The family of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst raises awareness of high-functioning depression after her tragic death

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She competed as a Division 1 athlete, fought for social justice, earned two Emmy nominations for her work as an “Extra” correspondent, and made history as the oldest woman to ever win the Miss USA pageant. So why did Cheslie Kryst commit suicide at age 30?

Former Miss USA of 2019 Cheslie Kryst committed suicide on January 30, 2022, but her mother, April Simpkins, spoke about Kryst’s secret fight against high-functioning depression last Wednesday at the “Red Table Talk” during her first interview after the tragedy, according to a USA Today report.

“Depression isn’t always marked by people lying in bed,” Simpkins said.

“There are people who are very efficient and who can get through the day. Cheslie wore the face.”

Her mother told “Extra” that her daughter hid her struggle with high-functioning depression from everyone until shortly before her death, according to a February statement.

“High-functioning depression” is not a formal diagnosis found in the common manual used by health care professionals to diagnose mental health conditions, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), according to Psychology Today.

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It’s a colloquial term that means someone meets the criteria for depression, but works on a daily basis without their depression being obvious to others or even themselves, said Dr. Jameca Woody Cooper, a psychologist and adjunct professor at Webster University in Missouri.

Simpkins said in “Red Table Talk” that her daughter had previously attempted suicide, but the experience drew them closer and she started showing symptoms of depression in her early 20s.

“I wanted him to feel comfortable calling me: ‘If you’re ever in a crisis, call myself. ‘”

Kryst showed that she was better: “She started taking all the right steps. She started seeing a counselor. She slept well at night. She knew all the things to do”, her mother She said.

But Simpkins didn’t know the depth of her daughter’s depression, according to USA Today.

“If I said to Cheslie, ‘Cheslie, how are you?’, She would say, ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ … and I think for so many, that’s why they feel like they are Cheslie’s best friend because she was so intent on talking about them, not her, ”Simpkins said.

Earn a better comprehend of high functioning depression will show that people can be “… productive, make six figures, have the biggest house, a nice car and be depressed,” he said. Montrella Cowanpsychotherapist, clinical social worker and author based in A.D.

But the term may give the impression that patients with high-functioning depression suffer from a less severe form of depression, according to the Washington Post.

“Depression is depression,” Cooper said.

Cheslie Kryst’s mother and stepfather appeared on Wednesday’s “Red Table Talk” episode.
(Jordan Fisherman)

“Just because some people have done it personality the traits that make them more able to function shouldn’t make them less likely to be taken seriously, and I’m afraid that’s what can happen if we really start to see this term “high functioning depression” used even more.

Sometimes high-functioning depression is confused with persistent depressive disorder, or PDDwhich is a formal diagnosis in DSM-5, in which an adult is depressed for most of the day, or most days, for at least two years, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Symptoms of PDD include sleeping too much or insomnia, having poor appetite or overeating, feeling fatigued, having low esteem or poor concentration with a feeling of being “down” or not feeling the need to seek help, assuming “I” am always. so it was, “according to the American Psychiatric Association.

But in high-functioning depression, depressive symptoms may be harder to recognize because the individual may be hiding them, said Dr. Elie G. Aoun, addiction and forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University and a board member of the American Psychiatric Association.

“So people often use all of their emotional reserves to put on a brave face and act in a way that works well, works well, and gets the things they need to get done,” Aoun told Fox News.

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“Doing it allows you to do it compartmentalized your depressed emotional state, from the rest of your life. This is often what we see in high functioning depressed people. “

In a patient with high-functioning depression, watch for subtle changes, including changes in sleep quality, changes in mood or energy, feelings of hopelessness, and if these symptoms persist for a period of two weeks, it could be a sign to see a health professional, said Rebecca Brendel, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.

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“People are sometimes not kind to those with mental problems, and Cheslie knew it,” Simpkins She said.

“I hope opening these discussions and just talking about where Cheslie was – her mood at the time – will hopefully encourage people to be kinder.”

If you or someone you know might be struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National lifeline for US suicide prevention at 800-273-TALK (8255) at any time of day or night or chat online.