Tuesday, April 9, 2019

H - High Functioning Mental Illness #MentalHealthAwareness

I am fighting a mental battle — one no is able to see. My mind is a battlefield. Every day, while I am able to appear as normal as everyone else, my anxiety and depression are trying as hard as they can to tear me down. High-functioning mental illness?

High-functioning depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety are increasingly being recognized as a real issue. But because of the stigma still attached to mental health issues, and sometimes the thinking that it isn’t really that bad, many with high-functioning mental health disorders keep their sadness to themselves. No one knows there is something wrong, sometimes not until it is too late.

When a person has high-functioning depression or anxiety, they may seem to have it all together, perhaps even more than most, on the outside, but are severely sad on the inside. 

People who suffer from it generally go about their lives as more or less “normal” so are often perceived as better off than they actually are, even by loved ones and themselves.

As is witnessed increasingly in the cases of so many celebrity suicides, the victims have been living active and successful lives but a nagging mental illness has depleted them internally.

With popular TV series like 13 Reasons Why and others mental illness has become a lifestyle fad of sorts also with the new generation to flaunt a mental health condition as a lifestyle fad, most often it is a high functioning condition they do not address properly.

Most people think they know what mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression look like. Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety ads along with pop culture portrayals often paint a picture of someone who has withdrawn from life, including favorite activities and friends, has trouble sleeping, and is constantly crying. While those are some signs, depression and anxiety take on many forms.

“Severe mental illness comes with so much stigma. But we are all around you. We live, we move, we have our being. Invisibly. Painfully. Oh-so-lonely. But we keep going. You don’t know how much we struggle. And chances are, unless we open up to you, you never will.” writes an American mom here on her website.

A few misconceptions about High Functioning Mental Illness

It is generally believed that a dishevelled appearance isn’t a symptom of depression. However, people have come to expect that those who struggle with their mental health will have a difficult time functioning in society. This assumption hurts people who have high-functioning depression or another mental illness.

Another misconception is that people with mental health challenges are unable to function in society. This is not true. It is possible for someone to maintain a socially acceptable lifestyle while having suicidal thoughts or experiencing anxiety.

People believe that successful people cannot have a mental health issue though mental illnesses do not discriminate by how successful someone is. Every smile can hide a lot of internal struggles.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. Nice post and relevant post. Time enough attention is paid to mental health, like routine checkup is done for physical health. It is said that as we become more affluent, our physical problem we tend to overcome though lifestyle diseases are another issue, problems move from body to mind. Highly publicised depression of Dipika Padukone, when she was adjudged number one actress in Bollywood, suggest just that. On the surface, Dipika had everything. Money, fame, status, family, boy friend, yet she felt depressed.

  2. Yes Abhijit so a mental illness just like a physical one can strike anyone.

  3. I know a few people who have been diagnosed with high-intensity mental disorders. Even though I've known them at close quarters, it's not enough to understand their plight. I wonder how the rest of the world will ever understand.
    Noor Anand Chawla

  4. Common people generally do not understand what constitutes mental illness. I am sometimes amazed by people saying stuff like 'he is a psycho' or 'that fellow is mental' and so on just because some people think differently and act differently. At the same time, as you say even people who look outwardly extremely calm, composed and controlled outwardly might be struggling intensely on the inside. It is very difficult to judge and only a psychiatrist with the ability to figure out if there are symptoms that are clinically evident can tell if there is a problem of depression. So friends are relatives to watch out for abnormalities though of course, we have to be careful in judging.

  5. Thanks for writing about such an important topic. We need to talk about this more so that it can loss some of the stigma associated with mental illness.

  6. Mental illness can be camouflaged by smiles and presenting that all is well with me. In our country people refuse to acce[t that one is mentally ill. Times are changing and people are seeking medical help.

  7. Interesting take on a subject that can never have enough exposure. Physical illness is treated why not the mental illness. Both are illness isnt it?

  8. I am hearing about this for the first time. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront. The stigma attached to mental health can only be addressed with information.

  9. People are always shocked when I tell them I have severe anxiety, because I am doing well in work and personal life. I am, but it is also exhausting to deal with anxiety every day...

    The Multicolored Diary


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