TSThe term walking depression is not a medical term but a way to describe a type of depression where a person appears to function well on the surface and is able to go about their daily life, but they are actually struggling with depression internally.
Walking depression, although easily disguised, can still have a significant negative impact on a person’s overall well-being. Despite appearing confident and mentally healthy to others, people with walking depression may experience a decline in their mental health. And self-esteem, leading them to feel worthless or hopeless. These symptoms are similar to those experienced in a conventional major depressive disorder.
This type of depression is also known as “high functioning depression” or “apparent competence.” It can be dangerous because the individual may not seek help or support because they are able to hide their depression well. They may also feel isolated and lonely because they are not able to express their feelings to others. Due to their ability to function well, they may not even realize they are depressed or take their symptoms seriously.
Signs of walking depression
It is crucial to take walking depression seriously and seek treatment, as it can be just as impactful as major depression. Pay attention to any symptoms and be aware of these potential signs of walking depression, even if they do not match the typical symptoms of depression.
They no longer find pleasure in activities that used to bring them joy and satisfaction.
Walking depression can be difficult to identify since it is characterized by a lack of positive emotions rather than intense feelings of despair or distress. This can be particularly challenging for those who have gradually slipped into depression. Since it is difficult to identify a clear point where their positive experiences and motivation began to decline.
They get easily annoyed or frustrated.
If you are constantly irritable and easily frustrated, it may be a sign of a more subtle form of depression. This is particularly true if they are typically patient and easygoing but are now experiencing a marked change in behavior. If you find yourself experiencing intense road rage or other outbursts of anger, it may be related to underlying depression.
They are always tired.
People with walking depression may frequently feel fatigued and exhausted, and they may also struggle with insomnia. The daily struggle of managing low mood and energy levels, along with high levels of anxiety, can be draining and challenging. Those with this type of depression describe feeling “sick and tired” most days due to the persistent fatigue they experience.
They have difficulty concentrating.
When experiencing depression, it is common to have difficulty with concentration, memory, and decision-making, even if the depression is not easily noticeable to others. With walking depression, they may still be able to maintain their regular school or work routine, but tasks may feel more difficult and require more effort than usual.
They have a low sexual drive.
It is common to experience fluctuations in sex drive, but if a persistently low sex drive is observed, it could be a sign of depression. Walking depression in women can cause a decrease in sexual desire. As a result, women may feel less interested in sex than usual, and sexual activities may become less enjoyable. Men may also experience erectile dysfunction.
They hide the way they feel from others.
People with walking depression may try to hide their true emotions or depression symptoms from others. They make sure that they appear happy and unproblematic in front of their peers and family. Even if they notice that something is wrong, they tend to dismiss it so as not to be labeled as weak.
Despite experiencing symptoms, they are still able to lead a normal life.
Depression can be a severe mental disorder for some people, but if they are experiencing walking depression. They can manage their symptoms and prevent them from interfering with their job and personal relationships. As a result, it may be more challenging for their loved ones to recognize that they are struggling more than usual. Which could hinder their ability to receive appropriate treatment.
Treating Walking Depression
The good news is that depression, including walking depression, can be effectively treated. If you suspect you may have walking depression. The first step towards getting help is to discuss your symptoms with a licensed mental health professional. You can accomplish this by requesting a mental health referral from your primary care provider.
When you visit a mental health provider, they may inquire about various aspects of your health, including your symptoms, medical history, and family medical history. While there is no particular test to diagnose walking depression, your mental health provider may request that you complete a depression assessment such as the Hamilton Depression Scale (Ham-D) or Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess the severity of your symptoms.
If deemed necessary, your healthcare provider may recommend a depression brain scan. And suggest treating your depression through medication, psychotherapy, and/or lifestyle changes.
Even if you are able to continue your regular routine while experiencing depression, seeking help is crucial. You can either speak to your primary care provider or use online mental health services from home.
Remember that depression is treatable, and a combination of medication, therapy. And lifestyle modifications can often assist you in overcoming your symptoms and returning to a fulfilling life.
Visit Mindshift Psychological Services to help manage your depression. You may check out their website to learn more about their treatment programs. You may also contact them at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment.