What is high-functioning depression?When someone is suffering internally, but to the rest of the world it appears as though they're fine, this is classed as high-functioning depression. The person suffering might still socialise with friends, turn up to work every day and appear to be living a happy and ‘normal’ life, but on the inside and behind closed doors, they're suffering great pain.
Take time out and put yourself firstIf you suffer from high-functioning depression and dread the thought of going to work and facing people each day, there are several ways to help you cope.
Most days will feel like an uphill struggle but there will be certain times when everything becomes too much to deal with. Give yourself some breathing space, literally. Even if it’s just for five minutes, escape to another room, or outside if possible, take some deep breaths and try to quieten your mind. Your mental and physical wellbeing should always take priority – work can wait five minutes!
Share your feelingsWhether it’s your boss, a work colleague or someone in HR, try to talk to someone at work about your depression and how you're feeling. Not only will it help ease the burden a little, if they're understanding, they'll give you some leeway for the times when you really need it. They might even let you work from home if you really can’t face the work environment. You might find that people are a lot more understanding than you expect.
Practise self-careRemember to practise self-care both at home and in work. Although on some days it might feel like the most difficult task, if you persist, in the long run you will benefit. Try to get enough sleep by sticking to a bedtime routine, exercise when you can, and eat a healthy diet. Drink plenty of water and take a walk outside or even take up yoga or mindful meditation. These are all things you can incorporate into your working day - perhaps in your break times - and they don't have to take long.
Prioritise and delegateA busy work schedule will undoubtedly add to your stress levels and make your depression even more difficult to deal with. Prioritise your jobs for the day or week and learn to delegate work wherever possible.
Remember, you are only human, and you can only achieve so much.
The World Health Organization produced an information sheet on 'Mental health in the workplace' earlier this year. It identifies work-related risk factors for health and offers steps that businesses can take to create a healthy workplace environment.
For more information on promoting and enhancing mental wellbeing in the workplace, please visit our website for organisations and businesses www.firstpsychology-assistance.co.uk