Is it the blues or depression?

Written by Behavioral Health Team on 5/8/2014 10:00:00 AM

Everyone has feelings of sadness and even grief. These feelings are normal and even healthy; however, there is a difference between the blues and depression.

"If feelings of sadness or grief persist or linger for two or more weeks, or if any of the symptoms render you unable to function at work or in your personal life, this could indicate a medical condition called Major Depressive Disorder (also known as clinical depression)," explained Kimble Richardson, licensed mental health counselor with Community Health Network. "One of the major differences between the blues and clinical depression is that the feeling of sadness does not subside. It’s a despair that won’t lift; a hopelessness that seems to have no end."

Almost 18.8 million American adults experience depression each year, and women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop major depression. Treatment with counseling and/or medication is key to recovery.

Signs and symptoms of depression

  • Depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling 
  • Uncontrollable crying or tearfulness 
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed 
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain (for example, more than five percent of body weight in a month) 
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep or just the opposite; excessive sleeping and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning 
  • Restlessness or irritation (irritable mood may be a symptom in children or adolescents too) 
  • Fatigue or loss of energy 
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt 
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness 
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Counseling services at Community
We're Central Indiana's largest provider of behavioral health, with an extensive continuum of treatment options. If you or a loved one is seeking help, call 317.621.5719. Our crisis referral hotline is also available 24-hours at 317.621.5700.

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Community Health Network is the first healthcare organization to achieve system-wide recognition by MD Anderson Cancer Network® as a certified member. The five hospital locations providing qualified cancer services in the network have met the rigorous standards to treat cancer patients with MD Anderson evidence-based guidelines and best practices. Learn more.


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