Everyone has bad days when you’re down, sad, and don’t feel like doing anything. You struggle to get out of bed. You don’t smile. And you just want to be left alone to wallow in your misery. For most people, these days are just that – bad days. The sadness is circumstantial and not an everyday occurrence. But for others, the sadness lingers, it deepens, and it may be more than just a string of bad days. It may be depression.
Clinical depression is more than just being sad. It involves lasting feelings of sadness and can become chronic. Without treatment, depression can quickly spiral out of control and impact every aspect of your life. Here at Ask Dr. Nandi, we want you to know the differences between just being sad and real depression, so you can be your own health hero and get the help you need when you need it.
Here Are Five Ways to Tell if You’re Just Sad or if You’re Depressed:
1. You Feel Sad Most of the Time
When you have clinical depression, you’re sad most of the time. Not just when you’re at home, not just when you’re at work, but pretty much every minute of every day. The feelings become overwhelming and begin to impact how you sleep and eat.
2. You’re Feeling Hopeless
When you’re depressed, it’s because of a specific issue. Despite your best efforts, you messed up a project at the office. The death of your mother was announced. You’re divorcing, for example. But when you’re depressed, everything is awful, and you become hopeless. You think that no matter what happens, things are never going to change, and you’ll always feel this low.
3. You Don’t Enjoy What You Used To
When you’re sad, you still enjoy reading books, spending time with people, and walking on the beach. When you’re depressed, nothing makes it better, even the things that used to bring you joy. When old hobbies and activities no longer get you out of your funk, it’s more than just being sad.
4. Your Relationships Are Negatively Affected
Depression causes people to withdraw from those closest to them, including family and friends. These relationships become neglected, and even when those you love reach out to offer support, you push them away.
5. You’re Suicidal
When you’re depressed, the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt can become too much. You may begin to contemplate harming yourself or taking your own life. Suppose you’re preoccupied with suicide or think that the world would be better off without you. In that case, it’s time to seek professional help.
Depression is different from sadness. It’s a chronic, debilitating mental health disorder that makes you have abnormally sad thoughts. But there is help available. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, be a health hero and get help before it’s too late.
- Changes in appetite are a common sign of depression.
- Changes in sleep patterns and wanting to sleep even after eight hours of shut-eye are also typical of depression.
- Depression causes a mental fog that makes it harder for people to concentrate or remember things.
- Depression also causes severe irritability, restlessness, and unease.
- Don’t underestimate suicidal comments and seek help if someone you love is making them.