less than usual
  • Problems falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness
  • Problems making decisions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness despite how you might appear to others
  • Decreasing interest in hobbies, activities, and things you enjoy doing
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble being around others.
  • Periods of happiness that rarely last

The Link Between High-Functioning Depression and Addiction

Like the link between other mental health disorders and addiction, high-functioning depression can lead to addiction, or addiction can lead to high-functioning depression. Although, it is more common for young men to experience the symptoms of high-functioning depression first and then turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping.

While under the influence of alcohol or drugs, depressive symptoms become less noticeable. You often feel more “normal” and relaxed. The internal struggle you were going through seems to have gone away. Unfortunately, these feelings are short-lived until the effects of drinking or using drugs wear off. 

Sadly, you could get into an endless cycle, where you are drinking more often and using drugs more frequently to alleviate your depressive symptoms. Eventually, as your addiction grows, you realize too late that you have to drink or use drugs just to function. 

At this point, you will likely continue to experience high-functioning depression symptoms since they can no longer be alleviated. Even worse, your mental health condition could progress into clinical depression. 

Seeking Professional Help for High-Functioning Depression

High-functioning depression is treatable, just like other mental health disorders. However, since the symptoms of high-functioning depression are not as severe as clinical depression, obtaining a professional diagnosis from a qualified therapist or healthcare provider is essential.

Various forms of treatment, such as counseling, talk therapy, and medications, can be used to treat the condition. Also, establishing a structured daily routine with a few daily goals that include exercise and set meal times can be beneficial.

Furthermore, you should avoid drinking and using drugs to self-medicate your depressive symptoms. However, if you have become dependent on alcohol or drugs, you should seek addiction treatment for co-occurring disorders. This way, your addiction and high-functioning depression are treated simultaneously.  

Additionally, some young men also find emotional support by participating in support groups with other young men who are also struggling with high-functioning depression and addiction. It can equally be beneficial to consider moving into a sober living home to avoid the temptations of drinking and using drugs. 

Depression and Addiction Recovery at Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles

Once you take steps to seek help for your high-functioning depression and addiction, you can continue your recovery at New Life House. We provide access to sober living homes for young men in the greater Los Angeles area. Our goal is to provide our clients a safe, secure, and supportive environment to work on their sobriety and manage their mental health. For further information about our sober living homes or to find out how you can move in, contact us today!


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