High-Functioning Mental Illness: Signs and Symptoms



In the complex world of mental health, misconceptions, social stigmas, and apprehension often overshadow the critical importance of understanding and addressing various conditions. This issue is more profound when it comes to high functioning mental illness. 
These conditions, although less visible, can significantly affect an individual’s well-being and daily life.At New View Wellness, our team understands how to treat high-functioning mental illness. Our outpatient mental health programs near Atlanta help individuals who struggle with mental illness find treatment and healing while still being able to live their busy lives. 


What is High-Functioning Mental Illness?

High functioning mental illness refers to a scenario where an individual is capable of maintaining their daily life responsibilities despite having a mental illness. They can hold down jobs, maintain relationships, and meet societal expectations while grappling with emotional or psychological distress behind the scenes. The term “high functioning” doesn’t necessarily indicate the severity of the illness but the individual’s ability to cope with its effects. It’s akin to carrying a silent burden; the illness may not be overtly visible, yet it profoundly impacts an individual’s quality of life.

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New View Wellness is an industry leader in mental health treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

Types of High-Functioning Mental Illness

A broad spectrum of mental illnesses can fall under the high functioning category. These include but aren’t limited to:

  1. High-Functioning Depression (Dysthymia): It is a chronic form of depression where the individual can maintain regular functionality but experiences persistent low mood, fatigue, and self-esteem issues.

  2. High Functioning Anxiety: Individuals with this condition exhibit common anxiety symptoms but manage to channel this anxiety into their daily activities without it significantly disrupting their lives.

  3. High Functioning Autism: People with high functioning autism have difficulties with social interaction and communication but often have average to above-average intelligence and can live independently.

  4. Bipolar Disorder: Those with this condition experience extreme mood swings from mania to depression but can maintain a semblance of normal life during these episodes.

  5. High-Functioning Schizophrenia: It can be difficult for someone not skilled in diagnosing schizophrenia to identify high-functioning schizophrenia symptom. Even when someone qualifies as being high-functioning, they will have some of the same symptoms of regular schizophrenia.

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Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Mental Illness

High functioning mental illness can be challenging to detect because of the individual’s ability to blend into societal norms. However, subtle signs can hint at an underlying condition. These may include persistent feelings of sadness, excessive worry, difficulty concentrating, drastic changes in eating habits, avoidance of social interactions, and excessive fatigue.

How We Treat Mental Illness

Treatment for high functioning mental illness depends on the specific condition and individual circumstances. Therapeutic approaches often involve Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help reframe negative thought patterns, interpersonal therapy to improve relationship dynamics, and sometimes medication. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, healthy diet, and sufficient sleep can also play an integral role in managing these illnesses. In addition, our team utilizes other modalities that include:


Barriers to Mental Health Treatment

Stigma remains the most significant barrier to mental health treatment. The reluctance to admit there’s a problem, fear of judgment, or the misconception that mental illness equates to weakness often deter people from seeking help. Furthermore, lack of awareness about high functioning mental illnesses, lack of accessibility to mental health services, and financial constraints can also hinder effective treatment.

Challenges to Treating High-Functioning Mental Illness

One of the biggest challenges in treating high functioning mental illnesses is the illusion of wellness these individuals portray. This often leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, high functioning individuals might not recognize they need help or resist treatment because they can maintain their daily lives. It can also be difficult to convince them that their quality of life can improve significantly with treatment.

Find Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Today!

Remember, it’s never too late to seek help. Even if you’re managing to ‘get by’ despite a mental illness, life can be more than just surviving. If you identify with the experiences mentioned in this article, we strongly encourage you to reach out. Our team is ready to listen, understand, and work with you to design a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Mental illness is not a weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Reach out today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you. Call us now at 678-573-4981 or verify your insurance today!

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