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20 Quotes About What "High-Functioning Depression" Is Like

20 Quotes About What "High-Functioning Depression" Is Like
Like we often say at The Depression Project, depression can affect different people in many different ways. And, on that note, while some people find that depression significantly inhibits their ability to function - to such an extent that it's a struggle to even get out of bed, for example - other people have what is often referred to as "high-functioning depression".

20 Quotes About What "High-Functioning Depression" Is Like

While the term "high-functioning depression" is somewhat self-explanatory, to add more depth to this description, we'd like to share with you a number of descriptions from members of The Depression Project's community about what struggling with high-functioning depression is actually like.

Are you ready?

  • "High-functioning depression is a living nightmare. Getting up, going to work, pretending to be great and making people laugh ... then coming home, immediately changing into comfortable clothes, and deciding if you can function enough to prepare anything for dinner. Maybe half-heartedly watch TV and then going to bed ... struggling to fall asleep ... and doing all this while feeling like you are dying inside and are completely lonely."
  • "High-functioning depression is very isolating. Everyone expects you to keep giving 110% because you look and act 'normal, yet you’re anything but. I was diagnosed with high-functioning depression when I was a teenager. That was over 30 years ago, and I still have it."
  • "It's being so happy and outgoing at work and then coming home and lying in the dark because you are so mentally exhausted. You literally are just drained of everything!"
  • "Your house and head are a mess but everyone thinks you’re fine because you can mostly get out and do stuff."
  • "Your apartment is spotless, your work is exemplary and you are the hardest working person around. Yet inside, you feel empty, and dread having the sun go down because then it’s time to sleep and you can’t imagine spending another sleepless night tossing and turning all while a profound empty hole slowly consumes your being."
  • "It's like you're an avatar of yourself and someone pushes the buttons of the game to make sure you do all the chores the character has to do, but deep inside you feel dead and empty and that you have no control over your destiny."
  • "You put on a show everywhere you go. People think you’re confident / successful / have everything under control / are funny / are outgoing, etcetera ... but in reality, your self-esteem is in your boots, you cry yourself to sleep regularly, you fill your time to distract yourself from the pain to the point of exhaustion, you’re permanently tired, you're always fearing the worst, you overthink, you wonder if you’ll ever feel happy again and you often wish you no longer existed - purely for the respite and peace. But no-one on the outside looking in has a clue of the misery you live in on a daily basis."
  • "How would I describe high-functioning depression? It's like you're drowning but no-one can see it, because you are a different person when around them. You still get up, still get dressed, be a great parent, still communicate etcetera ... but it’s dark, really dark! You’re exhausted. It's absolutely awful."
  • "High-functioning depression is lonely. No-one ever thinks to check in on you because outwardly, you look fine."
  • "The worst part is, no-one f***ing believes you because you're 'so successful' and 'doing so well in life!'"
  • "It’s doing everything that's 'expected' of you ... getting up, getting dressed, going to work, taking care of the kid, household responsibilities, paying the bills and making it look easy. But then, it's coming home and falling apart when you have time alone. Or managing the best you can until the child is grown and you are alone and still doing the work, bills, household but all the time alone leaves you falling apart more often no matter what you try. And through these stages, nobody sees what you’re going through or feeling. You keep up the facade until you finally isolate yourself because you’re so tired of not being seen but knowing you are at fault for not being seen because you HAD to keep it together for so long."
  • "For me, high-functioning depression involves being able to do things, like errands, but it feels as if I'm walking through molasses. Some days it's only to my ankles, other days it's to my knees!"
  • "It's going to work, being a leader, dealing with problems, keeping people motivated ... while feeling entirely empty inside with no hope or belief that you’ll ever feel good again. It's doing your best and appearing your brightest while inside, you are waiting for your world to come crashing down around you."
  • "It’s like doing everything everyone else has to do every day, but doing it while you're waist deep in water or thick mud. It's exhausting. Every. Single. Day. Smiling hurts."
  • "High-functioning depression is lonely. People forget to check on you all the time because they assume you’re good since everything is getting done. But when the burnouts happen, it’s horrid, at least for me."
  • "You get up, dress, go to work, then come home and just collapse with exhaustion because it’s taken every ounce of your energy to get through the day with a smile on your face, so no-one really knows how you truly feel."
  • "I go to work every day, cry in the car, cry in the shower. But I put on a smile when people are around."
  • "High-functioning depression is pure living hell! It's almost like living two separate lives - the life you have while you're alone and the life you live around others."
  • "It's just like a movie where you are the lead - people praise you for being great, excellent, magnificent. Up there you have many people cheering you, loving you, looking forward to meeting you and working with you. You are fine, just fine. But then the music stops, the curtain closes, and the hands of the monster grip you again ... or maybe not again because it is always with you. Demons chanting how bad you are, how sad, how silly, how unlovable, how people are just there because of what they can get in return, how they don't really love you because you are nothing ... and how if you get lost, no-one will miss you or even try to find you. You have constant panic attacks and feels anxious even at your best moments. You smile but it never reaches your eyes, sometimes even in the best moments you duck in the restroom to cry because you don't see what others say - in your world it is lonely, it hurts, it is painful. Depression makes my world crumble. Everything falls down and traps me inside."

Key Takeaways When It Comes To "High-Functioning Depression"

ï»żIf you have high-functioning depression yourself, then we hope that reading these quotes has helped you feel a little bit less alone and a little bit more understood. And, if you don't have depression, then we hope that these quotes have helped you see that:

  1. Depression is not visible;
  2. Just because someone appears like they're "fine", it does not mean that they are.

All our love,

The Depression Project Team.

P.S. If you struggle with high-functioning depression, then we encourage you to check out some of our other blog posts and resources on this website - since you'll find lots of help to cope with and ultimately overcome depression.