October is National Depression Awareness Month. The purpose of setting aside this month to bring more awareness to depression is so that those who are living in a state of sadness will know that there is hope and it’s okay to ask for help. But everyone goes through periods of sadness, and sometimes what we fear might be depression is really just a case of the blues. Here are three key differences between a temporary case of sadness and clinical depression:
- If you’re going through a hard time, you may be feeling discouraged, scared and sad. This is understandable. But if you feel hopeless, empty and are in a constant state of despair, you may have depression.
- A sign of depression is losing all interest in activities you once enjoyed. During a temporary period of sadness, you may not feel quite as excited about public functions and cancel a date or two, but you won’t publicly avoid all social interaction.
- Depression also has physical symptoms. If your case of the blues is accompanied by excessive fatigue, loss of energy or rapid weight gain or loss, contact a Costa Mesa psychiatrist as soon as you can. Depression can have a severe impact on your quality of life, and you deserve to be happy.