Health & Fitness

High-functioning Depression

High-functioning depression, also known as dysthymia, is a label given by professionals to non-clinical depression. It includes symptoms that are associated with clinical depression but differs from it because individuals are still able to carry on with their daily life activities. So while they can have symptoms like a low mood, despair or a lack of motivation, patients are still able to perform their everyday tasks. Diagnosis of high-functioning depression can be quite hard. And while you might be able to go through your day normally, it is still important to address your depression. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, you have to learn to overcome them, and the best way to do that would be by visiting the Best Psychiatrist in Lahore for help.

Signs and Symptoms

Oftentimes, family members and close friends have no idea what a person with high-functioning depression is going through. It is not uncommon for the individual to learn to mask their feelings and shut them out. But eventually, those feelings can overwhelm and hurt them. Unlike clinical depression, which disrupts daily activities that are as simple as getting out of bed, or eating food, high-functioning depression mostly comes with a tirade of contradiction. On one side, there are feelings of sadness, and in some cases, thoughts of self-harm, but on the other side is normal behavior in daily events. In such a case, identifying symptoms can be hard. Here are some common ones:

  • Crying frequently
  • Lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Thoughts of hopelessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Self-critical thoughts and comments
  • Poor or increased appetite
  • Decreased productivity
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Lack of interest overall
  • Irritability
  • Frequent bursts of anger
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Excessive sleep (for teens, it can be more than ten hours a day)
  • Low energy, despite adequate amounts of sleep
  • Regret about previous events

These symptoms can affect people of any age. They can also be coupled with, and are quite similar to, the milder symptoms of clinical depression. High-functioning depression can make you feel lethargic, yet responsible enough to go ahead with your tasks. Additionally, because it can affect your diet, you can also gain or lose weight without meaning to.


There are a number of potential causes for high-functioning depression, ranging from economic to social and cultural. Some of them are:

  • Stress

High levels of stress can lead you spiraling downwards. It could be related to work, family, school or something else entirely.

  • Financial Issues

In the world we live in, money plays an important part. Everything rides on it, and a lack of it can cause incessant worrying and problems that can take a toll on you.

  • Trauma from Past Events

This is something that comes quite close to post-traumatic stress disorder. A lot of times, trauma can have a great impact on you, inhibiting you from moving forward.

  • Genetic Disposition

If your parents have or have had depression, it is entirely possible that you have inherited traits which can create a predisposition leading you to the same mental problems.

  • Medical Illness:

Your physical well-being can have an impact on your mental health. If you have a life-long illness or a chronic disease, you can end up feeling depressed.

Troublesome relationships can also be a huge cause for high-functioning depression. Similarly, problems such as substance abuse, or an imbalance of hormones can also be responsible for causing high functioning depression.


If you think that you have a good amount of symptoms listed above, schedule a visit to the best psychiatrist in your town via They can help you with diagnosis, and curate appropriate treatment that you need to get better. Lifestyle changes can help when coping from depression. But on a professional level, these are the major treatments:

  • Psychotherapy

This includes different forms of therapy. The most popular one is cognitive behavioral therapy, where the doctor teaches you to challenge negative thought patterns and transform them into positive ones. Other forms of therapy include person-centered, solution focused and psychodynamic therapy.

  • Medications

When therapy isn’t enough, your doctor will have to prescribe antidepressants to help you out. Because of their side effects, these medications are usually left as a last resort. Here is a list of some common antidepressants:

  1. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  2. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
  3. Tricyclics
  4. Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
  5. Atypical Antidepressants

Related Articles

Back to top button