Are you or someone you know dealing with functional depression? Statistics show that nearly 7% of the US population suffers from clinical depression. Like other mental conditions, there are different levels of depression. For example, high-functioning depression allows people to live their day-to-day lives but still suffer from severe sadness. Medical professionals don’t classify functional depression as a technical condition. However, you might wonder whether can you get a disability for depression. This might be related to whether or not your life is functional and you can get through the day as you normally would. If you can, in theory, it might not be a disability.
One of the main issues with functional depression is as the name suggests people can go through their day-to-day life. This can cause various issues that might be related to your ability to get disability. There are issues like you feel like you’re faking it, people might not think you need help, and good/bad days are quite different. These and other issues might affect whether or not you can get a disability. In theory, it might be tough to prove you need disability if you’re able to go to work, school, store, gym, and so on.
What Exactly Is Functional Depression?
This is also known as highly-functional depression. Experts explain that depression can affect people differently. Depression is relatively common. Statistics show that every year nearly 7% of all US adults had at least one depression episode during the past year.
While this figure includes all types of depression experts explain that different people have different symptoms. For example, in the case of functional depression, people around the patient might not even notice that he/she is struggling with the mental condition.
Studies show that high-functioning people might feel like doing activities or taking actions. However, they still feel the need to meet their goals. So they keep on keeping on. They want to complete stuff so they continue their daily life to finish tasks, reach goals, and so on.
Several famous people have succeeded in their fields despite also claiming they suffered from depression. They include poet Emily Dickinson, cartoonist Charles M. Schultz, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
When people learn that someone they know has functional depression they’re often surprised. That’s often because they don’t understand the mental health issue. So it’s important to increase awareness. In other words, just because a person seems productive and successful they could still be struggling with mental health issues.
One of the common myths people have about depression is that people can snap out of it by simply thinking positive thoughts. However, mental health experts explain that’s simply not the case. They explain that there’s an imbalance that involves imbalances related to structures, chemicals, etc.
So the main issue is that several factors cause depression. It’s important to deal with them to help create a balance of brain neurotransmitters, for example.
There are other wrong myths that people have about depression. They include that it’s the same as sadness or it will just go away.
Can You Get Disability for Depression?
One of the main depression symptoms is people lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. There are other factors like:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Sleep conditions
- Lack of focus
- Low energy
These symptoms can also be related to other conditions. So it’s critical to watch out for multiple ones.
Various factors cause depression. They include genetic and environmental factors. For example, if your parents struggled with depression, you’re experiencing a lack of sleep, or you have stressful situations—you’re more likely to have depression.
To qualify for depression-based disability, you’ll have to be diagnosed with clinical depression. Your doctor will review various factors including:
- Family History
- Physical Exam
- Depression Symptoms
- Alcohol/Drug Use
Doctors don’t look for symptoms of depression. They instead look at the “big picture” to determine whether or not you suffer from the mental condition. They ask about different issues that will help to determine whether or not you’re suffering from clinical depression.
Depression isn’t specifically listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) blue book of conditions. However, it is classified as one of the affective (emotional) disorders.
To be classified as having clinical depression, there are certain requirements. It must affect 2+ of these areas:
- Daily activities
- Social functioning
- Repeated decrease in condition
You must also experience 4+ of these conditions:
- Unable to have pleasure in almost all activities
- Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia
- Major changes in eating/weight
- Problems thinking/focusing
- Feelings of guilt/worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Daily focus, pace, or persistence
- Sleep problems
- Lower energy levels
- Problems with psycho-motor function
If you meet the requirements for either set of conditions, then you might qualify for disability. Various other factors are considered. They include how long you’ve had depression, whether it’s worsened, and if it’s affected your work.
Natural Treatments for Depression
1. Set goals/have a daily routine
These can both help to fight depression. You’ll have daily/life goals you can work towards. This can help to give you purpose in life since you’ll have goals to work towards.
It’s also good to have a daily routine. It can provide a daily plan to help you reach your goals. There are times when you can’t follow the schedule to a tee. However, it’s something you should try to do as much as possible. That, in turn, will make it easier to reach whatever goals you’ve set.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
It’s important to make sure you get a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night. You’ve probably noticed that you tend to have mood issues when you don’t get enough sleep. This is related to different factors like your body/mind being low-energy and the brain’s neurotransmitters/hormones being affected. One example is the feel-good hormones that can affect mood if they’re not fully charged.
3. Exercise regularly
It provides various health benefits that can boost your mood. For example, when you exercise it increases blood flow to the brain. That, in turn, can trigger the “feel-good” hormones that can boost moods. These hormones can help give you a “runner’s high” that produces happy feelings.
Make sure to exercise as regularly as you can. You’ll not only trigger neurotransmitters but also boost energy levels, which can also improve moods. When your body-mass index (BMI) is within the normal range it can provide many physical/mental benefits.
4. Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet
It is something everyone should be doing anyway. However, it’s especially important if you’re dealing with depression. The reason is depression can often result in over-eating as people try to fill the void in their lives with food. That often involves unhealthy junk/fast food to satisfy their food cravings, which increases your need to learn can you get disability for depression.