Menu Close

Contact Foundations San Francisco Today!

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

a woman struggles at work due to high functioning depression

Living with high-functioning depression can be a daily battle against invisible forces. Unlike other types of depression, high-functioning depression can be exceptionally deceptive. Individuals struggling with it often appear ‘fine’ to those around them, which can lead to a lack of recognition and, thus, treatment.

You don’t have to struggle in silence. Take the first step toward improved mental health today and reach out to Foundations San Francisco for depression treatment therapy. Call 415.854.6735 or connect with us online to get the support you need.

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

High-functioning depression, often mistaken for the absence of depression or a milder form, is a mental health condition that is characterized by low moods and persistent feelings of sadness, accompanied by the ability to maintain one’s responsibilities and meet the demands of their environment. Those affected may excel at work, engage in active social lives, and appear highly driven, yet struggle privately with negative perceptions of themselves and their worth.

Here are some indications that may signal high-functioning depression:

  • Chronic fatigue – The individual often feels tired and overwhelmed despite adequate rest.
  • Inexplicable pain – Without a physical cause, patients experience unexplained aches, cramps, and digestive issues.
  • Perfectionism – A relentless pursuit of excellence can be compensatory behavior to mask inner turmoil.
  • Neglected self-care – Personal hygiene or health upkeep might be neglected.
  • Emotional flatness – It’s not about being ‘down’; rather, there’s an absence of joy or enthusiasm.
  • Persistent doubt – They harbor deep self-doubt and can be highly self-critical.

These symptoms can often lead to the individual feeling isolated and misunderstood, as their outward success masks their inner strife.

How Professional Treatment Can Help

Professional treatment is a beacon of hope for those grappling with high-functioning depression. It goes beyond simply managing the symptoms and strives to address the underlying causes, providing individuals with the tools to heal and cope effectively.

Establishing a Supportive Network

One of the first steps is building a strong support system that includes mental health professionals, family, and friends. These allies can help individuals find their voice in asking for help and provide the much-needed validation of their struggles.

Therapy As a Way Forward

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in guiding individuals to understand the negative thought patterns that feed their depression. By challenging and adjusting these cognitive distortions, progress can be made. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another valuable tool that can enhance emotional regulation skills.


For some, medication is a necessary ingredient in their treatment plan. Antidepressants can help manage the symptoms, often making it easier for individuals to engage in therapy and make lifestyle changes that support their mental well-being.

Building Emotional Intelligence

Therapies that focus on emotional intelligence can be especially beneficial. By learning to identify and understand their emotions, individuals can develop more adaptive ways to process and respond to stress and challenges.

Professional treatment offers a balanced and personalized approach to healing, considering each person’s unique circumstances and coping strategies. It’s about empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives, not just free from symptoms but rich with meaningful connections and experiences.

Contact Foundations San Francisco for Depression Treatment Now

Recognizing the signs of high-functioning depression is the first step toward seeking clinical support. At Foundations San Francisco, our team specializes in compassionate and evidence-based treatment modalities. You don’t have to face this battle alone. Call 415.854.6735 or contact us online today to begin your journey toward healing and a renewed sense of joy and purpose.