How Do You Know You Re Depressed – It’s normal to get the blues every now and then. But it’s not always easy to separate sadness from clinical depression. Find out the warning signs and how to get the support you need.
Everyone has sad days. Feeling down every now and then is part of life. But if that giant storm cloud above us stops moving, it could be a sign of something more serious.
How Do You Know You Re Depressed
We’re talking about depression. It is a mental health problem that can negatively impact the way you feel, think and act.
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Depression can make it difficult to take care of yourself. And that can also endanger your physical health.
The good news is that depression is treatable. But it can be difficult to know when you have it. People with depression can have a wide range of symptoms. And the symptoms can mimic everyday feelings. Think: irritability, lack of energy and worry.
Here’s how to determine if your sadness might actually be depression and how to find the help you need.
Feelings of sadness can be light. Or they can be intense and last longer, such as the death of a loved one.
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Depression is more than just sadness. It is a psychological problem that does not always go away on its own. Persistent sadness is often a symptom of depression. But it is certainly not the only one. Depression can make you feel worthless.
The cause of depression is also much more complex. A stressful life event can cause depression. But other factors also play a role, such as the balance of chemicals in the brain. Depression also appears to run in families.
To top it all off, there are different types of depression. Some are more serious and may be more obvious. Others are much more subtle.
Everyone’s experience with depression is different. It can occur in mild, short-lived episodes. Or it could be life-changing. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious form of depression. And as many as 1 in 6 people will experience it at some point in their lives.
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To be diagnosed with MDD, you must have at least five symptoms for more than two weeks. Some of the most common symptoms of MDD include:
If you do not meet these criteria, you can still use support. There is even a milder form of MDD called subclinical depression. And it can still impact your physical and mental well-being.
But it lasts so long that feeling down or depressed can seem normal. (And it certainly isn’t.)
If your symptoms persist, it may be time to seek help. “We all have bad days,” says Nekeshia Hammond, PsyD. She is a psychologist in Tampa Bay, Florida. “But if your symptoms last for weeks, it could be depression.”
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Even if you don’t think a mood change is serious, it’s better to be safe than sorry. “Depression is very treatable,” says Hammond. “And research shows that people can achieve better outcomes if it is treated early.”
One important sign to look out for? It’s hard to do your usual routine. “If it’s affecting how you function, you should definitely seek help,” says Shara Sand, PsyD, a psychologist based in New York City.
It can also help to compare your current mood with what you have experienced in the past. Perhaps your irritability over small things escalates quickly. Or maybe you withdraw more from family and friends. Both can be signs that you should seek help, Sand says.
A good first step is to contact your doctor, Hammond says. They can do an exam that will rule out any conditions that could lead to depression. Common culprits are thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies.
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If your doctor thinks you have depression, he or she may send you to a therapist. They may even do the outreach for you. “Finding a good therapist can be one of the best things you can do to feel better,” says Sand.
If you’re not comfortable talking to your doctor or are having trouble finding a therapist in your area, you may want to consider virtual options. has tools that can help.
It can be difficult to realize that you need support from a therapist. But it certainly does not mean that you have shortcomings as a person. “The fact that you seek therapy does not mean that you are damaged,” Sand emphasizes. It just means you’re having a hard time. And with the right support, you can take the steps you need to get through it.
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The Effects Of Depression In Your Body
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Sadness is a normal human emotion that we all feel from time to time, while depression is a longer-term mental disorder that can have a negative effect on many aspects of your life.
Recognizing the similarities and differences between sadness and depression can help us better understand our overall well-being. It can also help us recognize the level and type of support we need for our overall mental health.
Signs Someone Is Depressed
Sadness is an everyday feeling that every person will experience in their lives. You will generally feel tearful, upset and in a bad mood.
Feeling sad usually has an immediate trigger that you will probably recognize. Disturbing life events are a common cause. This could be anything from failing an exam, losing your job, ending a relationship or losing a loved one.
In general, feelings of sadness will diminish, especially as the negative triggers are reversed or some time passes after the event.
Depression is a mental disorder that can have an overwhelming effect on your ability to enjoy your life and function normally. It causes persistent feelings of sadness for many weeks and months. Statistics on depression show that more than 250 million people around the world suffer from depression.
Relatable Quotes About Depression
The causes of depression and sadness can often overlap. Traumatic or negative life events can lead to a diagnosed mental illness such as depression, but in some people it can trigger feelings of sadness over time.
Depression also has many other causes. Your genetics, personality traits, and childhood experiences can all play a role in developing depression.
Many people with depression need professional support and treatment to see an improvement in their mood. Treatments for depression include talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants.
Being sad right now is a disturbing and all-encompassing experience. You may think that you are depressed and that things will not get better. These emotions should be taken seriously, but there are some key differences that could indicate that you are feeling sad rather than depressed:
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Depression is a persistent feeling of emotions such as sadness, hopelessness and anxiety, which will be almost constant for days and weeks. You will also likely experience many physical symptoms.
Depression will affect many aspects of your life. You may have difficulty with the daily responsibilities you have in life, such as going to work or giving your full attention to parenting. Your social life may also deteriorate as you isolate yourself from your friends and no longer enjoy meeting them.
If your feelings of sadness do not go away after a few weeks, and the intensity of those feelings seriously affects your ability to live your life, then you could be suffering from depression. If you think this is the case, there are steps you can take to improve your well-being.
Whether you continue
Infographic: How To Tell If You’re Depressed—and What To Do About It
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