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.