Covert or high-functioning depression is a form of depression in which people appear to be functioning well in their daily lives but struggle with depressive symptoms. People with latent depression often develop mechanisms and habits to mask their depression. Here are some habits that may be associated with people with latent depression.
Hyper-productivity: People with latent depression channel their depression into hyper-productivity. They may overwork themselves, multitask, or be constantly busy to avoid facing their inner feelings. This habit may make them feel like they are high functioning, but it also serves as a distraction from their emotional pain.
Constant self-criticism: People with latent depression often have a negative self-image and self-critical thoughts. They hold themselves to unrealistically high standards and always feel like they are falling short.
Put on a happy face: People with latent depression often go to great lengths to present a cheerful and positive appearance. Always smiling and looking like everything is fine, they might be the life of the party. This facade makes it difficult to recognize the emotional struggles of others.
Isolation: It may seem counterintuitive, but people with latent depression isolate themselves from others. They may withdraw from social interactions and isolate themselves to avoid burdening others with their emotions or to avoid others noticing their struggles.
Difficulty expressing emotions: People with latent depression have difficulty expressing their emotions, especially negative emotions such as sadness or anger. They may ignore their feelings or discuss their emotional state.
High achievers and perfectionists: Striving for perfection and achieving high achievers can be a way to prove your worth to yourself and others. However, the pressure to succeed exacerbates their inner turmoil.
Loss of interest in activities: People with latent depression may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. It may be the result of their emotional struggles that affect their ability to find joy in the things they love.
Sleep patterns: Whether it’s insomnia or oversleeping, disrupted sleep patterns can be a symptom of underlying depression. Emotional turmoil often leads to difficulty maintaining a healthy sleep pattern.
Unexplained Physical Disorders: Latent depression manifests itself in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and unexplained pain. These physical symptoms may be the body’s way of expressing emotional pain.
Substance use: Some people with latent depression turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to relieve emotional pain. Drug use can be a temporary escape from their feelings.
Everyone’s experience of depression is unique, and it’s important to note that not everyone with latent depression will exhibit these habits. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Therapy, counseling, medication, and support from loved ones can all play a role in overcoming depression and improving overall well-being. If you are worried about yourself or someone else, don’t hesitate to ask for help.