We all have bad days. Maybe your cat died, or your boss is being grumpy. Bad days are part and parcel of modern life. Fortunately, these days pass and before you know it, the sun is shining once again. So, how can you tell when your black mood is more than depression and you need help?

Depression is different. Depression is not just a case of the “blues”. Depressed people might not feel sad for any reason, although stressful events such as a bereavement or a divorce can trigger depression. However, the main difference between depression and a bad mood is that depression doesn’t lift after a day or so. If you are clinically depressed, you won’t be able to talk yourself out of it and eating a bar of chocolate whilst binge watching Game of Thrones is not going to help. Here are a few signs that you need to get help rather than waiting for your feelings of depression to resolve naturally.

  • Your Depression is Affecting Your Life
    Depressed people lose interest in things they previously enjoyed doing. If you have stopped hanging out with friends, going to the gym, or doing anything you once loved, it is cause for concern. It is very common for people suffering from depression to hide away and avoid social contact. Unfortunately, this tends to make matters worse.
  • You Have Health Problems
    Depression often leads to physical health problems such as insomnia, eating disorders, and a low immune system. The more depressed you are, the sicker you will get. Being seriously depressed probably means you won’t be taking care of yourself, so get help before your mental health caused long-term problems.
  • You Feel Depressed Most of the Time
    As a general rule of thumb, experiencing feelings of depression for more than two weeks is cause for concern. The longer you feel depressed, the harder it will be to get well, so don’t leave it too long if depression is affecting your life.
  • You are Self-Medicating
    Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is not going to help you get better. Sure, drinking until you pass out or smoking weed may temporarily block out the feelings of complete and utter despair, but it will only make you worse in the long-term. Drinking too much or using drugs is a sign you need professional help. If you ignore this sign, you could end up addicted as well as depressed.
  • Loved Ones are Worried
    You may not be aware just how depressed you are, but if other people have expressed concern about your mental health, listen to them. It is easy to get sucked into a black pit of despair when we are depressed, but we are often in denial about how bad it is. Listen to loved ones and if they implore you to get help, make an appointment with a psychiatrist for depression.

Depression is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so it is a legitimate mental health disorder. Don’t let depression ruin your life. Seek help and go back to being your happy self once again.

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