You have a smile on your face. You’re dressed to the nines. You’ve met every deadline. Everything and everyone around you is taken care of. There’s just one problem, on the inside, you’re crumbling!
For you, it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and it’s all about to come crashing down. So, why is it that no one else sees it? Well, you’re likely battling high-functioning depression – a hidden battle.
Fighting a Hidden Battle
High-functioning depression – this realization may even come as a shock to you. You’re the overachiever that never asks for help. But therein lies part of the problem. You hide behind that smile so you don’t appear weak or burdensome to those close to you. So, rather than acknowledging your mental struggles, you shove them down further. But, there’s a healthier way to manage your emotional and mental well-being.
Managing Your Mental Health
First, to combat depression before it spirals, you must recognize the signs. High-functioning depression isn’t what people usually think of when they hear the word “depression.” You’re probably not crying uncontrollably or isolating.
People with high-functioning depression often maintain meaningful relationships and perform well at work. You are not in a depressive state every moment of every day. But depression can creep in quickly. So, what should you – and those around you – be on the lookout for?
Signs of High-Functioning Depression
1. Self-medicating with a substance.
2. Experiencing overwhelm from typical daily tasks.
3. Struggling with chronic headaches and stomach distress.
4. Thinking or saying comments of hopelessness.
5. Feeling irritable, angry, or increasingly sad.
6. Being self-critical.
7. Retreating from activities that were previously enjoyed.
8. Expressing regret about the past.
9. Battling sleeplessness.
10. Losing sight of your self-worth
When you have high-functioning depression, you may minimize these symptoms—shrugging aside challenges. Or, worse, feeling guilt about them may be what keeps you stuck in an unhealthy cycle.
It’s essential that you find a source of support. Sure, to the outside world, you look like a superhero. And hey, you are! But that doesn’t mean you should carry life’s heavy loads alone.
When you allow others to be included in your journey, you open the door for those that love you to lend a hand. In return, you’ll finally get the support you unknowingly need. So, consider contacting a mental health therapist or looking into support groups. An online community like the I’m Loving Me Project can provide resources and a network of people that offer guidance and emotional support. Even your established network of family and friends can be a soft spot land.
There are also some steps you can take to improve your overall health.
1. Improve your diet.
2. Set a consistent sleep routine.
3. Discontinue (or limit) substance use.
4. Begin and maintain an exercise routine.
5. Practice mindfulness and positive self-affirmations.
Show yourself a little love. And let those around you in so they can build you up when the world starts to close in. Looking for a little more inspiration on how to love yourself? Turn to your sisterhood at the I’m Loving Me Project.