Typical depression is hard to miss. It has a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to socialize, focus on any one particular task or individual, and diminishes their interest in anything they typically like to do. Maybe you’ve seen depression take hold of a person close to you; it can be just as painful for someone watching from the sidelines as it can be for the person actually experiencing the disease. Sometimes, though, it isn’t so easy to catch.

High-functioning depression, or HFD, is a disorder that affects just as many people as typical depression, if not more, and is infinitely more subtle. People who suffer from HFD rarely show any signs, and it usually looks like the opposite of depression on the outside.


These people seemingly have their lives together, are surrounded by friends and family, and are active, but something scary is happening on the inside. Here are four signs of HFD you can’t afford to miss.

1. Drugs or Alcohol Abuse

High functioning means high function, which makes it hard to identify a problem.

Someone who is suffering from HFD may indulge in drugs or alcohol, but still be able to function within a relatively normal lifestyle. If you notice a person you may suspect of having HFD consistently indulge more than they mean to, hang around with other addicts, or continuously become ill in the mornings, there may be a serious problem under the surface.

2. Overly Self-Critical

When you notice someone who seems to be consistently and overly self-critical, pay close attention. This person could say things like, “I’m a failure,” “I can’t do anything right,” or anything of the like.

However, it may not be something that strikes you as odd at first. If they’re suffering from HFD, these statements will likely come across as jokes.

3. Wasting Time

People who suffer from HFD consistently feel like their life has no direction, or that they’re wasting their time.


Although their lives are perfectly in order, or at least seem to be that way, they feel hopeless. This leads to social withdraw, which is when this disease is at its most problematic, and most silent.

4. Prone to Accidents

Depression, high functioning or not, causes a person to lose focus on even the most menial tasks. If you have a friend who seems to be breaking dishes, tripping over obvious obstacles, or bumping their head consistently enough for you to notice a pattern, the disease could be taking a serious hold. Pay attention the next time an accident happens; if your friend becomes increasingly frustrated at their consistency, it could be a major sign.

This article was republished from dailyvibes.org. You can find the original post here.

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