Is it really depression or just a case of the blues? It's not always easy to tell the difference, especially when someone has what seems like good reason to be depressed, such as a chronic illness or loss of a loved one. But depression is very different from the blues in terms of duration and severity.
Differences between depression and the blues
Most cases of the blues resolve on their own and don't prevent a person from finding some enjoyment in life. The key components of depression are:
- Duration: The symptoms are present almost all the time and last for more than a few weeks.
- Severity: Depression is usually more severe, causing symptoms that are difficult enough to deal with that they interfere with daily life.
Here are 11 different warning signs of depression. Keep in mind that depressed people don't all experience the same symptoms, and the severity of symptoms may vary. But if someone exhibits several of these symptoms for more than two weeks, he may need help.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Frequent crying episodes
- Increased agitation and restlessness
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that once were pleasurable
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Expressing thoughts of dying or suicide
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that don't ease with treatment
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