They decline social invitations
High-functioning depression looks a lot like chronic low-level depression and can last around five years in adults or one to two years in children and teens, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. And while it may not leave a person devastated and hopeless, high-functioning depression can seriously dent your quality of life, dampening your enthusiasm for work, school, family and even social activities. A change in social activities can be one of the earliest warning signs.
“People with high-functioning depression still go to work and interact with people, but outside of work, they may stop hanging out with friends, and make excuses like ‘work’s been really stressful,’” says psychiatrist Dr Jason Stamper. “They will be somewhat isolative, and this often translates into distance in relationships.”
They have other health issues
This is a two-way street. On one hand, underlying medical conditions can prompt depression. “Co-occurring medical conditions, like diabetes or cancer, cause stress and strain that can lead to depression,” says professor psychiatry Dr Michelle Riba. On the other hand, depression can lower immunity, making you more vulnerable to getting sick.
They’re sleeping differently
Whether you can’t nod off as easily, you’re snoozing more than usual, or you’re tossing and turning, sleep problems can warn of possible depression – and it can make your symptoms dramatically worse. “Good sleep is key to good mental health,” says Dr Carol Landau, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University.