Unfortunately, it’s common to have feelings of sadness, grief, or loneliness. Although these feelings are unwanted, and often times take a toll on us physically and mentally, we know that they will pass. These are emotions that all people feel at different times in their lives. Having the blues may feel overwhelming, but we know that it is just temporary. But how do we know if these upsetting feelings are more than just the common blues? There’s a difference between a cold and pneumonia, although some symptoms may be the same, the overall effect on the body and everyday life are completely different. This is the case with the blues and depression.
Temporarily feeling down is common, if you are having problems bouncing back and it’s affecting your everyday life, this may be something more: this could be depression. Often times people hesitate in seeking help for their depression because they believe they can “get better” on their own, or refuse to acknowledge this disorder, which just prolongs their suffering. Getting help early will only be beneficial in the long run.
It is easy to confuse symptoms of depression with just feeling blue. However, the intensity and duration of these symptoms tell us that something more could be wrong. If someone has multiple of the following symptoms (5 or more, generally speaking) and these feelings interfere with everyday life, one may be suffering from more than just the common sadness we all have felt. Unsure if you or a loved one are going through depression? Here are a few signs and symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sadness, anxiety, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
- Extreme weight loss or weight gain
- Sleeping too much, or not enough (severe restlessness)
- Decreased energy, fatigue
- Irritability and/or pessimism
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering
- Suicidal thoughts, feelings of emptiness or helplessness
Although these are not the only symptoms, they are some of the most common. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression seek help. Unlike the blues, depression is not something we just, “get over.” Contact your doctor for possible solutions and start feeling better, sooner.