Depression is a condition that affects many people around the world. While there are many different types of depression, functional depression is often overlooked. Functional depression occurs when a person’s normal functioning is disrupted by their depressive symptoms. This blog post will discuss what functional depression is, its symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What Is Functional Depression?
Functional depression is actually not a clinical diagnosis but is a term used to describe a certain pattern of depressive symptoms. People with functional depression may not meet the criteria for major depression, but their symptoms still interfere with their daily functioning.
For some people, functional depression is a short-term problem that develops in response to a stressful life event, like the death of a loved one, a divorce, or losing a job. But sometimes, it is a type of depression that largely impacts the daily functioning of a person for a longer period of time.
After all, some people with depression find that their symptoms are only triggered or made worse by stressful life events. So, when these events end, their depression may continue.
It is important to remember that functional depression is different from major depression, and it should not be used to diagnose someone with major depression. So if you think you may be suffering from functional depression, it is important to speak to a mental health professional.
How To Identify It?
There are many ways to identify functional depression. The first way is to know the symptoms. here are a few common symptoms:
- Lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Exhausted most of the time
- Trouble sleeping or you sleep too much
- Difficulty concentrating
- Appetite has changed
- Either gaining or losing weight without trying to
- Feel hopeless or worthless
- Unexplained aches and pains
Another way to identify functional depression is how it affects your life. People with depression may:
- Be less productive at work or school
- Miss more days of work or school
- Have more accidents or make more mistakes
- Avoid social activities
- Isolate themselves from family and friends
- Have difficulty taking care of their responsibilities
- Engage in risky behaviors, such as drinking too much alcohol or using drugs
- Think about death or suicide
These are some common ways to identify functional depression. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms or behaviors, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Because this can be a serious condition, it is important to get the help you need.
What Causes Functional Depression?
This is a difficult question to answer because it is not fully understood what causes functional depression. However, there are some possible explanations for the development of this condition. Let’s discuss how different areas of functioning may be related to the development of functional depression.
- One area of dysfunction that has been linked to functional depression is sleep. It is thought that sleep disruptions can lead to changes in mood and thinking, which can then contribute to depressive symptoms.
- Another area of dysfunction that has been linked to functional depression is nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, which can then contribute to depressive symptoms.
- Lastly, another area of dysfunction that has been linked to functional depression is social support. A lack of social support can leave individuals feeling isolated and alone, which can then contribute to depressive symptoms.
It is important to remember that these are possible theories, in addition, several risk factors can contribute to the development of functional depression. These include:
- A history of mental illness in the family
- Exposure to trauma or stressful life events
- A chronic medical condition
- Low socioeconomic status
All in all, these possible explanations and risk factors help to give us a better understanding of functional depression. However, more research is needed to fully understand this condition.
If you or someone you know is struggling with functional depression, it is important to seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional can provide a comprehensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your condition.
How Is Functional Depression Different From Other Types?
As there are different types of depression, functional depression is classified as a unique form. It can be difficult to understand and treat because it doesn’t necessarily look like other types of depression. Here are some ways that functional depression is different from other types:
This condition is more common in women than in men. It’s characterized by low energy levels, fatigue, and a lack of motivation. Many people with functional depression also have difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
Also, it is caused by stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss. It can also be the result of chronic stressors, such as caring for a sick family member or working long hours. This is such a type of depression that can be difficult to treat because it doesn’t necessarily look like other types of depression.
And most importantly the symptoms of functional depression can vary from person to person. So, it’s important to work with a mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan. They will be able to help you understand your unique experience and find the best way to manage your symptoms.
How To Diagnose It?
A diagnosis is a process of elimination which means that your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and rule out other possible causes. To diagnose functional depression, your doctor will likely:
- Review your medical history: In this review, your doctor will ask about any medical problems you have and any medications you’re taking.
- Conduct a physical exam: This is to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as an underlying medical condition or another mental health disorder.
- Recommend a psychological evaluation: This evaluation will include questions about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Your doctor may also recommend blood tests and imaging tests to rule out other conditions. This is especially important if you have symptoms that are not typical of functional depression or if your doctor suspects that you may have another mental health disorder.
This disorder can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, such as anxiety, stress, and grief. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
How To Treat Functional Depression?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating functional depression. Treatment will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. In most cases, treatment will involve a combination of medication and therapy.
Medication can be used to help stabilize mood and relieve symptoms of depression. Commonly prescribed medications for depression include:
- Anti-anxiety medications
It is important to work with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to find the right medication or combination of medications for you.
Therapy can be an effective treatment for many types of depression and this is no exception. It can help you:
- Understand your condition
- Identify and change negative thinking and behavior patterns
- Build positive coping skills
- Work through traumas or other difficult experiences
- Develop a support system
There are many different types of therapy, and each person will respond differently to different types of therapy. Some common therapy that you may find helpful include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
This can be an overwhelming list, but a mental health professional can help you choose the type of therapy that will be most helpful for you.
In addition to medication and therapy, self-care is an important part of treatment for functional depression. Self-care includes things like:
- Exercise: This is one of the most important self-care activities. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It also helps to improve sleep and reduce stress.
- Healthy eating: Eating nutritious foods can help to improve mood and energy levels. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods can also help to stabilize mood.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and well-being. It can be helpful to establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- Stress management: Stress can worsen symptoms of functional depression. Finding ways to manage stress, such as relaxation techniques or journaling, can help to improve symptoms.
- Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, can help to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Support: Having a support system of family and friends can help manage functional depression. Talking about your experiences with someone who understands can be supportive and therapeutic.
It is believed that self-care can help to improve symptoms of functional depression and can be used in conjunction with medication and therapy. If you are struggling with this type of depression, talk to your doctor about what self-care activities may be right for you.
Overall, these are all extremely important points to keep in mind when it comes to functional depression. If you or someone you know is struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With the proper treatment, this condition can be managed and people can live happy and healthy lives.
To conclude, functional depression is a real and serious condition that can be effectively treated with the help of mental health professional. It might take some time and effort to find the right treatment approach, but it is worth it to get your life back on track. If you think you might be suffering from functional depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
More often, you should always take the initiative to get help when you feel like something isn’t right. Trust your instincts and reach out for help sooner rather than later. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help and seeking treatment. The sooner you get started the sooner you can start feeling better.
For more tips and guidance, you can reach out to Therapy Mantra. The team of professional counselors is more than happy to help you in your journey to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.