4 Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression You Might Not Recognize

Camo Bike Shorts, Blue Ridge Mountains | High Functioning Depression by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a woman hiking in the mountains and wearing a pair of camo biker shorts, white t-shirt, and white baseball hat.

Back in March, surprisingly, a week before the ‘rona was declared a pandemic, I was diagnosed with moderate/severe clinical depression.

At first, I was in disbelief. I own my own business. I get up, get out, and smile in photos. I don’t stay in bed all day and cry. That’s all I thought depression was. I knew I was feeling down, but I thought it was just a symptom of my anxiety.

Well, my friends, I quickly learned that depression comes in many forms. And I had something called high-functioning depression and anxiety. AKA, I get things done, and I’m on top of my deadlines, but I still don’t feel like myself 100% of the time.

Today, I’m sharing four signs of high functioning depression that I didn’t recognize. By no means is this medical advice, but if you’re experiencing these symptoms, I would recommend making an appointment with your primary care doctor and taking a mental health assessment!

4 Symptoms of High Functioning Depression

Constantly Feeling Fatigued

To be honest, this is something I experienced for years. I would get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but still feel exhausted when I woke up. I constantly felt fatigued throughout the day, no matter what I did. I tried working out, changing my diet, taking vitamins, and none of those things helped.

This is still a symptom I struggle with — getting your energy levels up at home is always a struggle. However, taking an antidepressant has helped a bit, and I’m trying to schedule a few more AM workout classes and meetings to get me up and going in the mornings!

Becoming Disinterested In Things You Love

I realized this at NYFW this past February, and I’m sure my friends did as well. But I was completely over blogging. I wanted to quit pretty badly. I wanted to do more behind the scenes stuff. I hardly pitched or planned for it at all for NYFW either, and I wasn’t making the most out of it.

I thought I was feeling apathetic that week, and then I realized that I was feeling apathetic 24/7. I wasn’t making plans to hang out with people. I didn’t love my dream job. I groaned at the thought of going to Orange Theory (a place I loved!), or going to a familiar winery because it felt “repetitive and boring.”

This is probably the biggest red flag that I missed. If you get to the point where you’re disinterested in the things you normally love, it might be time to seek help.

Self Doubt and Imposter Syndrome

Blogging is tough. It’s competitive, the industry is oversaturated, and I get rejected several times a week.

It’s pretty easy to fall into the comparison game, and I thought I was feeling down because of the blog world. In reality, I’ve had imposter syndrome and self-doubt for years, long before my blog even took off.

Suppose you start to hear voices in your head saying that you’re worthless. You’re not good enough. You’re not qualified. My friend: that is a big sign that you might not be coping well. 

Lack of Motivation

I’m not going to lie: I thought I was just lazy when I woke up with fatigue and didn’t have a desire to put in the work. I wasn’t at the point where I couldn’t get out of bed, but I also was at the point where I was barely scraping by and not crushing it at work like I know I’m capable of doing either!

Some days are harder than others. I now know that if I have a burst of energy, I need to run with it — and get as many things done as possible. I also now know that sometimes, I need a bit of a break to recharge mentally. In that case, I’ll log off of social media, maybe take a walk, or do a home workout. 

Full disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. If you notice something is off, go to your doctor!

Photo by Tom McGovern

Have you experienced any symptoms of high functioning depression?  Let me know in a comment below!

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