Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders throughout the world. Since the inception of COVID-19, reported rates of depression have spiked dramatically. More than just temporary feelings of sadness that everyone experiences from time to time, clinical depression significantly impacts a person’s ability to function in daily life. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is sometimes called high-functioning depression and affects millions of people who appear outwardly fine but are struggling internally.
What Are the Signs of High-Functioning Depression?
Like substance use disorders, depression disorders occur on a spectrum with symptoms that range from mild to severe. People with high-functioning depression tend to push through their feelings and may even try to overcompensate by being perfectionists. Their lack of ability to recognize or acknowledge the need for help can lead to a build-up of emotion and tension that can erupt at any given moment.
Though the symptoms of high-functioning depression vary among individuals, there are some commonly recognized signs, such as:
- Difficulty making and sticking to decisions
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness
- Lack of self-esteem
- Bouts of insomnia or sleeping too much
- Consistent low energy or lack of motivation
- Outward or internalized self-criticism
- Significant weight fluctuations
Many individuals with high-functioning depression are also identified as high-functioning alcoholics or drug abusers. They turn to substance use to self-medicate, creating a complex cycle where symptoms of one problem perpetuate the other.
Is Seasonal Depression the Same as High-Functioning Depression?
Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a form of major depressive disorder (MDD) with a seasonal pattern. While the symptoms of SAD are similar to high-functioning depression, or PDD, there is a significant distinction between the two related to the duration of symptoms. For PDD diagnosis, symptoms must have lasted consistently for at least two years, whereas people with MDD have depressive episodes separated by at least two months, hence, seasonal depression.
Experts believe that, like MDD, the causes of seasonal depression are linked to genetic factors and disruptions in serotonin and dopamine. Further, the lack of sunlight plays a significant role in winter-onset seasonal depression. Sunlight exposure impacts serotonin and vitamin D levels, affecting energy and mood. Symptoms that characterize seasonal depression include:
- Sleeping more than usual but still feeling exhausted
- A heavy feeling in your limbs
- Increased appetite, especially for carbs, and weight gain
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
- Loss of interest in usual activities and social withdrawal
- Feeling anxious and irritable without a clear cause
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
If seasonal depression impairs your quality of life, Gulf Breeze Recovery can help. Through our depression treatment program, you can learn the tools to overcome SAD this winter and for the years to come. In addition to treatment for seasonal affective disorder, we provide comprehensive, holistic treatment for all forms of depression, including:
- Postpartum depression
- Psychotic depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Atypical depression
The approaches to depression treatment that are right for you will depend upon your unique symptoms, needs, experiences, and personal goals for recovery. Our team will work with you to find the best fit. Perhaps the most significant benefit of a depression treatment program is knowing that you are not alone.
Discover the Benefits of Depression Treatment at Gulf Breeze Recovery
No matter the type of depression you may be experiencing, its effects can be devastating to you and your loved ones, especially if you have turned to drug and alcohol abuse to self-medicate. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our exceptional beachfront treatment facility on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico provides an ideal setting for you or your loved one to discover the benefits of holistic, non-12-step centered recovery from substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders like depression.
When you are ready to discover the benefits of holistic depression treatment, reach out to Gulf Breeze Recovery. Use our secure online form or call 833.551.2304.