Challenging Perceptions: High Functioning Depression is the first part of a new series where we will be looking at research and personal accounts which challenge popular misconceptions about mental health.
“It’s easy to put depression into a box of symptoms, and though we as a society are constantly told mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, we are stuck with a mental health stock image in our heads that many people don’t match.”
Amanda Leventhal was a busy teenager with good grades and involvement in many extracurricular activities. She also experienced high anxiety and depression. After consulting a psychiatrist at age 16, she wrestled with the common perception of depression and her own experiences.
Depression is often seen as an obvious sadness, lethargy and inaction. This perception means that many people go under the radar as they struggle with their mental health whilst continuing successfully with studies, jobs, socialising, and general day-to-day life.
“No matter how many times we are reminded that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, we revert back to a narrow idea of how it should manifest, and that is dangerous.”
Amanda’s testimony shows that the “inner” experience of depression is something which people endure differently, with a wider variety of “outer” symptoms than is commonly perceived. Her article is an important call to normalise being able to talk abut mental health, and to break down the narrow margin which defines it.
We Cannot Continue to Overlook ‘High-Functioning’ Depression [via The Mighty]