When we think of someone with high-functioning depression, we probably envision the person at the grindstone with work every day, distant with friends and family, and struggling to meet expectations more than they let on. The battle for people like this is painfully internal, giving them the feeling that they’re alone and cannot allow others to see what they’re going through.
An article entitled “Suffering in Silence With High-Functioning Depression,” published by University Health Partners of Hawaii, describes high-functioning depression as depression that is long-lasting but may have less severe symptoms than other depressive disorders. The ability to hide symptoms may make those with this type of depression prone to internalized suffering.
5 Tips for Talking About High-Functioning Depression
Seeking help can reduce symptom severity and help create a community that will decrease the sense of loneliness and isolation that comes with depression. It may seem hard, and it may seem like you’re being dramatic, but don’t listen to the reasons not to ask for help. Getting help is simple.
#1. Focus on Yourself
When talking to your loved ones about what you’re going through, focus the language on yourself and your experiences. Try something like, “I know I may seem like I’m fine, but I’ve been struggling for a long time.”
#2. Identify What You Need
Talk about what you need from people who can make a difference in your stress level. Communicate specifically about things that you have a hard time doing. Try something like, “I may need some help to lighten my responsibilities.”
#3. Be Honest About Feelings
Tell people when you’re having a worse day than usual, especially if you feel like you might lash out. Try something like, “I don’t feel like myself today. I just want you to know that how I’m acting right now is not your fault.”
#4. Let People Know How to Act
If someone is being insensitive, don’t hesitate to tell them how you would prefer they act. Try something like, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but what you said/did hurt me, and I would appreciate it if you could avoid that in the future.”
#5. Find Time for Yourself
Communicate when you need time to yourself and when you need time with your people. Try something like, “I’m in a place at the moment where some alone time would be good for me,” or, “I would really appreciate your company right now.”
Getting help doesn’t have to be complicated. Alta Loma is here to help you learn the coping skills you need to manage your depression symptoms through lessons, groups, therapy sessions, and more. If you are living with a constant burden on your mental health and aren’t sure how to proceed, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843 to talk about our treatment options. At our facility, relaxation, community, and relief from your symptoms can give you the strength to begin a journey of life-long change.