High-Functioning Depression: Five Signs To Watch Out For

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Admit it, when someone utters the word “depression,” the first thing that comes to mind is someone who doesn’t have the energy and willingness to do things, even getting out of bed.

 

High-functioning depression is breaking that stereotype of what melancholia actually looks like. Just because you’re not experiencing bouts of sadness or are not listless to go to work, doesn’t mean that you don’t have depression. You do, but you’re just too familiar with your condition that you have managed to hold it together, making people believe that you’re doing just fine.

 

Five Telltale Signs

 

Technically, high-functioning depression is chronic, untreated depression. Probably the most challenging facet of identifying high-functioning depression is people’s lack of understanding because high-functioning depressed people blend in so perfectly.

 

How do you know if you have high-functioning depression?

 

  1. You’re Often Anxious Or Worried

 

While it’s so easy to equate unexplained sadness and constant lack of energy to depression, people tend to overlook one common emotion that is strongly connected with the condition, and that is anxiety or constant worrying. It is essential to point out that anxiety is not just limited to the idea of fear of the unknown because it can manifest in several different ways as depression does. Anxiety, more often than not, causes people to experience confusion, mental disturbance and restlessness, and that nagging feeling in your gut.

 

  1. You Abstain From Social Gatherings

 

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According to information published by the Harvard School of Public Health, high-functioning depression looks similar to a long-term, low-grade despondency that can persevere up to five years. And even though high-functioning depression does not make someone feel hopeless or devastated, it can severely dent that quality of living, diminishing your eagerness to work, go to school, attend social events, and curb your enthusiasm for family and relationships.

 

Abstaining from social gatherings or declining invites is said to be one of the first prominent signs of high-functioning depression. People with the condition will still work, interact with co-workers and other people, but once they go outside of their workplaces, they’ll go on an excuse-spree to just avoid hanging out. Most individuals who have high-functioning depression are likely to be isolative that then translate into dissociative relationships.

 

  1. You Have Type A Personality And Is Successful

 

Affluent literates or those who are living the good, prosperous life are said to lean more towards high-functioning depression as compared to those who don’t have a high pay grade or living a luxurious lifestyle. Paradoxically, high-functioning depression affects educated people who have important jobs in their chosen field of interest. While they have the privilege of being well-educated and well-off, their careers become triggers for stress. It turns out, it’s better to be low-functioning if it means saving you from a lifetime of depression medications and therapy.

 

  1. Your Definition Of Sleep Is “Disturbed”

 

Just when you thought you could get that well-deserved slumber, you end up wide-eyed at 3 am, having an existential crisis, begging the heavens for a sweet reprieve. More so, you’ve noticed that when you’re at work, nodding off comes easily and light snoozing becomes a habit. But when that time of the day approaches when you really need the shut-eye, your system sends you a message: Error! Sleep not found.

 

It’s frustrating and debilitating to be sleep-deprived. Aside from not being refreshed the next day and to be a useful citizen of your community, having too little sleep can worsen your depressive symptoms.

 

  1. Vices And Addiction Are Comforting

 

If you’re the type of person who’d rather stay at home and indulge in activities like playing video games, binge-watching, or if you find yourself drinking alcoholic beverages more than usual, or worse, if you have attached yourself to recreational drugs, then you most likely have high-functioning depression. To cover up the loneliness, you turn to your vice or addiction as an emotional bolster.

 

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The disconcerting thing about wallowing in addictive substances and behaviors is that it, instead of just treating depression itself, may require you an additional layer of treatment and care. Substance and alcohol abuse further aggravates your condition, intensifying sleep deprivation, anxiety, and agitation that can directly affect your ability to cope.

 

High-functioning depression may be the less prominent sister of depression, but it is what most people in this generation are experiencing, especially those who belong to the working class. Just because you think that people who have high-functioning depression are doing well doesn’t mean that they are not slowly dying inside. Therefore, once you notice that you might have high-functioning depression, the best thing to do is get help and support.

 

 

Closing The Chapter Of A Depressed Relationship

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When does one know how to end a crumbling relationship that has reduced itself to a mental health condition?

