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Am I Really Depressed?

Being sad is different than living with deperssion

The Difference Between Being Depressed and Being In a Bad Mood

Being depressed and being in a bad mood can feel the same, but they are not. Everyone has bad days or can be put in a bad mood, but these days and feelings usually go away. If you notice these bad days are turning into weeks or even months, you could be in a depressed state of mind. That is when you need to take a step back and evaluate your situation. Being depressed as clearly defined symptoms that you will be able to spot. If you are unsure, you should check with a doctor. Even if you know for sure you are depressed do not fall into the thought process that you just have to deal with it. Depression is dangerous and should be taken seriously. If you know or think you are depressed see a doctor to discuss helpful ways to remedy this situation or to discuss whether or not you need to seek treatment.

So how do you know if you are depressed? Depression is diagnosed when an individual experiences five or more specific symptoms for more than two weeks. These symptoms can include feelings of sadness and loss of pleasure in activities you once enjoyed, weight loss or gain, sleeping too little or too much, and feeling tired all the time. Other symptoms include difficulty concentrating and making decisions and feeling angry and irritable for no apparent reason. If you are depressed you may also feel worthless or guilty, have unexplained physical pain like headaches or backaches, and even frequent thoughts of death or suicide. Remember we all have bad days. Do not jump to the conclusion you are depressed, but if you have 5 of more of the above symptoms for more then 2 weeks it is time to get in touch with your doctor and figure out why your are depressed.

David Hellerstein, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City states, “Everyone has bad days, the normal ups and downs of life where you feel better the next day, but depression is ongoing.” You may feel like you cannot escape from these feelings you are having and you may feel like you are all alone, but you are not. Depression is common. It affects more than 23 million adults in America alone every year. Just imagine what the world total would be.

Depression and come and go or it can last for longer periods of time, also known as chronic depression.
“People who have major depression have it for a lot more than two weeks; usually months or years,” Dr. Hellerstein explains. Depression can be very debilitating, making it extremely difficult to function on a day to day basis. A milder form of depression, known as dysthymic disorder, can make a person feel chronically lousy all the time, but they are usually able to push through their days. Feeling depressed is unique to each individual. People all deal with things on their own level. For example most women suffering from depression often report feeling sad, while men report feeling irritable and aggressive. While symptoms are different for everyone, there is one thing they have in common: depression can be treated.

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