It is natural to “feel blue”, “be down in the dumps”, or just plain sad. Every one feels this way at some point in their lives, but usually the feeling lifts and all is back to normal. Sadly, there are people who stay this way all the time. The feelings are all often lumped under the term depression, but there is a difference between feeling blue and being clinically depressed.
Feeling Blue or Down in the Dumps
For most people feeling sad is a temporary state that lifts over time. Feeling sadness is part of a person’s emotional makeup. Even when feeling a bit down people can still manage their lives and perform all the necessary tasks. When feeling sad people may feel hopeless, but the instinct to push forward kicks in and allows them to live their lives and shake off the sadness. There are no physical symptoms that accompany being blue.
People who suffer clinical depression are in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Without medical treatment, the person may stay this way for months or even years. True depression in the clinical sense interferes with work, relationships, and life in general. In addition to the feelings and difficulties, the clinically depressed person will also suffer physically with weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, headaches, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, and feelings of guilt, helplessness, and even abandonment. When you feel sad this is brought on by life’s events: loss of a job, death of a loved one, etc. Clinical depression is often brought on by excessive stress as well as genetic factors. Your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills all contribute to the issue.
Seeking Medical Intervention
Clinical Depression is a serious health problem. If you are suffering from depression you may have suicidal thoughts. Talk to a friend, a family member, or a clergyman. Even if suicidal thoughts are not present the chemical imbalance brought on by physical symptoms can make even the slightest task seem impossible. If you suffer from “feeling blue” for two weeks of more you need to seek medical advice. Make an appointment to speak with your healthcare provider or a therapist. Clinical depression can be managed with drug therapy, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. There is no shame involved in suffering from overwhelming feelings of sadness. If you know someone who is clinically depressed be supportive, listen to them, and don’t brush off their feelings. Help them get the help they need to live again.