Sadness is just one part of the human emotional spectrum, something that everyone is going to feel from time to time. Depression is more than just sadness – the feelings of sadness are greater and go far beyond normal levels. Depression makes it hard to function in your everyday life.
It can be difficult to tell if what you are experiencing is just sadness, or full-blown depression. Read more to figure out how to know if you are depressed.
The difference between depression and sadness
Quite a few factors can lead to feelings of sadness or melancholy in our lives, such as the loss of a loved one, emergencies or disasters, or stressful happenings in your work life.
Depression and sadness differ from each other in these key ways, per the American Psychological Association:
- If you are experiencing sadness or grief, these feelings tend to come in waves and are intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. If you are experiencing depression, your overall mood is decreased for most of two weeks.
- During periods of grief/sadness, self-esteem remains relatively unchanged. However, during periods of depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing replace your usual sense of self-esteem.
How to know if you’re depressed
If you want to be absolutely positive, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. Before doing that, however, you can educate yourself about the hallmark symptoms of depression and compare those with your own feelings.
The typical depression symptoms are as follows:
- Feelings of sadness
- Mood swings
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of interest in hobbies
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
You have to have some of these symptoms for at least two weeks for them to be considered signs of clinical depression. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you should reach out for medical help or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
What causes depression?
Depression is like other mood disorders or mental health conditions in that it is actually a result of a complex mix of a number of factors rather than any one cause. These factors can include things like temperament, life experiences, and family history can make a person more or less likely to develop a depressive disorder.
Other factors that can cause depression include the following:
- Family history
- Early childhood trauma
- Brain structure
- Medical history
- Substance abuse
- Stressful life events
Treatments for Depression
Just like you should not feel bad about seeking treatment for a physical condition, you should not feel bad about seeking treatment for your mental health. Although depression is all “in your head”, that does not make it any less real.
Fortunately, the future of depression treatment looks more optimistic now than it has ever before. Traditional treatments, like antidepressant medications, and innovative new techniques, like ketamine infusion therapy, both present options for treatment and relief from your condition.
Contact us at Ketamine Clinic of West Texas if you think you are suffering from depression and would like to learn more about our treatments.