Depression or a bad mood?

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Nowadays, they use the word “depression” for everything – from a minor disappointment to ultimate despair. They use this word for sadness, melancholy, irritation, desire to cry, etc. But this pop-version of depression has nothing to do with the clinical term.

In reality, depression is a clinical diagnosis of a psychological disorder. This disorder is characterized by a low mood and reduction or complete absence of the ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia). 

Depression is not a minor annoyance. It is not something that you can ignore – it may have very serious consequences.

The symptoms of depression can be categorized into the following areas:

Emotional. The person may feel unsettled, inexpressibly sad, or anxious. As a rule, they have a low depressed mood. They do not believe in themselves and that this state will someday end. Self-confidence plummets to zero. The person has a lot of dissatisfaction with themselves. They experience feelings of helplessness and guilt. Often they cannot explain all this and describe their condition as “just bad.”

Physiological. Contrary to popular belief, depression does not only mean “a bad mood”. It also involves the dysfunction of internal organs. For this very reason, a depressed person may experience increased or decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, and a decreased libido. They may feel inexplicable pain in the digestive tract and the heart, headaches, and muscle aches. Fatigue and weakness are also common companions of depression.

Cognitive.  A depressed person cannot focus their attention. Making any decision becomes a daunting task. Their thoughts become slow and viscous. They develop a tunnel vision – they can only anticipate one version of events, and it is extremely negative. Their consciousness is filled with dark thoughts and premonitions.

Behavioral. These symptoms are “on the surface” – other people can observe them. They may notice passivity, lethargy, inertia, desire to be alone, an almost complete loss of interest in communication. A depressed person can “plunge” into addictions: starting from gaming and ending with alcoholism and narcotics. 

A person is diagnosed with “depression” when they have experienced symptoms for at least two weeks. The person needs professional help! This illness is insidious and very dangerous. If left untreated, it may deplete the person and become a bridge to their self-destruction.

If you’ve been having such symptoms for some time now – you must see a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. They will help you start the treatment.