 

Falling apart is never an easy occurrence in one’s life especially if you plan on leaving someone who is struggling with a psychological disorder that debilitates not only himself or herself but the relationship as well. The reality of leaving someone behind is downright painful but is sometimes necessary for your sake. Difficult choices must be made to move on and close another chapter of your life.

 

Making Tough Choices

 

Nobody wants to be blamed for abandoning somebody during times of despair, but this does not mean that you should remain in a relationship that has been strained by depression and has no conceivable future due to guilt or duty. For the sake of your mental state, sometimes the best thing to do is to bid goodbye.

 

Before Stepping Out The Door

 

You have to make sure that before you permanently close this depressing chapter of your relationship, you did what you can to salvage your partner’s mental health. Otherwise, you would find yourself drowning in a state of self-doubt and guilt that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

 

What are the steps that you should take before ultimately calling it quits?

 

  1. Ask For Help

 

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Aside from professional help, you also need people outside of your relationship to help you figure things out. Share your thoughts and concerns with family and friends who you trust and ask for support and advice on how to manage or deal with your situation. You have to realize that aside from your partner’s needs, yours are important, too.

 

  1. Not Everything Is About You

 

Your partner is depressed for a multitude of reasons, which is why therapy is necessary to find out the reason behind the condition, pluck it out, and treat it. Regardless of what you might think, you are not the primary cause of your partner’s mental illness. People who are constantly on the brink of depression may do or say things that they don’t mean. Your partner’s psychological status causes him or her to become irrational, moody, and irritated.

 

  1. Ponder On Practical Conclusions

 

Living with someone who has a depressive disorder and sustaining the relationship for the sake of proving to yourself, your partner, and to other people that you have survived and thrived despite the condition, is noble but impractical. Most of the time, what happens in real life is that as the mental illness progresses, the unaffected individual would also be helpless and hopeless that there will be some reprieve.

 

If you feel that hope and affection have gone out the window, it is practical for you to sever ties completely. However, walking away from a struggling relationship with a depressed partner is not as easy as it seems especially when you already tied the knot and children are involved. Pondering on practical conclusions like you and your children’s well-being is necessary. So weigh the pros and cons before separating.

 

  1. Commit To A Deadline

 

Though it is a harsh setup to impose a deadline on your partner suffering from depression, it can save you from further damage. Often, things would be unbearable not only for your partner but for you, which is why considering a deadline for change is essential. But this does not entirely mean that you should easily give up after a couple of weeks that your partner has decided to go on treatments. You must also assess if your partner is willing to take the necessary steps to get better or if he or she keeps on delaying treatment and giving out excuses. Only then should you consider your options for staying or leaving.

 

  1. Decisions Must Be Carefully Thought Of

 

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Being hasty in making decisions is detrimental to the relationship that can still be salvaged by a compliant partner who tries his or her best in getting better. However, there will be moments of clarity wherein you can no longer deal with the person because he or she is dragging you down. If this happens, take a quick break by keeping distant for a while. Seek brief respite to arrive at a decision, and if you’ve finally come to your senses, permanently part ways.

 

When dealing with a depressed partner, always take time to carefully weigh your alternatives before drawing the line and heading out the door. Because the moment you decide that you want to end your relationship, it’s something that you have to live with for the entirety of your life.

 

 

Types Of Counseling Psychotherapies For Depressive Disorders

 

 

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More than just two people talking or conversing about personal matters, talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, involves a therapist providing a variety of treatment modalities to a patient to resolve psychological and emotional issues. Psychotherapy is also a potent tool in creating aspired changes in one’s life.

 

One of the primary mental disorders that psychotherapy can treat is depression because it helps people delve deeper into the underlying cause of their condition while acquiring or learning new coping mechanisms.

 

Types Of Psychotherapies Used In Counseling

 

Psychotherapy does have a lot of varieties that are commonly used in counseling sessions. Further studies show that if combined with antidepressants, psychotherapy’s positive outcomes are enhanced due to the biophysical connection of majority of mood disorders.

