Is it Depression or a Bad Mood?

In the aftermath of Robin Williams’ death, you may be wondering how to tell if you or a loved one is suffering from depression or just having a blue mood. Clinical depression is more than sadness. A day or two of sad thoughts and low outlook is perfectly normal, but when it goes deeper than just sadness or lasts longer, you should seek professional medical care.

Symptoms of Depression

With depression, you may have trouble concentrating. Thinking negative thoughts can lead to difficulties making decisions. Clinical depression symptoms may include feeling forgetful and confused. You or your loved one may feel isolated and alone.

With depression, a person can be overwhelmed with sadness and negativity. Hopelessness and helplessness are good indicators of a major problem. Self-loathing and guilt are other symptoms. If these feelings have gone on for weeks, it’s important to consider professional help before they get worse.

Long-term depression leads to sleepless nights or excessive sleeping. A weight loss, due to a lack of appetite, may be evident, even without dieting or exercising. Depressed individuals are often lethargic and have a loss of interest in their favorite activities.

The worst-case scenario for a major depressive disorder is suicidal ideation. If you or a loved one thinks death is the only way out or is self-harming, do not hesitate to get them medical help.

Seek Medical Help When You’re Unsure

It can be difficult to know the difference between clinical depression and just a rough period of sadness. A healthcare professional will have more training and knowledge to help differentiate between the two. In addition, they have the benefit of being outside of the problem. It may be easier for them to diagnosis the cause because they aren’t caught in the issues.

There is no shame in seeking professional help when you are experiencing sadness or depression. Even if you have a great support system of family and friends, sometimes it takes medical help to get back to your old self.

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