Life as a single mom comes with its unique set of challenges. But when you add high-functioning depression to the mix, the struggle can become even more overwhelming. While the world may see an ambitious, capable woman, inside, there's a silent war raging. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the hidden battles faced by many single black moms dealing with high-functioning depression and offer some insights on coping and seeking support.

Understanding High-Functioning Depression

High-functioning depression, also known as persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia. High-functioning depression is a form of depression that doesn't always manifest in the typical ways we associate with depression.

Unlike major depressive disorder, where individuals may struggle to get out of bed or engage in everyday activities, high-functioning depression allows individuals to maintain their daily routines, often to the point where others may not even notice that they are suffering.

The Mask of Strength

For single black moms, the weight of responsibility can be hefty. Balancing work, parenting, and household chores leaves little room for self-care, let alone addressing one's mental health. 

As a result, many single moms learn to put on a brave face, showing the world that they have it all together. They may be the primary breadwinners. They are the emotional pillars for their children. They are the source of support for their extended families, all while silently battling the inner turmoil of depression.

The Isolation of Silence

One of the most challenging aspects of high-functioning depression is the isolation it fosters. Single moms often find it difficult to express their feelings, fearing that they will be displayed as weak or incapable.

They may feel guilty about experiencing depression. One may be thinking they should be grateful for what they have. Which adds to their thoughts and only compounds their inner struggles. This isolation can be pronounced within the black community, where mental health stigma remains pervasive.

The Toll on Motherhood

Depression can significantly impact a mother's ability to care for her children. Single moms with high-functioning depression may find it challenging to engage emotionally with their children, which can end up resulting in a sense of disconnect. The constant need to hide their inner turmoil can lead to irritability, exhaustion, and a diminished capacity to offer emotional support to their children.

Coping Strategies

Seeking Professional Help: Single black moms with high-functioning depression must reach out to mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support. Therapy and counseling can be immensely beneficial in managing the internal war.

Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care is not selfish; it's necessary. Even during life's chaos, find time to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it may be reading, exercising, or pursuing a hobby.

Community Support: Connect with other single black moms experiencing similar challenges. Sharing your experiences with a support group can provide comfort and understanding.

Open Communication: Encourage open and honest conversations with your children. They may not understand the intricacies of depression, but letting them know that it's okay to talk about feelings and struggles is essential.

Set Realistic Goals: Lower the bar of perfection. Understand that you don't have to do it all, and it's okay to ask for help when needed.


The internal war of high-functioning depression as a single black mom is a silent struggle that many women face. It's vital to recognize that strength comes in many forms, including the power to seek help and support. 

By acknowledging and addressing high-functioning depression, single black moms can better care for themselves and, in turn, provide the support their families need. Remember, you are not alone, and there is a community of support waiting to help you in your journey towards healing and well-being.

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