Do I have depression or am I just feeling low?

Do I have depression or am I just feeling low?
The stressors of life can be quite challenging to cope with. In the face of a difficult situation, what transcends in the mind is something that only the concerned individual can know and tell with a hundred percent surety. No matter how much we try to understand and be there for the person, making amends is something that the individual has to act on their own because only they know their situation the best. In the face of stressors, you might wonder certain things like: Why am I unable to handle this? What is pulling me down? Despite so many efforts why am I not succeeding? Why am I put through this rough patch? What is it that’s wearing me down? Why me? All in all, it might feel like you’re running down a spiral of a whole bunch of negative thoughts and might also wonder something that is a common concern now a days: Do I have depression or am I just sad?

What is Depression?

All the concerns listed above are valid. But it doesn’t end there. It’s also classified as a Mood Disorder. An immense number of disputes and queries surround the subject matter of depression. Let’s first understand what depression really means. According to the American Psychological Association, Depression is: “A negative affective state, ranging from unhappiness and discontent to an extreme feeling of sadness, pessimism, and despondency, that interferes with daily life.”

Another question that’s floating across in the field of depression is: Can you have depression without being sad? The answer is YES!

Feeling sad is something that everyone experiences from time to time. But depression is more than just sadness. It’s an extreme level of sadness that can last for a long, indeterminable duration. Sadness is only one of the symptoms of depression and it might be masked or absent due to numbness, anger, obsession, somatization, illness and various other reasons. There are plenty others and for a person to be depressed, it’s not necessary that they should feel sad. Another important difference is that expressing sadness can help people to feel better but expressing that one is depressed may not necessarily provide relief to that person.

Our mental wellness experts can equip you with quite a few skills to deal with day-to-day depression.

How to know if you have depression

To know yourself and your mental state better, there are certain indications through which you can find out whether you have depression.

  • Lack of interest and pleasure in doing things
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling low very often
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Altered appetite leading to weight loss or increased cravings leading to weight gain
  • Evaluation of self in a negative light
  • Low level of concentration in activities
  • Reduced or no motivation to speak, move around, and socialize with others
  • Incapable of overcoming difficult situations
  • Dismissive thoughts about workplace, school/college and home
  • Frustration, irritability or angry outbursts over trivial matters
  • Trouble getting along with others
  • Recurrent thoughts about hurting oneself
  • Pessimistic view of most or all the situations
  • Fixation on past failures
  • Problems with daily life activities
  • Feeling fatigued more often
  • Problems with memory recollection

For a person to be diagnosed with depression, not all symptoms need to be present. But multiple episodes of all or few of these symptoms occur across time.

Are you struggling to find out if you have depression? Speak to our wellness experts at or download the app.

Types of depression

If you find out that you have symptoms of depression, you might want to know more about it and wonder: What type of depression do I have; Where is it originating from and other details about it. If you’re unable to find it, your mental health professional might walk you through it in order for you to understand yourself better.

Major: This is the classic form of depression and a state of being in which only a dark mood is prevalent most of the times. The classic symptoms include impaired dietary and sleeping patterns, overly critical evaluation of self and suicidal ideations.

Persistent: This form is also widely known as Dysthymia. Low mood that has persisted for at least two years is referred to as Dysthymia, however it may not be as severe as major depression.

Seasonal: Also known as Seasonal Affective (disorder), this kind of depression is one that develops due to lack of sunlight, when the day gets short, especially during winters. It goes away with the change of season to Summers or Springs.

Bipolar: People diagnosed with bipolar disorder have episodes of depression. This type of depression is defined as having a persistently low mood for at least two years, albeit it may not be as severe as major depression.

Premenstrual: This type of depression occurs as a severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Postpartum: It takes place right after the birth of a child. It is characterized by major as well as minor episodes of depressive symptoms and can have devastating effects not just for the woman but also her family and infants.

Psychotic: people with this type of depression emit symptoms of major depression along with hallucinations or delusions or paranoia.

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What to do if you have depression?

Having been diagnosed with depression is not the end of it. Some forms of depression can be tackled with psychotherapy and other severe forms require both, medications of antidepressants as well as psychotherapy. There are certain quick tips to help you get out of Depression.

  • Face your fears with professional help
  • Consume healthy diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Try following a timely routine
  • Engage in exercise and physical activities that help you boost up your mood
  • Connect with close ones and socialize

“You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective—it just means you’re human.”

~David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

You can also consult an online therapist to know about What with accurate details.

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