 

Majority of the treatment modalities that are mentioned below specifies evidence that supports effectiveness in managing depressive disorders.

 

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  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) is the combination of the previously known cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. CT focuses on the individual’s behaviors and thoughts that are mainly responsible for depression. Therapists who prefer cognitive behavioral therapy help patients with:

 

  • Teaching useful ways to respond to daily situations and defy preconceptions
  • Creating goals that individuals must work on as their homework
  • Showing patients that in every situation, there’s always a silver lining that one needs to focus on instead of dwelling on the negative
  • Identifying usual patterns of pessimistic thoughts and transforming it into optimistic ideations
  • Making individuals identify their displeasing behaviors and finding a way to change or eliminate them by utilizing operant and classical conditioning

 

         2.  Psychodynamic Therapy

This type of psychotherapy is established on the belief that depressive disorders occur due to unresolved, mostly unaware conflicts that often emanate from childhood experiences. Usually, psychodynamic therapy is for the individual whose goal is to gain sufficient consciousness on the extent of their emotions, which include disturbing and conflicting ones. As a result, the person will become more resilient and capable of bearing their feelings and utilizing them to grow more favorable to their viewpoint.

 

  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

A type of cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy is aimed at teaching patients vital skills to deal with stress, improve relationships, and control emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy is a derivative of dialectics, a known philosophical method that is primarily based on the idea that all things in this world comprise of opposites, and change will occur when the opposing energy is stronger and more influential than the other. Furthermore, dialectical behavior therapy integrates mindfulness, a therapeutic technique based on Buddhist traditions.

 

Other Kinds Of Talk Therapy Formats

 

  1. Family therapy –when working on the dynamics within the family, this type of psychotherapy is most beneficial.

 

  1. Individual therapy –this treatment modality incorporates confidential discussion between therapist and patient. Here, the patient is given full attention by the therapist. However, there are certain limitations wherein the therapist is not given the opportunity to assess their patients within their family or social relationships.

 

  1. Group Therapy –usually involving more than ten patients, group therapy offers the chance to share and receive support from different individuals by coping with specific issues while a therapist observes the interaction.

 

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Finding the most appropriate depression treatment entirely depends on what you prefer, what your counselor believes to be most suitable for your condition, and whether or not you and your therapist will get along.

 

 

The Depressed Ones: Convincing Your Youth to Seek Therapy

 

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When children are in dire need of mental help due to depression, there’s no easy way to relate to them that psychological therapy is a must because most of the time, for various reasons, these kids are apprehensive to get mental treatment.

 

Breaking the news gently to your depressed child is difficult because you are anxious about his or her reaction to the scary notion of therapy.

 

Is your child going to be angry or defensive? Or will your son or daughter form this idea that you see him or her as somebody who’s broken and needs fixing? How do parents let their children understand the concept of therapy and how should it be introduced in a way that won’t offend them?

 

Introducing Therapy To Your Kids

Usually, children who are dealing with depression, who are aware that they are going through a dark tunnel, are easier to convince than those who don’t believe or are in denial that they are in emotional pain.

 

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Before diving into the unknown, parents must first expect the worse. And what that means is that parents should be prepared for whatever reaction their kids might have. So how do parents introduce therapy to their depressed children without being seen as aggressive or domineering and without being offensive?

 

  1. Timing Is Important

Wait for things to calm down; don’t tell your child that he or she must be sent to counseling during heated or chaotic moments. Wait for situations to calm down then raise the concern. Children who are experiencing depression may become riled up and might immediately become upset.

 

  1. Confess The Problem

Children appreciate it when they are not lied to. Once you get the chance to talk to them, you should first air out that you’re merely concerned and worried about their condition. Divulge your observations calmly and soothingly.

 

  1. Explain The Solution

As parents, you wish you could be enough for what your child needs and magically make the condition disappear. Unfortunately, life’s not like that. There are still problems that are entirely out of your hands unless you’re a licensed therapist. The moment you’ve elaborated the depressive symptoms and offered compassion, inform your child that there is a way out of the condition. If children show the willingness to listen, grab the opportunity to thoroughly explain what therapy is. Also, provide information on why it is needed and how it can help in dealing with their depressive symptoms.

