Feeling Down vs Depression
We All Go Through Slumps in Philadelphia…Here’s How You can Tell If It’s Something More
Feeling a little off? Listless? Just kind of blah? You’re not alone. Everyone experiences bad days, bad weeks, even a bad month. This can be affected by many different factors. Sometimes we feel bad for what seems like no reason at all, thanks to factors that we don’t really perceive. We can feel down in the dumps because of changes in hormones, because of a lack of energy thanks to poor diet, or even because we aren’t getting enough sunlight. On the other hand, many of the things that make us feel bad are obvious things happening in the world around us — maybe you did poorly on a test, or had a fight with your parents, or broke up with you significant other. Some people even feel bad after watch the news. And regardless or circumstances, conditions, or what’s going on in your life, once in a while everybody just has a bad day.
Whether the reasons are obvious or not, it’s normal to occasionally feel lousy for a little while. During that time, you may feel like moping around your room instead of going out. You probably feel sad, and you might just want to be left alone. Or you may feel restless and irritable, like you have too much pent-up energy and don’t know what to do with it. All of these feelings are normal. If you’re just going through a slump, these feelings should fade within a few days and you should be back to normal. If something very difficult is going on in your life, like the death of a family member or the end of a long-term relationship, the symptoms will be more serious and will take more time to go away. However, even for something serious, the negative feelings will get weaker as time goes by; the situation will become easier to deal with. The common factor about all kinds of sadness is that it gets better. Yes, it might be tough for a few days, or even for a few months, but you will still find happy moments that make you smile, or make you laugh. You will be able to pick things up and keep moving with your life. And eventually, things will get better, and you’ll feel okay again.
Recognizing Clinical Depression
That is the way that sadness works. A certain amount of sadness, or ups and downs, is normal in any person’s life. Sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes you just have a bad day. However, clinical depression is much different. Depression isn’t something you can just shake off or snap out of, any more than you can shake off something like the flu or appendicitis. Depression is more than just feeling bad — it is an illness. And like all illnesses, it is important to get professional treatment. Fortunately, depression is very treatable. Mild depression can often be cured simply with counseling or “talk therapy,” and even people with more serious cases of depression often experience noticeable improvement and relief or symptoms by working with a psychiatrist to develop a regime of therapy and possibly medication. There is plenty of help to be had, and depression is not something you have to live with.
Unfortunately, many people suffering from depression never seek help — all too often, they never even tell anyone what they are experiencing. They may feel embarrassed about asking for help, or they may think that they can handle it on their own. They may believe that if they just ignore it, it will go away. But most of the time, they don’t seek help because they don’t recognize the symptoms. They think they are just going though a phase, or a slump — they don’t realize that they have a real, medical problem. Being unable to distinguish regular sadness for the disease depression can have devastating results, and can sometimes even end in suicide for the untreated victim.
Below are the areas that best illustrate the differences between feeling down and depression. By recognizing these key differences, you can take the appropriate action and make sure that the problem gets the right kind of attention.
Obviously, both depression and regular unhappiness involve feeling sad. However, depression has some key symptoms that distinguish it. People who have depression often have sleep related problems. They may drastically alter their sleep patterns, or experience insomnia. Depressives tend be tired all the time, even if they have had twelve hours of sleep. They may experience sudden changes in appetite and eating habits. They often feel worthless, and have a “what’s the point” attitude. Depressives also usually experience a difficulty concentrating and being able to focus, which often manifests as a difficulty in following conversations and making decisions. While you might find one or two of these symptoms in someone who is experiencing severe grief or loss, if someone is showing all these symptoms they may very well be experiencing clinical depression.
Duration – feeling down vs depression
Even if you experience something devastating like the loss of a loved one, the worst of the sadness usually passes within a month or two. Untreated episodes of depression can last for months, sometimes over a year.
Severity- feeling down vs depression
It can be difficult to get through tough times, but this difficulty is much different than the struggle to deal with depression. Depression tends to be much more severe, to the point that it is a struggle just to get out of bed each day. Depression is literally crippling to the victim.
Consistency- feeling down vs depression
Sadness may remain for a long time, but it noticeably lessens and grows weaker. Depression doesn’t — it is equally severe no matter how long it has been from the start of a depressive episode.
Lack of Pleasure – feeling down vs depression
Even in sadness, people can experience happy moments — they don’t feel bad every moment of the day. However, people suffering from clinical depression are less able or even unable to experience pleasure, even in things they would normally enjoy. Because of this, they also tend to display less interest in things that once made them happy, and tend to isolate themselves from friends and family.
Causes – feeling down vs depression
Something usually triggers sadness, some event in a person’s life, or even a perceived condition they feel they are struggling with. But even someone with a seemingly perfect life can have depression. While people who are susceptible to depression because of genetics may have a depressive episode triggered by a negative event, depressive episode can also start for seemingly no reason at all.
Dealing with Depression
Depression is an illness — not just a slump or a rut. If you believe you are suffering from depression, seek professional counseling help in Philadelphia immediately. If you are concerned that someone you know has depression, talk to them about it. Ask how they feel, if they’ve changed their normal routines, or if they’ve had thoughts of suicide. Let them know that you are there for them, but that they can’t do it alone, and be willing to help them find professional help. Everyone is sad sometimes, but depression is more than “just a phase.” By being able to recognize the difference between sadness and depression, you can help get someone’s life back on track or even save it. Maybe a friend’s life. Maybe a family member’s. Maybe your own.