Is It Just The Blues Or Is It Depression?

It’s no secret that life is full of ups and downs, and when the downs hit, it can leave you feeling pretty low. Experiencing sadness and grief are normal and to be expected. But when a case of the blues hangs around for a while, it could be depression. So how can you tell the difference between the two?

Study Your Symptoms

The best way to determine whether you have a case of the blues or depression is by evaluating your symptoms. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have your feelings of sadness lasted for more than two weeks?
If you answered yes, it could be a sign of depression. The blues normally don’t linger for too long.

2. Is your mood seriously affecting other areas of your life such as your job performance or personal relationships?
The blues generally don’t interfere with your functioning at work or prevent you from focusing on your relationships. If you find difficulty concentrating at work day after day and isolating yourself from loved ones, it is likely a case of depression.

3. Do you still find opportunities for happiness and enjoyment despite feeling low?
Although you may be going through a tough time or feeling down, if you can still find moments of happiness and pleasure, you are probably dealing with the blues. However, if you find that you lose interest in hobbies or other enjoyable activities, you may be heading towards depression.

4. Are you feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty?
If you feel like nothing seems to improve and life is an endless series of gray days, that’s a sign of depression. A hopeless, “why bother?” kind of attitude is a key indicator. By the same token if you feel like you don’t matter or feel guilty about your moods, that’s is a clue to seek help.

5. Is there a change in eating or sleeping habits?
Whether it’s the blues or depression, you will probably notice a change in your eating and sleeping habits. Some people experience a loss of appetite while others drown their sorrows in food. As for sleep some hardly catch a wink while others can’t get out of bed. Whichever it is, if this becomes habitual and lasts more than two weeks, it’s a sign of depression.

Know When to Seek Help

After studying your symptoms it’s important to know when to seek help. If signs point to depression, getting help as soon as possible is key. Why suffer any longer than necessary? And even if it’s just a case of the blues, there is no reason to avoid seeking help just the same.

Enlisting the help of a friend, family member or other sympathetic ear is a great way to ease the blues, but when it comes to depression, there is no substitute for a professional counselor or therapist. In some cases medication can make all the difference in the world.

So whether it’s the blue or depression, be aware of the signs. It can make the road to recovery much easier.

Photo: Pexels

More Articles

More Articles

According to a study funded by the National Cancer Institute, reflexology -- in which a person's feet are massaged in order to stimulate other...

Besides being a yummy, quick breakfast treat, yogurt is a nutritional powerhouse and a healthy way to start your day. Yogurt supporters believe it...

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children, and although it is prevalent in kids, ADHD...

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that causes hyperactive behaviors that are above normal levels. People...

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting children. Although it is most...

Acne is a condition of the skin that is caused by pores being clogged by dead skin cells and oil. It appears on the forehead, face, shoulders,...

Acne is a skin condition that is primarily prevalent in teenagers, though it can affect people of all ages. It is caused by the clogging of hair...

Perimenopause is the transition period that leads to menopause. Menopause officially occurs when a woman has gone one year without a period....

Herbs and spices can do wonders for a meal, but did you know they can also spice things up in the bedroom? A number of these tasty garnishes have...

Cross-training is for those who want to master their body physically in all sorts of ways. Some athletes who train to do the same exercise...

By now you’ve probably heard about the prevalence of GMO foods in the United States. Just as a reminder, the term GMO stands for genetically...

For years, the media and the diet industry have gone back and forth with contradicting claims. Sometimes the buzz praises low-carb dieting as the...

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’ll do anything to lose weight!” Some people actually mean it—and as a result, have suffered health problems or...

Do you feel like you’ve been dieting forever but getting nowhere? Does the scale seem fixated on a certain number and it just won’t budge below it...

There’s so much debate over which diets are best— people want to know, “which diet really works?” Well, there’s a little secret I’ll let you in on...