 

  1. Don’t Give Up

Being turned down is part of the therapy introduction process, but the important thing is that you’ve aired out your concerns and have placed the solution on the table. It will take some time for your child to digest the reality that there’s something deeply wrong with him or her and psychological help is required.

 

So don’t give up just yet. Allow the truth to sink in; eventually, children will realize that you are only doing this for their good. Don’t get discouraged and continually be comforting and understanding.

 

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During Therapy

Remember that therapy is just the start of successful treatment. Once your child agrees to see a therapist, the parents must follow and support the therapeutic plan all the way through. Always offer encouragements and make your children feel that they are not alone in their battle against depression.

 

 

Psychiatry Facts: Factors That Increase The Risk Of Developing Depression

 

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When depression reports have been flooding the news and the Internet, aren’t you a tad bit curious what the factors are that might influence the risk of having such a condition?

 

Psychiatry states that depressive disorders choose neither age nor gender, and actual reasons why people are depressed aren’t usually known. However, researchers and medical professionals suspect that there are quite a few explanations about why depression occurs and why it is a condition that is not always escapable or preventable.

 

An estimation of 10% to 15% of the entire population may struggle with clinical depression within their lifetime. And based on the World Health Organization’s evaluation, five percent of men and nine percent of women will experience depression in any particular year.

 

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Factors That Increase The Risk For Depression

 

  1. Inadequate Nutrition

We’ll be starting off with a risk factor that’s far less complicated to understand compared to the other risk factors, and that’s inadequate intake of nutritious food. Diet with little nutritional value is a huge risk factor for developing depression in a lot of ways. Assortments of deficiencies concerning vitamins and minerals are said to be a major player in causing depressive symptoms to worsen.

 

Evidence shows that foods lacking in omega-3 fatty acids are imbalanced and can increase the risk for depression. For those who are fond of sweets, you will be surprised how your comfort food can be the source of your melancholia.

 

  1. Death Of A Loved One

After losing a family member or a close friend, grieving takes place. The bereaved may experience sleeping difficulties, loss of appetite, disinterest in specific activities, and sadness, which are all typical responses to losing someone.

 

Individuals may experience grief for a short period, which is often mistaken as depression at some point. Depression occurs if the sadness does not subside in a week or two. Furthermore, the symptoms tend to worsen and add up as days pass.

 

  1. Stressful Changes

Stress means differently for every person. Most of the time, stress can be fought using various coping mechanisms. But specific life events may overwhelm an individual’s ability to deal and manage the stress. Depletion of coping strategies may increase a person’s risk to become depressed.

 

Researchers are stating that increased cortisol, the hormone secreted when stressed, directly affects serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of satisfaction and happiness, which then leads to depression.

 

  1. Family History

It’s in your genes or your biology; you are wired to be depressed at a certain point, and you cannot do anything about it. Family history is a more complicated risk factor for depressive disorders that is yet to be concluded by researchers. However, this reason is often argued upon by investigating the link between family history and present-day mental illness.

 

Therefore, if you know anyone in your family, either your grandparents, relatives, parents, or siblings who have depressive symptoms, there is an increased risk that you may develop the condition as well.

 

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Watch Your Health

When talking about mental health, somehow, there is proof that the mind-body connection exists and if one of these two is harmed or damaged, a series of medical problems will occur. For this reason, it is strictly advised that people become more mindful of their health, whether it’s physical or mental, for prevention purposes.

 

 

Gadgets May Get Your Children Depressed

 

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New study associate anxiety, severe depression, suicide attempts and suicide to rising usage of smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Parents are highly encouraged to help their children build real relationships that involve the actual connection, making eye contacts and interpreting body language. Local mental health experts urge parents and teens to consciously include in their routine the balance between real and virtual communication.

