8 Signs You Might Be Experiencing High-Functioning Depression

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Mind Hacks

When asked to think about someone who has depression, you may imagine a person in isolation and living a very rough lifestyle.

However, the stereotypical description of depression is a far cry from what the mental illness can truly look like. People experiencing depression can lead a normal life involving a stable romantic relationship, a steady group of friends, and perform well at their job.

Those with high-functioning depression won't outwardly appear there is something wrong, but on the inside, they can be feeling an overall emptiness and a significant decreased quality of life.

Here are eight signs you or a loved one may be experiencing high-functioning depression.

1. Change in sleeping patterns

Whether you're experiencing difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, any change in your sleeping patterns is an indication you may have high-functioning depression.

As there is certain amount of hours the average person needs to sleep, too few or too many hours can cause your depression to get worse.

"Good sleep is key to good mental health," explains Carol Landau, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University.

2. Difficulty experiencing joy

While people's interests constantly change and evolve, if you no longer feel joy doing things you used to love, it's a stark warning sign something has gone awry.

For instance, if you used to love playing the guitar, but no longer feel like strumming a few strings, there's a chance you may be experiencing high-functioning depression.

"The things that used to give you joy, such as playing with your dog or running, no longer bring you happiness," clinical social worker and therapist Kimberly Hershenson said. "These things may be avoided because they now feel more like a chore."

Another example of high-functioning depression would be a lack of enthusiasm over a promotion, the start of a new relationship, or family vacation. While you may temporary feel an improvement in your mood, it will soon be muted.

3. Critical of yourself and others

People who suffer from high-functioning depression are often overly critical of themselves and others.

These individuals are overachievers who don't feel whatever they accomplish is ever good enough. While it may seem like this is the response of a go-getter, it can seriously harm their self-esteem.

"Finding fault with yourself, beating yourself up constantly, or thinking others are always wrong are negative thought patterns that may be another sign of depression," Hershenson said.

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