Are you someone whose struggle is almost non-existent because you’re able to function like a “normal” person? If so, then you might be high functioning. According to Outofthefog.com, “A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behaviors in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors.” With so much happening just below the surface, we asked our Instagram community about their experiences with being high functioning.
1. “I have cPTSD, a form of OCD, Panic Disorder, and a dissociative disorder that is probably due to my PTSD. No one suspects a thing because my OCD is Pure O — It’s all in the head. I don’t act out angrily when I get flashbacks nor do I act unstable. I keep myself together, although it’s hard, then I cry it all out where I’m very sure no one is around. If someone does see me I say, “Oh my dog died.” I don’t like people knowing which is probably what caused me to be “high functioning.” I still work, participate, and can act like I’m happy. But it’s all very lonely.”
2. “People tend to be really surprised as I’m very high functioning bipolar type two, borderline, OCD, gen. anxiety. It rarely turns people off, but I feel as though they get a thrill of novelty from hearing about my life”
3. “I live with depression, and can hide it VERY well so people often say things like “oh you’re doing better!” Or “oh I guess you’ve got it under control!” It’s difficult because they mean well but it stresses me out because then I feel a pressure to keep up that illusion indefinitely.”
4. “People seem fascinated. They offer a lot of “advice” and try to help me “figure it out” by asking a lot of questions. Sometimes they treat me like my whole brain is a library and they can poke around. They want me to explain it to them instead of doing the research themselves, but then they argue when I give them “incorrect” information. Most of the time they have read a few articles so they imagine they know what they’re talking about.”
5. “I have noticed when they find out I have anxiety and depression, they all of a sudden have it too. Like they try to compare lives to relate with me.”
6. “When people find out about my mental illness, they often ask things like, “Are you sure you really have that?” or “How did you manage to do _____ then?” as though they believe I’m lying or self-diagnosing. There is such a narrow view of what constitutes mental illness and it can be infuriating when people doubt the legitimacy of my disease based on their preconceptions.”
7. “People a) don’t take my problems seriously because I don’t act the way they expect me to or b) repeatedly forget about my mental illness and thus forget that I might need support.”
8. “Usually what becomes slow relationship bonding due to keeping people at arm’s length, is then turned to pity and fragile handling, and then eventually people just leaving because they cannot understand what is truly going on in comparison to the facade showcased for everyday life.”
9. “Very few know of my mental health issues. I am the charismatic guy at work, I’m positive and very accepting to everyone and people are naturally drawn to me. I’m the ideal Sergeant and leader. So telling them my struggle, I guess it helps them step out of themselves as they try to process and TRY to relate to what I go through. Gives them hope? I don’t know, but it’s nice to “come out” at times and somewhat give them the motivation to push through their hard times. I usually don’t talk about because of the stigma. There is no need to just let everyone know because it’s my business alone and my responsibility.”
10. “People always tell me they would never guess I went through what I went through and that they would never guess I have a PTSD etc. Those reactions I like, because I see that the people saw me as someone confident and fearless. Other times, people switch from “we are equal,” to “you are weak and have no experience” and they start giving me their uneducated, inexperienced advice on how to exist and that drives me nuts. I want to tell them “I have quit my job to give myself 100% care years ago, have been in a weekly therapy, read all the time, do millions healing things, I’ve studied psychology, I am very good in self-reflection and understanding connections, and I can probably analyze you in 10mins, you asshole.” I tell myself they are probably coming from a loving place and then I calm down. If I don’t want to hear it then I nicely tell them I don’t want their advice or opinion. Side note: I sometimes catch myself doing the same thing to others though but luckily I take responsibility and apologize and try to not do it again.”
*Image credit: @Fusillo.Foto
Comment below with your experiences.