Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeHealthLate Miss USA's mom on mental health, high-functioning depression

Late Miss USA’s mom on mental health, high-functioning depression

Even the highest of achievers can struggle with feelings of loneliness and unbearable sadness behind closed doors — a state that’s commonly referred to as high-functioning depression.
High-functioning depression isn’t a clinical diagnosis, but the National Alliance on Mental Illness recognizes it as a term that can describe “anyone who is grappling with mental health issues while accomplishing their day-to-day tasks and upholding their responsibilities.”
Symptoms of high-functioning depression can present differently than the severe signs of major depressive disorder like diet changes, sleep disturbances, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness, says April Simpkins, mother of the late Miss USA winner Cheslie Kryst.
Following her daughter’s death at age 30 in 2022, Simpkins shared that Cheslie struggled with depression for years despite being an attorney, winning pageant titles and securing a spot as a correspondent for the TV show “Extra.” Though Simpkins isn’t a clinician or a therapist, she began serving as an ambassador for NAMI.
“For some people like Cheslie, it can feel like [it’s] normal to be in the state of feeling sadness or feeling loneliness. And speaking specifically of Cheslie, those were some of the things I noticed,” Simpkins tells CNBC Make It.
“I think the one I noticed the most was her feeling like the incredible, remarkable things she was doing were just okay. I didn’t see high signs of elation, and that doesn’t mean every single time, but most of the time when I would think ‘Wow, that was brilliant or beautiful. You did a masterful job.’ She would just see it as being okay.”
We spoke to Chase Cassine, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist, about managing symptoms of high-functioning depression. Here’s what he recommends.



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