On the outside, you’re highly productive, successful and motivated. You have a big group of friends, a great job and seem to have life all sorted out. But on the inside, you’re gripped by low self-worth and the pressure to be perfect.

Sound familiar?

This is the reality for those who have high functioning depression. They suffer in silence while doing what they need to just to get by.

Most commonly, the condition is referred to as dysthymia, or Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). It carries all the same symptoms of major depression but it’s a lot harder to spot.

“Major depressive disorder relates to a combination of emotional, cognitive and physical changes,” explains SANE Australia psychologist Suzanne Leckie.

“These can include sadness, guilt and a sense of hopelessness, trouble concentrating and remembering, experiencing less pleasure in usual activities, fatigue, trouble sleeping and changes to appetite.”

– Lucy Bode

Read more: What Is High Functioning Depression – And Could You Have It?

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