The Difference Between Depression and Feeling Down

The Difference Between Depression and Feeling Down

Depression is a “depressed state” of the mind and body. Many people wonder when depression is actually a clinical problem that requires treatment, rather than just a phase or a feeling. Depression is a common but debilitating illness that requires support and treatment in order to be overcome. The first step to helping yourself or someone you love with depression is to learn more about depression and determine the difference between experiencing depression and simply feeling down.

What Is Depression?

Clinical depression is very different from normal sadness and anxiety. Depression differs in the following ways:

  • Depression lasts longer than normal sad feelings.
  • Depression makes the person feel bad about him or herself.
  • Depression can impact relationships, health, employment, and goals.

There are many types of depression, and it is very important to talk with a mental healthcare provider or doctor about your feelings and experiences with sadness in order to obtain a correct diagnosis. After all, a runny nose may mean a cold for one person and a simple case of allergies for another. Depression is unique in every person and deserves individual attention and treatment in every case.

Different Types of Depression

Knowing the different types of depression can help you better understand if your symptoms are truly depressive symptoms or if they are symptoms of another problem. The following are some types of depression:

  • Major Depressive Disorder: Major depressive disorder is a severe and persistent depression that impacts your relationships, your life, and your ability to function. Major depressive disorder involves feeling sad for more than two weeks.
  • Dysthymia or Chronic Depression: Dysthymia is a milder, but persistent type of depression that lasts for a long time—two years or more. The symptoms of dysthymia are not as severe as major depressive disorder symptoms, but because they last longer, they can be exhausting to deal with and can lead to major depressive episodes.
  • Atypical Depression: Atypical depression is more difficult to diagnose. It can include angry episodes, fluctuation in mood, frustrations, increased appetite, and sensitivity to rejection.
  • Bipolar Depression: Bipolar depression is part of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder creates time periods of mania alternating with time periods of depression. There is a state between depression and mania called “mixed state.” Mixed states can often look like atypical depression, or they may be very complicated and confusing states of anger, sadness, and joy all at once.

Before you diagnose yourself with depression, please take time to get a full physical exam by a licensed physician. Many physical illnesses or imbalances can mimic depression. A doctor’s visit now may save your life.

Get Depression Help Now

Get depression help before depression takes over your life. Our caring and compassionate treatment experts will speak with you, listen to your situation, and help you find a reasonable solution to depression. Modern science has found that depression is more than just a feeling; depression can be caused by brain functions, genetic components, traumatic experiences, and health conditions.

Depression treatment should fit your needs, your budget, and your unique personality. To learn more about depression or to get information about counseling, call us today.