My Health Matters – The difference between depression and being sad or unhappy


So, depression is not the same thing as being
sad or unhappy. Everyone’s life has challenges. There are stresses and challenges we experience
on a daily basis; there are losses and transitions that everyone goes through. When we talk about
major depression we are talking about a condition where someone’s mood is low, or they feel
uninterested in things, for more days than not, over a sustained period of time, usually
for at least two weeks. There are other symptoms, people with depression experience difficulty
sleeping, difficulty with their appetite, difficulty concentrating, have low energy;
in serious situations they will have very negative thoughts about how other people feel
about them and about how they feel about the world. And people may have thoughts about
not wanting to live anymore. Probably about the most important thing to understand about
depression is that a major depression is when it impacts a person’s ability to function;
it impacts their ability to work; it impacts their relationships. For people who have mild
symptoms or moderate symptoms of depression talk therapy and types of psychotherapy might
help on their own. For people who have more serious symptoms of depression, they may also
require medication treatment on top of talk therapies, or even medication treatment on
their own to get better. But the really important thing to know: help is available.

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