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Understanding and Getting Help for High-Functioning Depression.

Depression has many faces. The one that most people are familiar with is the type that manifests as incredible sadness, feelings of despair, wanting to be isolated from the rest of the world, and at its worst, suicidal thoughts. This type of depression is usually identified as Major Depressive Disorder, and millions of people suffer from it — but it’s not the only kind of depression.  

There is another version that is much harder to detect, one in which the person suffering from it appears to be happy, healthy, and unaffected by the stresses of daily life. However, the emotional mask that is displayed on the outside is not a true reflection of what is really going on inside, and because of this, many consider high-functioning depression an invisible illness. 

At Blair Wellness Group, we understand the many faces of depression and can offer effective treatments beyond medication. If you are interested in learning more about high-functioning depression including the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options, we hope you’ll find this blog informative and inspiring. If you or a loved one suspects you may have a depression disorder, please contact Dr. Blair at Blair Wellness Group for help.   

What is High-Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression, also known as dysthymia, is a common medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and act. Similar to other forms of depression, it can cause you to feel tired, lonely, and disconnected from the world. However, as the name implies, those who suffer from it are still able to function at a high level — meaning they still go to work or school, raise families, follow through on obligations and, in general, are highly productive. 

High-functioning depression offers additional challenges — particularly when it comes to recognizing that there could be a problem. This is because the person experiencing depression may feel as though their feelings aren’t serious enough to warrant getting help. They may downplay their symptoms and assume that “real” depression means you don’t want to leave the house or that you’re suicidal.

High-Functioning Depression is both common and treatable but the first step is acknowledging that you don’t have to keep feeling the way you do. With the right kind of treatment, It’s possible to feel happier, more energetic, and improve your quality of life.   

Risk Factors for Depression

Depression of all types affects 33 million Americans and is most prevalent in adults aged 45 to 64. Many may wonder why such a large number of people have depression while others don’t — but the answer is complicated. That’s because depression can be tied to several causes, and it can affect each person differently. Here are a few factors that can increase your risk:

  • Genetics — If a member of your family has depression, there’s a higher risk that you could have it at some point in your life
  • Environmental Factors — People who have been exposed to a traumatic event or have been the victim of violence may be more vulnerable to depression
  • Personality — Some people are just naturally more affected by stress and therefore may be at a greater risk for depression

Signs You May Have High-Functioning Depression

Many people can live for years with high-functioning depression because it’s hard to recognize for both the person affected and those closest to them. In addition to just feeling “down” most of the time some of the other symptoms may include: 

  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness 
  • Loneliness — even around people
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Low self-esteem or self-criticism 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Irritability or anger issues
  • Avoidance of social activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Excessively worrying over the past

Learn To Recognize the Symptoms 

It’s normal to feel sad, lonely, or not like yourself, especially during times of high stress, but if you have these feelings most of the time and can’t seem to remember what it was like to feel otherwise, you may be living with high-functioning depression. If you are experiencing any of the signs listed above, or just want to talk through your feelings with a licensed psychologist, Dr. Blair is available to listen. 

Treatment Options 

Although depression can have a considerable impact on your life, it’s important to realize that it’s also a treatable condition. At Blair Wellness Group, we utilize proven treatments to help our clients overcome their symptoms and achieve lasting results. Dr. Blair often uses a unique combination of treatments aimed at addressing your specific needs. Some of the most common treatments include Interpersonal Treatment (IPT), Psychodynamic Treatment, and Cognitive Behavior Treatment (CBT). To learn more about each of the treatments and treatments we offer, please visit our website or reach out to our treatment center.

Unique to Blair Wellness Group is our concierge-style treatment that allows our clients to benefit from a personalized approach to care without having to rely on using insurance or having mental health records on file. Included in this pay-as-you-go feature is the ability to schedule lunchtime, evening, and weekend appointments, as well as have direct access to Dr. Blair, 7 days a week. 


For your safety and convenience, we are happy to announce that we are now offering teletherapy and online sessions. Whether you schedule your appointment to be in person, over the phone, or online, you can expect the same high level of service our clients have come to expect from our highly-regarded treatment center and from Dr. Blair. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us or request an appointment today.    

About Blair Wellness Group

Through our practice at Blair Wellness Group in Beverly Hills, we offer comprehensive therapeutic and psychological services aimed at helping clients overcome a variety of conditions and disorders including addiction, anxiety, depression, marital conflict, personality disorders and more. Through a unique client-centered approach to treatment, clients receive the individualized attention and care they need to overcome their problems and regain control of their lives. If you have been searching for a licensed psychologist you can trust, contact Dr. Blair and Blair Wellness Group today. 

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