 

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Using technology and smartphones is perfectly fine as long as the amount of time spent on these are regulated and the person using it can create boundaries in his virtual life. According to the survey done by CDC, it is revealed that feelings of suicidal thoughts and hopelessness has risen by 12% during the period and almost half of the teenagers who are spending five or more hours a day on smartphone, laptop or tablet stated that they have contemplated, planned or attempted suicide at one point in comparison to the 28% of teenagers who spend less than an hour a day on these devices. The increase was also noticed by social workers, counselors, and mental health experts. They see upticks in signs of depression and anxiety among teens, but these issues come with solutions to lessen the risks for teenagers. This is where parents and professionals assistance is needed.

It is unfair to blame technology for the increasing incidence of depression solely, after all, it is a natural object that can either be good or bad depending on how people view and develop behaviors around them. Other experts believe that the increase in depression and anxiety is attributed to a higher frequency of smartphone usage and less stigma about mental health issues. More than ever, teenagers are aware of and verbalize more about mental health in general. Numerous adolescents would point out the relationship they have online is real since communication is frequent despite it being done virtually. Mobile phones can also serve as a digital security blanket which provides individuals to tinker with their phones than interact with others. It is kind of a flag that says stay away I’m busy. Despite the advances in technology towards mimicking real face to face encounters, it cannot substitute the benefit of face to face conversation. Much of the communication involves nonverbal cues and immediate feedback. The connection of gadget uses, and depression is like a chicken and egg relationship. It is still unknown whether they avoid face to face interaction because they are depressed or they are depressed because they are on social media.

 

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In essence, parents need to set boundaries and constitute a routine. Make a clear rule that self-care activities such as hygiene, study time and sleep should not be compromised instead of long hours on social media and technology. If they are more interested in establishing relationships online than in real life, then, it might be best to consult a counselor or psychiatrist. Your child might be experiencing anxiety disorders. In establishing rules, discuss it thoroughly with your child and incorporate their suggestions and input.

Dating A Person Diagnosed With Clinical Depression

There are many challenges that you may need to face when it comes to the dating scene. You have to prepare yourself for many things, especially if you want to date a person exclusively. First of all, it is important that you have identified all your deal-breakers so that it will be easier on your part to know whether staying with a particular person is the right thing to do. Second, be sure that you have accepted all the great stuff and even the flaws of the person that you are dating. The key to the success of a relationship is constant understanding and acceptance.

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Depression Over What Is Right And Wrong

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As human beings, we understand the use of our hearts and mind when it comes to judgment. We know that both of these things must get along to create a better decision. But apparently, that process only gets used by a few people that can handle their emotional and mental capability well enough to make better reasoning. Because most of us, we often favor one more than the other. That is the reason why in this world, there is the stress over what is right and wrong.

The Inability To Control Things

Nobody can control things, and that is a mere fact we can all agree. However, we are created to think and work differently. Therefore, chances are, there are those people who can make and do things better than us.

Given that state, our inability to control things becomes an issue. We tend to feel overwhelmed by others capability enough for us to question ours. We get so depressed of thinking about what the things we are doing wrong that others don’t for them to be able to be on top of us are. Some will identify the feeling as jealousy, but it is entirely more on negative self-judgment.

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The Eagerness For Reciprocality

Admit it. We strongly believe that what we do for others should get reciprocated. There is this sense of wanting others to give back what we offered them. And when they do not retaliate, we make a clear judgment that these people are unworthy. But is that their fault? Well, things become too depressing when we think about it because, at some point, we are the ones to blame for that. We give too much because we want it back. We offer ourselves to those people because we assume they are going to offer themselves in return. There is this eagerness of reciprocality that, in reality, hardly ever happens.

The Demand For Everything Good

Funny how most of us want better things in life but are not entirely willing to make an effort. We often find ourselves complaining about stuff that we can never have. We get too indulged in thinking things should have been better if done in different ways. As humans, we want everything easy, convenient, and better. However, the problem is, we are all ignorant to change. We get depressed over something that we demand so much, but we are not that eager to achieve it. With that, we sour-grape because it is the best excuse we can have. As we can see, we bother our emotional and mental strength by altering what we think is correct and incorrect.

