6 Tips To Deal with High Functioning Depression

Coping with high functioning depression can be hard, but before going into details on how to deal with it. You might want to read 7 Signs You May Have High Functioning Depression. 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

6 Simple & Practical Tips To Deal with High Functioning Depression

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

6 Simple & Practical Tips To Deal with High Functioning Depression

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

6 Practical Tips To Deal with High Functioning Depression

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 (related: Depressed & Stressed? – Mood Boosting Foods). 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.

5. Distraction

High functioning depression is complicated in the sense that you are constantly overthinking and criticizing yourself. (related: 11 Easy Tips For Better Thinking) 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

6 Tips To Deal with High Functioning Depression

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.

Watch our video on 7 Signs You Have High Functioning Depression:

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  1. If you can ever be arsed to contruct a page which people with eyesight difficulties can actually read, I may be interested. That body text is in about 6 point in a shit font. Get a grip.

    1. You can hold down the CTRL button while scrolling up to increase the size of font on any site. Perhaps this might be handy in the future rather than reprimanding a stranger for your eyesight issues on an article handling depression…

  2. Wow! I have never heard the term high functioning depression until this article. This is me to a tee. I have always worked gone to school whatever I had to do to get by. But when I get home the tears and the darkness set in and it seems impossible to leave my bed. Thank you for this article. It helps to know you aren’t alone.

  3. Thank you for this post. My depression seems to come in waves, so I have a mantra I tell myself when it’s at its worst. When I don’t want to get out of bed, or clean my house, or go to work, or even just shower, I tell myself, “Right now you don’t care about this. But eventually this feeling will pass and you will care. Don’t disappoint yourself. You will come out of this and be back to your normal self again soon.” I choose not to take medication regularly, so this really helps me keep going. I might not care about myself, my life, or my relationships today, but I might feel better tomorrow and I will care then. I’ll want to have those things in my life. I tell myself that this is isn’t really me, it’s the depression, and I need to stay true to myself and what I know I do actually care about when I’m in a more stable frame of mind.

  4. Since 2years I feel life is doing all shits to me..I try hard to achieve what I want but then things don’t not work out.. In am a second year law student studying in one of the paushest college of Mumbai. THE culture of my college &people are very rich.The way they diplomatically talk, the topic they talk on ..I think I completely have no maturity to understand their culture…What they do feels like fox things..They don’t give a shit to anyone..Much money they have to party at expensive outlets..Because of which Not at all places I can accompany them..Hardly one place I can afford to go with them..This has hardly left any chance for me to socialize with them… I also fear of talking with them..Bcoz the topics, the knowledge,the information I have is veryyyveryyy limited…But I do always try to socialize with them,trying to make them good friends but nothing works out.. They don’t give a shit..I had also joined committees of my college….Hoping that working with them wud help me make bonds….These 2years after entering this college I have lost almost all contacts with my school friends.They feel like talking with me however I feel hiding myself completely. Several times hit the idea of changing the college but then I thought entering new city,new college things doesn’t remain the same ..U have to adjust..But this adjustment is no longer giving me happiness..
    I want to live the way human life is meant.Happily,great sense of humor, doing what I love,making love,developing tastes for what I desire to eat , study ,make good career

    1. Wow, this must be so difficult. Always think about how your mental health. If you believe changing will do you good, then do, but remember everywhere you there will be new difficulties and challenges. Stay strong and good luck <3

  5. Hi Michelle! I really enjoyed your article and the topic of High Functioning Depression is extremely interesting. I think that examples of why these tips are so helpful for people with high functioning depression would help to explain why they are worth giving a try. For instance, what does having a clean space do for your depression? What does being organized produce emotion-wise? Examples help to elucidate how or why these are such vital points.

    It does, however, look like the answers for some of your tips are answered through other tips. For instance, being organized in everything includes being organized with your self-care routines. Setting alarms for eating and taking care of yourself helps to avoid being run down in the long term. Also, participating in hobbies and socializing helps to distract you from destructive habits like over-thinking. These things go hand-in-hand so connecting them or having them lead into one another may be clearer.

    Additionally, what would you suggest to address the lack of “activation energy” required to do some of these things such as socializing, cleaning, and participating in hobbies that often accompany depression?

    I think it would be cool to see an article on your daily routine and how you incorporate these tips into that routine/schedule. Thanks again for writing this article, it’s great!

  6. I am also victim of high functioning depression since 5.5 yrs….I don’t have lack of anything…But everytime I overthink…I feel low often n has trembling heart…I need lots of effort from inside to concentrate on study but all in vain…I have lost my study due to this high functioning depression.. But now I know I m coping with it n can motivate myself to some extent…

  7. Thank you!! This article and video has changed my life. I realized I have many of these symptoms and I have had them for years but I have tried to ignore it by saying “your fine”. Because many of the symptoms would go away when I’m with my friends or at school but as soon as I get home or wake up in the morning I dread it. But now that I realized that I have high-functioning depression, I’m not going to deny it anymore and I’m going to reach out for help (my parents first). This was very useful and I will try to use these tips in the future to feel better about myself and keep my spirits up. I hope this continues to help people in the future, and I really appreciate this website. Thanks for opening my eyes and helping get on the right path.

  8. I never even thought I suffered from depression until just a few months ago when a dear friend of mine committed suicide. We knew he was dealing with depression but that being the key. We thought he was dealing with it until we realized he wasn’t and then it was too late. I don’t know what to do about mine because I do live my life. inside my house with no contact with other people except for my husband and daughter. I cannot and will not talk to people about my so called problems that’s not how I was raised to deal with things. I keep things to myself because you can’t possibly fix it and you cannot understand, your not me but I do get scared now that I will follow in my friends path and just end it without anyone really being the wiser. My friend planned his suicide for at least 3 months and no one knew that this was his plan. Pray for me that I actually deal with mine.

    1. Hi Jjongkey,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s passing and appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences in your post.

      I’m not a doctor or health care professional so can’t medically advise and I wouldn’t dare to presume to understand your, or your friend’s unique situations. As you rightly say, as I’m not you.

      However, I do have some experience living with what we label as “depression” and the one thing I have learned from my experiences is that bottling up feelings and not speaking to anyone can make things harder, especially where suicidal thoughts or self-harm are involved.

      I truly mean this from the best place but how we were raised is NOT the definition of who we are. We define outside and if ee choose to talk about the things we struggle to face, I know it can help but you have to let it.

      It took me so long to realise this too, (i think mainly due to itrational self-expectations, stigma/ignorance surrounding mental well-being and fear of accepting I problems that I wasnt able to deal with on my own) but once I started to talk about it I began to accept that I wasn’t OK and that that itself was OK, eventually allowed people close enough to try to understand me and my issues. This took much effort on my part and lots of convincing by others but in hindsight, for me this realisation was a pivotal.

      Try to look at it this way for a moment….
      ‘If I talk about my issues there is every possibility that no one will help me;
      But if I don’t, there’s no way anyone can help, even if they’re able to.’

      I’m not religous myself so prayer may not be the appropriate sentiment but I do wish you peace and happiness and hope you can take forward something positive from my experience that helps you.

      My sincerest regards,


  9. I really like what you said about how psychotherapy and talking to the right people who truly care for you can help you cope with depression. My sister has been dealing with depression since her early-20s. I would say we have bee a pretty great support group for her, but she definitely needs to seek professional therapists that can prescribe proper treatment for her depression.

  10. I’ve been struggling with depression for years so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about decluttering your home or living space. I might try to keep my room cleaner so that I don’t feel overwhelmed or anxious.


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