High-Functioning Depression Quiz to Assess Symptoms and Treatment Options

Have you heard of persistent depressive disorder? Consider the symptoms of this high-functioning form of depression and some of the side effects that may be holding you back more than you realize. It’s possible that clinical treatment could help you to transform your life in all the ways that you’ve been falling short.

One of the best ways I can describe it is that the way I’m feeling inside looks nothing at all like how I seem to others on the outside. I want to believe that everything really is as smooth and sunny as my life makes it seem. I think that’s just one of the reasons why I didn’t get any treatment for such a long time.

Dan has high-functioning depression. And his story is a common one. People with this mental illness are very likely to dismiss the severity of their internal symptoms. But that means they struggle with the pain and distress for years without seeking help.

You’re here because you’re curious about what depression might mean for yourself or someone else. This is a good place to find out about how depression can show up in different ways in different people but always affects their quality of life. Read about some of the common symptoms and answer the questions in our high-functioning depression quiz to better understand the overall personal impact of depression.

What Are the Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression?

It is a mistake to simply compare your symptoms with someone else’s to assess your mental health status. More specifically, it is a mistake to simply compare your symptoms to those of depression or major depression and conclude that all is well if they don’t line up. High-functioning depression can have a powerful effect on your health and happiness—even if your symptoms seem less intense than, or don’t quite fit, the picture you have in your head of what clinical depression looks like.

Also known as persistent depressive disorder, or PDD, this condition lasts for at least two years or more. If you have PDD, you may have even forgotten what it’s like to live without its weight on your shoulders. Consider this list of possible high-functioning depression symptoms with an open mind. Can you relate to any of the feelings mentioned or recognize any of these patterns in your daily life?

  • Changes in eating habits: a smaller appetite or overeating
  • Changes in sleeping habits: insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Decrease in energy
  • Lowered confidence and self-esteem
  • Difficulty focusing, concentrating, and making decisions
  • Feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness

If any of these symptoms are weighing you down, it’s time to reach for the help that could improve your quality of life enormously. You do not have to live passively with persistent depressive disorder.

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Take a Quiz and Consider Whether High-Functioning Depression Is Holding You Back

Are you still questioning whether you could possibly have a variation of clinical depression or looking for more information about the implications of PDD? Take a look at this quiz that explores some of the side effects of high-functioning depression. Take your time reading each open-ended question, and be okay with making your mental health the priority right now.


  1. Have you been cynical lately and more judgmental of yourself and others?
  2. Is it hard to remember an extended period of time when you felt truly and peacefully happy?
  3. Do you ever feel tired or lethargic even after you’ve gotten an adequate amount of sleep?
  4. Do you experience periods of feeling guilty, unworthy, or lacking in some way?
  5. Do the normal everyday tasks of home and work life ever feel overwhelming and stressful?
  6. Are you more often tempted to withdraw at home than to spend time and socialize with friends and family?


While it’s true that most of us catch glimpses of these experiences here and there and it may not be a warning sign, when experiences like these tend to linger or return again and again, it may be a sign that your mental health is out of balance. The only things you have to lose by reaching out for professional treatment are your pain and your less-than-best life.

Exploring Treatment for Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

If even high-functioning depression can significantly diminish one’s quality of life, then treatment can improve it. Beyond this idea, the reality is that persistent depressive disorder can result in dangerous outcomes if left untreated. Not only is high-functioning depression more often hidden and ignored than other types of mood disorders, but it can also intensify and compound easily for these same reasons—a lack of help and the intention to suppress.

Treatment for high-functioning depression aims to address the symptoms, but it’s also a path for clients to transform their experience from the inside out. By committing to individualized treatment, someone with PDD can develop transformative coping strategies and ultimately improve their relationships, their performance at work or school, their physical health, their motivation and future prospects, and their very experience of everyday life. With compassionate support, putting forth the effort for treatment now can mean a remarkably different future.

Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles programs and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path to healing.