Coping with high functioning depression can be hard, and this type of depression is a lot more common than you think.
According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 3.3 million people battle with it per year. Many times, this mental disorder goes unnoticed because even though its a debilitating problem, most people are functional. But don’t worry here are 6 practical tips to deal with high functioning depression:
1. Get Organized
For me, high functioning depression means forgetfulness and disorganization even though I get things done. I can’t remember important dates, and I don’t get to places on time, among other things. Buy an agenda, and faithfully write down everything, such as doctor appointments, birthdays, projects, movie release dates, when your car oil change is due when bills need to be paid, even simple things like anniversaries or when you start and finish your menstrual cycle. Your agenda will be your best friend. First thing each morning when you wake up to grab it and view what you need to get done during the day and week. This way you don’t forget anything. Tip: write with a pencil, if you need to change a date it will be easier to erase.
2. Declutter Your Home
I used to be such a messy person. I just couldn’t find the energy to put things in the correct place. I used to lose things all the time, like my keys or deodorant. To help yourself out, clean and throw away anything you don’t need anymore. If it’s in good condition you can donate it or have a yard sale. Why? Because extra clutter in your home means it will be more difficult for you to stay organized. Go out and buy containers, decorative boxes, and folders. The trick here is to divide things into their correct places.
For example, in different folders place papers by categories, such as car bills in one folder and utility bills in another. In your room divide your shirts in one drawer and pants in another. The same goes for other material things around the house. The trick here is to put things in places that you will remember to look for it. Tip: ask a family member or friend to help you clean and get organized, so it won’t be too overwhelming.
3. Socialization & Hobbies
High functioning depression comes with isolation. For me, I didn’t want to go out even to my favorite places. To fix this get involved in your favorite activities or hobbies. For example, if you like to practice martial arts, then take classes. This way you are blowing stress off by doing things you love, but at the same time, you are socializing with others.
4. Take Care of Yourself
The problem with depression is that you have 0 energy to take care of yourself. In turn, your self-esteem will be on the floor. No matter how hard it gets, take care of yourself. I know you’ve heard this all the time, but get enough sleep, drink sufficient amount of water, and eat plenty of healthy meals. Believe it or not what you eat is how you will feel. If you don’t get hungry or thirsty use an alarm clock on your cell phone to remind yourself to eat and drink water. There are even apps you can download that remind you of this, and on the plus side, some of those apps are interactive making it fun for you.
High functioning depression is complicated in the sense that you are constantly overthinking and criticizing yourself. I know I did, and it got to the point I thought so badly of myself that I started to believe it. To counter this, make sure you have healthy pass times to keep your mind busy. For example, starting a new tv series, or reading your favorite book, looking up new artists, coloring, going for a walk, hanging out with friends, going to the bookstore, etc. The point here is to keep yourself busy, and not let your mind wander negatively.
6. Keep Moving & Keep It Clean
Exercising and good hygiene improves your self-esteem and self-worth. Research shows that 30 minutes a day of exercise for at least 4 days a week will boost your mood. And I know when you are depressed, there is no way in hell you want to get up and move, but trust me it makes a difference. If it’s too much at first, start by taking a walk around the block and gradually add cardio to your routine. Tip: look for fun exercises such as riding a bike, dancing, Zumba, running, sports anything that will get you moving, but it is entertaining for you. Don’t forget to shower, and wash your face and mouth twice a day. This will freshen you up, and lighten your groggy mood.
High functioning depression is difficult to deal with, but not impossible.
Take it from someone like me, who has been able to move forward in life despite still having it. If these tips aren’t enough to help you then psychotherapy may be of great use. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to the right people who truly care will help you. Not only that, but if you end up taking medication for this, then remember there is no shame in that. What are other tips and tricks you use to help cope with your high functioning depression? Let me know in the comment section below. If there are other topics on high functioning depression that you would like me to write about feel free to let me know.