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Depression is a mood disorder. So, you will notice that your mood suffers most when you are depressed. Of course a depression also has other symptoms, but a somber mood is the main symptom.
Because of this negative state of mind, you will notice that:
Most people therefore only know depression as its main symptom: a constant, somber mood. This makes it so that we feel like we can hardly enjoy anything anymore. We no longer laugh when something funny happens, we no longer want to do things, …
It is correct to look at depression as a constant, somber mood. However, what many people do not know is that depression entails much more than only this main symptom. Depression is much more complex than feeling down or going through a rough period in life. Much more complex than many people would think at first.
Is there a difference between depression and feeling down? Definitely. Everyone feels down sometimes or has a negative period. For example, do you know anyone who never has a bad time? If so, there will only be a few. Everyone goes through this sometimes. Now everyone, however, experiences a depression. A depression goes beyond feeling down and has a much larger impact on your life.
You experience more and more severe symptoms in a depression than you do when you are only feeling down. If you are down, despite the fact that it feels like it goes on for way too long, it only lasts a short time. You can also still laugh when fun things happen. The somber feeling does not consume you completely when you feel down. There is always room for happiness and doing things which you like to do.
A depression, on the other hand, is different. It will make it so that you feel somber and depressed at all times during an extended period of time. You no longer experience any joy. Nothing can make you laugh anymore. Nothing makes you feel better, not even the things which you used to enjoy.
The consuming part of depression is also part of the depression diagnosis. Depression has a much larger influence on your daily life. A depression can cause the following symptoms:
If you feel down, you will not want to take the initiative to leave the house a lot and you will enjoy doing nothing. The difference is that if a friend calls to talk or do something fun, you will agree to this after some time. When you are depressed, everything seems like a chore. There is nothing you enjoy to do any longer. If you then accept your friend’s idea after all, you do not do this heartily.
You will also notice that work, eventual relationships, … are impacted by your depressed feelings. For example, you will start to make mistakes or be annoyed more easily if someone makes a negative comment. In a ‘bad period’ this does not tend to happen as quickly. This can influence your work, too, but it will have a less fast or severe effect.
Sometimes, depressed people are met with the following reactions:
If you get such reactions and you are depressed, then know that the people who say these things mean well. Of course these are not reactions which help you, on the contrary actually. If you hear such remarks, you will easily think that you are exaggerating or just complaining. This is not good, because it will cause you to feel even more depressed. Such well-meant reactions can sometimes pull you down even further, because you think that you are exaggerating. If you feel depressed, it is important to know that these reactions come from a good heart. A tip which we want to give you is to not get caught up in this. These reactions can namely trigger the feeling in you that you are exaggerating, and that causes many people not to look for treatment.
Still it is important to get treatment and to treat your depression and depressed feelings actively. A depression is namely a mental illness, which does not just disappear in most cases.
If you want to know if you might experience depression symptoms or if you are just simply feeling down, you can always take our free depression test here. This will tell you which depression symptoms are applicable to you.