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How do you tell depression from a bout of sadness?

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    Is it really all about the two week rule?

    I'd say depression isn't just sadness, it's a lack of motivation, a feeling of worthlessness, and I'd also say it's recurring and hard to lift yourself from. Sadness comes and goes, and it's usually so severe. It's also probably more hormonal.

    (Original post by Rhaenys10)
    Is it really all about the two week rule?
    Unfortionately it is often about waiting, but there are other indicators too. For more information on depression Mind.org is a good first port of call. I'll write anything I can think of here too.

    Triggers: If anything has hapened recently such as the death of a loved one, an embarassing experience at school or even having a nasty flu, it could be down to that. If you can think of a clear cause it can be worth visiting a counselor about it to try to work through it a bit, or talking to a trusted friend, family member, teacher etc. A lot of the time sadness can escalate to depression because of bottling things up or multiple smaller things piling up until they become overwhealming. Different triggers tend to last for different ammounts of time. I was once told grief can last for up to 2 years and you can often feel under the weather for a week or so after a flu or infection. Just becaus it has a cause though, it doesn't mean you should put up with it. If you feel overwhealmed and want help do not be afraid to ask for it.

    Time: If it's been over two weeks or you've noticed it building up over time or coming in episodes it could be depression. In this case it's worth seeking support as soon as you can. It's a lot easier to manage if you catch it sooner. After time it gets more muddled and can often make you feel too ashamed to get help. There is no shame in it any more than getting a suspicious lump checked incase it's cancer- it's taking care of yourself and your wellbeing.

    Scale: Are you feeling sad or is it more apathetic or frustrated or angry? Depression can present itself in many ways and there are also other simmilar mh problems (like anxiety). Feeling just sad doesn't mean that it isn't depression but often with depression there will be a bit more to it. You may feel distanced from everything else (some people say it's like there being a mist or screen between them and reality), you may feel tired a lot of the time, you may be quick to anger or easily frustrated, your appitite may change, you may have disrupted sleep. You may also have disturbing or dangerous thoughts. In this case please seek help. You can call or visit various numbers including samaritans (who can also be emailed anonymously), NHS 111, any doctor or hospital, A&E, 999 and your school, college or uni. You do not deserve anything bad or harmful nomatter what your mind may tell you and there are people out there to help and support you.

    Timing: Does it seem to happen in bouts? Maybe in winter? SAD is a type of depression that usually comes on in winter (though it can happen in sumer too). If you think this may be something you suffer you can talk to your doctor and look into treatments such as SAD lights.

    As i said, mind.org is a good resource. If you are interested in the more in debth differences between sadness and depression you can also look at resources like research papers. There is no clear cause or test for depression but things like seretonin and even the structure of your brain may be linked to it. It can actually be r
    ather interesting if you're into that sort of stuff.

    Anyway I hope that helped answer your question
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