Everyone feels sad sometimes – maybe even for no apparent reason. But, if you are feeling sadder than usual, or if it seems like you just can’t shake the mood, you might be wondering if you are depressed.
Usually, when you are in a funk or have “the blues,” you know it’ll pass and that you’ll feel better on the other side. But, when you’re depressed, you may have the sense that things couldn’t possibly get better. Words like helpless, hopeless or worthless may be entering your thoughts. You could even feel guilty about your bleak outlook. These are signs that what you’re experiencing is more than just a passing mood. You may be depressed.
If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, with more than 17 million U.S. adults experiencing an episode of major depression in a given year. And there’s treatment to help you feel better.
So, how do you know if you’re depressed?
What is depression?
First, let’s talk about the way you feel when you’re depressed. You’re not just low or blue. It may seem like you could never possibly feel different from the way you do right now. You might think that there’s no way out. Maybe you keep dwelling on mistakes you think you’ve made or regrets from the past. You could find yourself getting angry or frustrated at things that don’t seem to warrant that kind of reaction. Or, maybe you just cry a lot, and for no apparent reason. For some people, these emotions can become so intense that they find themselves thinking about death or suicide.