Although most people use the terms interchangeably, feeling sad is not the same as being depressed. Sadness is a feeling that is usually related to a minor loss or unhappiness. Although unpleasant, it doesn’t last very long and you can go about your day fairly easily.
Depression, on the other hand, is a feeling that combines certain types of thoughts, behaviors, and/or body sensations. Yes, you might but then again, you might not. If you do feel sad, it’s on a much deeper level. With clinical depression, you can think that life isn’t worth living. You might think of your life as hopeless. You might want to die even if you don’t want to kill yourself. Your body could feel unusually heavy. You have a hard time motivating yourself to do the simplest of things like getting our of bed or taking a shower. You could start having problems with your sleep either sleeping too much or not being able to get enough sleep. Your appetite might change, either eating too much or not wanting to eat much of anything.
Clinical depression can start at any time, childhood, teenage years, or adulthood. Depression may be brought on by any number of things such as suffering a major loss. It can happen to a woman after she has a baby. Depression can be get worse during the winter months or by abusing substances. Depression can just run in your family.
Everyone has felt sad at some point in their lives. Clinical depression can last as short as two weeks or it can last for years. It effects your ability to work, your relationships with family or friends, and your physical health.
If you think you might need help with your depression, then you probably do. Mild or severe, short-term or long-standing, there is help. You can learn the tools to feel more optimistic, energetic, and enjoy your life.
If you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis/emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), go to a hospital emergency room,
or call 911 immediately.
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