 

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Honestly, it is not that complicated to understand human nature. When it comes to a psychological basis, we are all on the same path at some point. We share the same sentiments towards what people should and should not have. However, there are boundaries when it comes to our needs and wants. With that, things become stressful and depressing because our emotional and mental capacity is limited only to what we know is right and wrong.

Spotting A Friend Suffering From Depression: When “I’m Okay” Is No Longer Convincing

 

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As good friends, we would always want to know ‘what’s up’ with our friends not because we like to eavesdrop but because we’re mainly concerned about their well-being. This is especially true if we’ve been recently noticing patterns of unusual behavior that might be caused by a specific mental illness like depression.

 

Noticing The Risk Factors

 

Depression is triggered by a lot of factors in a person’s life. If you are aware that your friend has the following predisposing factors, you, therefore, have to be very observant for signs of depression:

 

  • A family history of depression
  • Dealt with emotional and physical abuse
  • Experienced loss or death of a loved one
  • Struggling with personal turmoil or conflict with relationships
  • Going through changes in life which include divorce, unemployment, retirement, pregnancy, and marriage
  • History of substance or alcohol abuse
  • Taking medications for a pre-existing illness

 

Identifying Depressive Cues

 

More often than not, people with depression would rather keep the condition to themselves rather than bothering the people around them with their struggles due to the ideation that they won’t understand or would just turn a deaf ear or a blind eye. When “I’m okay” or “I’m fine” just won’t cut it, and the words sound distasteful coming from a friend who’s apparently suffering from depression, here are some verbal cues to immediately suspect if your friend needs help.

 

 

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  1. “I Don’t Feel Like Going Out.”

 

At the end of a long day at work, your co-workers asked if you and your friend want to join them to hang out at a specific place, but then your friend immediately declined and said that she’s tired and just wants to go home. The decline in socializing is one of the leading signs of depression. Sometimes, this just means that your friend just wants to be left alone in the comforts of her home where she feels secured and at ease.

 

  1. “I Don’t Feel In Control.”

 

When your friend tells you that he feels chained and trapped with no hopes of seeing it through, he is most likely having episodes of depression. The utterance of such words should prompt you that your friend needs someone who attentively listens, who they can vent to without judgment. Ask him what ignited his feelings. Never throw in unsolicited advice. Sometimes, people just need someone who listens.

 

  1. “Just Text Me.”

 

Don’t insist on calling because that might trigger your friend’s anxiety that could lead to a profound mood, causing depressive symptoms. Anxious, depressed people are not keen on talking on the phone because they find it difficult to express what they feel due to the nervousness of being caught off-guard. It is easier for people who are depressed to chat through social media applications than engage in a one-on-one conversation through video calling, which is worse than a phone call.

 

  1. “Can You Please Wake Me Up?”

 

Sometimes, you would wonder if your friend is just too lazy to set his alarm and get up once it goes on. However, what you have to keep in mind is that one of the critical cues of depression is being spiritless upon waking up. The person usually doesn’t want to get out of bed and just wants to sleep in with no interest in eating or doing self-care whatsoever. When your friend asks you this favor, it is in your best interest to eagerly agree because your friend trusts you enough to give that extra push to get up and face life’s challenges.

 

  1. “Can You Please Call My Therapist?”

 

People with depression often miss their appointments with their therapists because they feel uneasy making that one phone call; this is an enormous barrier to your friend’s process of recovery. Always be kind enough to make your friend’s appointments. And if you’re feeling extra gracious, with your friend’s permission, you can go with her to see the therapist as a sign of support. People who are depressed significantly benefit from having some company to make them feel less lonely.

 

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“I’m okay,” is a generic answer that usually has a deeper meaning to it; these phrases are both deceiving and unnerving because they mask someone’s real emotional and mental well-being. Friends, as support systems, are significant in the treatment of depression. Therefore, being equipped with the knowledge on how to know if your friends are experiencing the condition is beneficial in helping them cope and manage their depressive episodes.