Understanding Medical Problems

Is It Time To Seek Treatment For Depression?

Almost everyone feels down in the dumps from time to time. When something challenging or negative happens to you, feeling down is only natural! Depression, on the other hand, is longer-lasting, more serious, and more of a pathology. Distinguishing between normal negative feelings and depression is not always easy, though. So, what are the signs you're not just feeling blue and should start seeking depression treatment? Take a look.

You don't know why you're sad or blue anymore.

In a normal, non-pathological bout of sadness or grief, you can usually name the reason you're experiencing negative feelings. For instance, you may be able to say that you're sad because your mom died or that you're sad because you lost your job." With depression, on the other hand, it is common for patients to have lost sight of the reason for their low mood. The period of sadness may have begun with a negative event, but that event is now so far in the past that you can't connect it directly with your current mood. If someone asks you why you're feeling down and your knee-jerk response is that you don't know, then it's time to seek treatment for depression.

You're having suicidal thoughts.

Maybe the thoughts are only passing thoughts. Maybe it's easy for you to write them off and insist you'd never actually take your own life. But if you're having any level of suicidal thoughts or ideation at all, this is a sign you've crossed into depression territory and need treatment — immediately. It's easy for passing suicidal thoughts to turn to serious ones overnight if you don't seek care promptly. Take this seriously. You're not just feeling blue.

Others have commented on your change in behavior and mood.

Have other people in your life expressed concerns about your change in behavior? Maybe they've said that you don't seem like yourself or that they can tell something is wrong. Others who are close to you are sometimes better at recognizing when you cross into the realm of depression than you are. The depression can keep you from being honest with yourself, so you're lucky you have friends and family members in your life who are honest with you! If others are starting to express concern, it's time to seek treatment for depression.  

Depression is more than the occasional bout of sadness. It's a deep, lasting low state that deserves treatment as soon as you recognize it in yourself.