Depression is a mental disorder that affects about 5% of all adults. It leads to depressive thoughts and can sometimes be accompanied by other conditions such as anxiety. People respond differently to depression. While some may have obvious signs, others may internalize their feelings and continue to function despite going through a difficult time.

Experiencing high-functioning depression can be extremely tiring. In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into understanding this type of depression. We’ll also discuss some important aspects you should be aware of and explore ways to improve your well-being.

What is High-Functioning Depression?

A person who experiences high-functioning depression appears to have everything under control on the outside, but it doesn’t mean it’s the same on the inside. The person is struggling internally while also trying his best to “fake it’ on the outside. This allows him to appear organized and “normal” to those around him.

Things You Should Know About High-Functioning Depression

If you’ve got high-functioning depression, then you must understand a couple of things. In this section, we’re going to look at five of the most important things you have to know when you’re living with this kind of depression.

1. Faking it becomes normal

One of the first things you’ll notice with high-functioning depression is that faking it during the day starts to feel normal after a while.

In the morning, you wake up and put on your fake smile. At work, you pretend to have everything under control, even when you’re feeling dysfunctional inside. When pretending becomes a habit, you focus on appearing as normal as possible in front of others.

There are different stages of depression. While pretending to be okay might seem manageable at first, as depression advances, it becomes more difficult. This also means that forcing yourself to put on a fake smile every day will take a heavier toll on your mental health and overall well-being.

2. There are good and bad days

People with high-functioning depression can have good and bad days.

On good days, you may find it easier to fake it. You’ll feel more productive and have a greater level of clarity. This can help make it easier to cope with people as you go through the day.

On bad days, coping with high-functioning depression can be incredibly difficult. Some people with high-functioning depression describe bad days as unbearable. It becomes challenging to concentrate and function properly and maintain a fake smile.

It's important to remember that every person is different, so a bad day for you may be different from what someone else experiences. Take a moment to understand your surroundings, as this can help you recognize how certain days affect your mood and mindset.


3. You need more energy to make it through the day

If you have high-functioning depression, creating this image that everything is okay on the outside takes effort and energy. This is why days can feel exhausting.

You have to focus on more than just staying productive and getting work done. You also need to make sure you continue to put on a smile, talk to people, and be polite, even though it feels like you’re screaming on the inside.

Getting through the day is one thing. When you arrive home, there may be additional chores waiting for you, like cooking dinner and cleaning up.

4. Performing at your full potential is hard

Another thing to understand with high-functioning depression is that performing at your very best is likely not going to happen all the time.

We’ve discussed the need to expend more energy than someone who doesn’t have this constant internal struggle.

Even though you’re capable of projecting an external image that convinces people you have everything under control, how you feel on the inside still affects your thoughts and performance.

You may notice that at times you’re unable to concentrate properly, which can lead to errors in your work.

5. Help is out there

A large number of individuals with depression don’t seek help, particularly those with high-functioning depression. Almost 40% of adults in the U.S. with depression do not receive treatment for this condition.

You think you’ve got everything under control. The fact that you’ve created this external image and mastered the art of “faking it” also means it would be difficult to tell other people how you feel on the inside. Perhaps you’re afraid that people won’t believe you.

What you do need to realize is that help is readily available. If you feel uncomfortable speaking to a friend or a family member, you can always seek support from a professional.

The great thing about professional services that help individuals with depression is the fact that they treat all cases as confidential. Many counselors and therapists specialize in helping people who struggle with this kind of depression daily.

Even just talking about your feelings can already go a long way in reducing depressive thoughts.

How to Cope With High-Functioning Depression

We’ve explored a couple of important things you should know about high-functioning depression. As we’ve said, help is out there, and it starts with you.

Even if you don’t want to seek out professional help right away, it’s important to understand that there are ways to cope with this kind of depression. Supplements for depression, for example, can often help you feel calmer and reduce the depressive thoughts and feelings that you tend to have.

One great option is Serelax. It’s an anxiety relief supplement that also works great if you experience a low mood. The supplement only uses a range of natural ingredients, and some people even use it alongside prescription depression drugs to get further relief and to lift their mood during the day.

Apart from supplements for depression, you can also try out meditation. Mindfulness meditation helps a lot of people with depression to find relief and to remain calm. There are both short-term and long-term benefits that you can get from this strategy.

You may Also Like to Read - Morning Meditation: Types, Benefits, and Beyond


People with high-functioning depression often appear to be doing well on the outside, which can make it difficult for others to understand the depth of their internal struggles. However, it's crucial to recognize that support is easily accessible. Seeking help can prevent issues such as turning to substances as coping mechanisms or experiencing suicidal thoughts. While taking the appropriate medication can be beneficial, some supplements can improve mood, sleep quality, and more.





Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her passion is helping others learn how strong and healthy they can become by transforming their daily habits through both training and writing. Christine spends most of her time in the gym and learning how she can influence others through positivity!


  • Bachelor in General Business - Missouri State University


  • NSCA Personal Trainer
  • ACE Fitness Nutritionist
  • ACE Weight Management Specialist


  • Personal Trainer 2018 - Present
  • Nutritionist 2019 - Present
  • Health and Wellness Writer 2020 - Present
Written by Christine

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