This website uses cookies and similar technologies to provide the best functionality and display content according to your interests on our site and social networks.

We respect your privacy and process information only for marketing and functional purposes if you give us your consent by clicking ‘I accept.’
You can change your cookie settings at any time by clicking on the privacy settings.

Privacy Notice
Settings
This website uses cookies and similar technologies to provide the best functionality and display content according to your interests on our site and social networks.

We respect your privacy and process information only for marketing and functional purposes if you give us your consent by clicking ‘I accept.’
You can change your cookie settings at any time by clicking on the privacy settings.

Privacy Notice
This cookie is used for system purposes only and does not track user actions. It is required for normal functioning of this web site.
This is a web analytics service.
Processing company
  • Google Ireland Limited
  • Google Building Gordon House, 4 Barrow St, Dublin, D04 E5W5, Ireland
Data Purposes
  • Marketing
  • Advertisement
  • Web Analytics
Technologies Used
  • Cookies
  • Pixel Tags
Data Attributes
  • IP address (anonymised)
  • Browser information (browser type, referring/exit pages, the files viewed on our site, operating system, date/time stamp, and/or clickstream data)
  • Usage Data (views, clicks)
Data Collected
This list represents all (personal) data that is collected by or through the use of this service.
  • IP address
  • Date and time of visit
  • Usage data
  • Click path
  • App updates
  • Browser information
  • Device information
  • JavaScript support
  • Pages visited
  • Referrer URL
  • Downloads
  • Flash version
  • Location information
  • Purchase activity
  • Widget interactions
Legal Basis
  • In the following the legal basis for the processing of personal data required by Art. 6 I 1 GDPR is listed.
  • Art. 6 (1) (a) GDPR
Location of Processing
  • Republic of Serbia
Retention Period
  • The data will be deleted as soon as they are no longer needed for the processing purposes.
Data Recipients
  • Alphabet Inc.
This is a Tracking technology offered by Facebook and used by other Facebook services such as Facebook Custom Audiences.
Processing company
  • Facebook Ireland Limited
  • 4 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin, D02, Ireland
Data Purposes
  • advertising
  • Marketing
  • Retargeting
  • Analyse
  • Tracking
Technologies Used
  • Cookies
Data Attributes
  • Pixel specific data
  • Http-Header
  • Optional Parameters
Data Collected
This list represents all (personal) data that is collected by or through the use of this service.
  • Facebook user ID
  • Browser information
  • Usage data
  • Geräteinformationen
  • Non-sensitive custom data
  • Referrer URL
  • Pixel ID
  • Location information
  • Pixel specific data
  • User behaviour
  • Ads viewed
  • Interactions with advertisement, services, and products
  • Marketing information
  • Content viewed
  • IP address
Legal Basis
  • In the following the legal basis for the processing of personal data required by Art. 6 I 1 GDPR is listed.
  • Art. 6 para. 1 s. 1 lit. a GDPR
Location of Processing
  • Republic of Serbia
Retention Period
  • The data will be deleted as soon as they are no longer needed for the processing purposes.
Data Recipients
  • Facebook Inc.
Blog / / Functional Depression – Invisible Disorder
29/06/2020
Functional Depression – Invisible Disorder
Prof. Dusanka Vucinic Latas Dr Med Sci Spec. of Medical Psychology, Dr Dragisa Misović-Dedinje Clinical Centre, Psychiatric Hospital
Functional Depression – Invisible Disorder
Functional depression is a term which does not exist as an official psychiatric diagnosis. Instead, it denotes a particular set of psychopathological manifestations which corresponds to a depressive disorder consistent with its characteristics, and yet it has its own specific features. In professional literature, it can be found under the name of ‘high-functioning depression’, which actually implies the presence of depressive symptoms in people who are functional in many areas of life, whereby their inner suffering is invisible and hidden from the environment.

Functional depression is similar to the so-called ‘masked depression’, i.e. a depressive disorder manifested by an atypical clinical picture, dominated by somatisation, namely, various physical disorders and ailments or chronic pain (for which no medical cause can be determined), and all this without a visible depressive mood. The concept of functional depression is very similar to dysthymia, which implies chronic sub-depressive mood (which means that the depression does not reach the intensity required to verify a depressive episode diagnosis) that lasts for years. However, the key difference lies in the external manifestation of disturbances. Namely, the majority of psychiatric disorders, including depression, is characterised by reduced functionality, i.e. difficulties in learning, at work, and in relationships with other people. The absence of these external signs of dysfunction coupled with the presence of strong emotional suffering and depression which is ‘invisible’, concealed even from the closest people, is the key feature of the so-called functional depression. Although all the symptoms of depression may be present, the key difference is that their environment perceives such persons not only as persons without or without obvious psychological disturbances – as opposed to depressive persons in whom their environment can perceive disturbances, but they even try hard to attain professional success, to have rich social life, and they do not appear to their environment, even to those closest to them, as if they have any major disturbance inside. However, in their inner world, deeply concealed from others, lies an intensive feeling of despair, emptiness and depression.

Why do people suffering from the so-called ‘functional depression’ tend to conceal their internal depression? What we know is that they themselves often feel they simulate their own life, sometimes trying to signal to their environment that not everything is so perfect, yet they still play their roles of successful and satisfied people. These are usually people who have high, exaggerated expectations of themselves, without a developed inner capacity to forgive mistakes to themselves, to get calm and endure painful feelings in situations of loss, failure or some other negative life events. In addition, these are sometimes persons who depend too much on approval, admiration and acceptance of their environment and who are not capable of sharing their inner grief, helplessness, and imperfections and seeking help from others, at the expense of great inner suffering and isolation. Some people have pronounced narcissistic features, and such people are intensively, overwhelmingly and actually fatally attracted to their own ego ideal (what I would like to be). Ego ideal is present in all people and it serves to secure self-respect and feeling of purpose. However, in pathological narcissism, aspirations, ambitions, and ideals that derive from the ego ideal become destructive and demanding images of ‘perfection and omnipotence’, which must be achieved at any cost; and the narcissistic ego is so demanding that it keeps a person subjugated to such an extent that he/she will rather agree to kill his/her real ego than to give up the demands of the ideal ego.

The time we are living in, i.e. the time of COVID 19 pandemic is in fact the greatest in vivo psychological experiment in the recent history of mankind. Thousands of research projects on consequences of the pandemic for the mental health are underway worldwide as well as in our country and we are yet to see in the future what will have happened to us and how much we will have changed. In psychological terms, the crisis we are living in means simultaneous presence of a number of traumatic factors: feelings of threat from an unknown and invisible enemy, fear of death, fear of losing loved ones, confusion in options of protecting oneself, fear of existential economic consequences, and social isolation never seen before.

The world we live in, which seemed more or less safe, changed overnight and our basic feeling of security and the feeling of managing our own lives have been disturbed. Faced with such challenges, we all leave the state of psychological balance. People suffering from psychological problems usually react to acute crises by reducing their symptomatology; however, worsening arrives with the end of the crisis. We can expect the same with the people suffering from functional depression, who were ‘hiding’ their suffering and anxiety as long as the crisis lasted, using their customary mechanisms. Now, in the time of returning to ‘normality’, they are facing huge challenges, yet without the aptitude to share their inner suffering with others.

The most important message is, if we notice that someone in our environment has some psychological torment, we must not agree to silence about it and we should try to encourage them to consult psychologists and other professionals who can help them reduce their inner darkness.
AUTHOR
Prof. Dusanka Vucinic Latas
Dr Med Sci Spec. of Medical Psychology, Dr Dragisa Misović-Dedinje Clinical Centre, Psychiatric Hospital