High functioning depressive

I’ve been told before that I can’t have real depression because I was able to get out of bed and work.  It was a horrible thing to hear.  Yes, I did get out of bed and get to work but it took everything I had and it hurt like hell to do.  But equally, there was no way I couldn’t not go to work.

I have the curse of high functioning depression.  My depression does not look like most people think depression should look.  And that means I don’t always get taken as seriously as I need and I get dismissed by friends, acquaintances and medical professionals.

I probably look my most professional and most together when my depression is at its worst.  Only then do I wear makeup, dress smartly etc.  I am not me at those times.  If you ever see my wearing a suit, I am probably a complete and utter mess inside.

I was an A* student throughout school and left university with a masters in mathematics and the entire time I was severely depressed, suicidal, self harming and going through periods of anorexia.  No one ever thought to look past that to see what I was hiding.  No one ever saw my depression.

People have told me time and time again how strong I  am and make it sound like a compliment.  But inside I am screaming that I don’t want to be strong.  I want to collapse in a heap and cry and never get out of bed and never speak to anyone ever again.  But I don’t think I will ever be able to do that.  I function with my depression.  Or at least I do my best to make it look like I am.  I go through the motions whilst desperately wishing I no longer existed.

One of my major triggers is invalidation.  And the stereotypical symptoms or pictures people have of depression have led me time and time again to question my own depression.  Doubting myself made me expect the rest of the world to doubt me.  If I doubted it, would my GP just laugh at me?

Depression comes in many forms and looks like many different things.  If someone has taken the time and effort to tell you they’re struggling, don’t tell them they aren’t.

7 thoughts on “High functioning depressive”

  1. Is it sad that I could relate to each and every part of this post?
    I hope you’re doing better now.
    If you want to talk to someone, I am there. Feel free to text. 🙂

  2. WHO told you you didn’t have “real” depression? Someone unqualified to make that statement? I’m the same way. I got the best job performance review of my LIFE recently, and I’m struggling more than ever with this dark beast inside of me that tells me to put an end to it all of the time.

    You’re right, high functioning depression is just as bad and in some ways worse than more obvious depression.

    1. Someone who’s daughter had depression which presented in a more stereotypical way… I had expected a lot better from this person… I’m sorry you’re struggling, depression is an awful illness. Are you getting any support?

  3. That sounds very familiar. I think high functioning depression and perfectionism often go hand in hand. The worse we feel the more we try and make every other thing in our life perfect. I’ve just started blogging about my journey as I can never find much information about it online. http://wp.me/p7TyfO-4

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