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Depressed, Having Trouble Functioning

By HERWriter
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It's assumed that those with major depressive disorder and other mental disorders are unable to function. However, what constitutes the inability to function? What happens when a person with a mental disorder can function?

From my perspective, someone who has a mental disorder is forced to function. They may not function to their capacity but they can get through daily life and accomplish the necessities. I have depression, for example, and I accomplish most of my important tasks throughout the day.

For those who have mental disorders and can still function, there still may be a conflict with friends, family and mental health professionals. People may not take a person with depression seriously if they are not outwardly struggling. This is emotional dysfunction even though physically, they are able to function normally. A person with depression might not be able to perform high-energy jobs or do as much as they want within a certain day compared to people without depression.

A report about mental health states by the Surgeon General says that some mental disorders can be compared to physical medical conditions in terms of loss of productivity. However, there is no real in-depth discussion about what constitutes functionality and the definition of functioning and impaired functioning is debatable.

Besides the inability to function normally, some symptoms of major depressive disorder include being moody, loss of interest and pleasure as well as weight, appetite and sleep fluctuations, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depending on the severity, these symptoms alone can make it difficult to function normally.

I’ve had several instances of major depressive episodes where I cannot function at all. This includes not being able to get out of bed, loss of appetite and excessive sleeping. For me, lack of functioning is caused by feeling hopeless and worthless, which are common symptoms of depression. Sometimes these episodes are caused by my events in my life and other times feelings of depression happen on their own.

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I think your article is full of crap. Just because you have a mild case of depression and can make yourself functional does not mean everyone else can. Depression is not just a state of mind. It is a physical disability. Your article was a complete waste of time.

December 15, 2015 - 11:09am
EmpowHER Guest

Factors which seem to contribute to the disorder developing include emotionally traumatic events, losses, and stressors such as sexual and physical abuse, war, natural disasters, poverty, death of a loved one, and growing up in a seriously dysfunctional family, such as an alcoholic family.
Major depressive disorder

May 12, 2011 - 4:21am

Hi Diane,
No problem. I read your profile and I too grew up in Denver (Littleton) area and now live in Phoenix. I do miss the mountains though, but love the weather in phx, not so much in the summertime!

Have a wonderful day,

February 11, 2010 - 9:45am

Hi Diane,

Sure, lately I've been reading Finding Your North Star by Martha Beck. It's really hit home for me and opened my eyes to a lot of my patterns. What I especially like about her book is that she goes thru a steps-by-step process to teach you how "to get better" (for lack of better words), as a opposed to just telling you what you need to do. She's also go another book coming out call the Team or visit her website, www.MarthaBeck.com. Out of any other book I've read, this has really been healing and helpful for me, also I think you have to be ready to make the committment.

February 10, 2010 - 12:41pm
(reply to Iluvdogs)


Thank you so much. I"m heading to Amazon now to check it out and read about it, and to her website to read about her. Reading that the book has been healing and helpful to you is huge for me. Thank you again.

February 11, 2010 - 9:13am

Dear Rheyanne,

Thanks for your article, I can completely relate to your story. I have suffered from depression all my life and just the day to day tasks can be daunting. I feel I could have accomplished so much more in my life if it hadn't been for my depression. I used to do what I had to just to get through the day so I could come home and be away from everything and everyone. I for sure isolated myself from family and friends because of my depression, never wanting to socialize because it was way too much effort. It's horrible to feel like that but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one.

Lately, I've been reading positive books and going online to reach out for that positive energy (especially since I've been recovering from surgery). After awhile you just get sick of living like that and you either suck it up and do something about it because the alternative is not an option!

Thanks for writing this and posting the links~ Take care of yourself!!

February 9, 2010 - 11:23am
(reply to Iluvdogs)

Hi, iluvdogs,

I am happy to hear that you are reaching out for positive energy and doing a little better. Would you care to share the titles of any of the books that are making a difference for you?

February 10, 2010 - 10:47am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.