What High Functioning Depression Looks Like

Girl with sad eyes Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Girl with sad eyes Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

In private practice since 2011, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. David Steinbok holds degrees in mental health counseling and clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. At his office in Boca Raton, Florida, Dr. David Steinbok sees patients for individual, couples, and family counseling. He offers treatment for difficulties ranging from relationship challenges to anxiety and depression.

Depression as a medical diagnosis can take many forms, from clinical depression to the less commonly discussed dysthymia. Dysthymia describes persistent depressive disorder, a type of depression characterized by low mood and energy combined with some anxiety. Most commonly found in high functioning depressive types, dysthymia is usually applied to people who feel a general sense of unhappiness that is not severe enough to merit a clinical depression diagnosis.

Though high functioning depression is not a diagnosable medical condition and is not described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is a useful term that is easy to understand and that can be applied to many people who don’t easily fit into another category. Even those diagnosed with clinical depression can be described as high functioning types. These people often have a great deal of determination and disregard emotional discomfort, hiding their emotions from themselves and others.

Depression is commonly treated with talk therapy, lifestyle changes, medication, or other recommendations from the therapist or doctor. Each person is different, so the treatment is individualized.


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