Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a medical condition that deeply affects the way a person feels, thinks, and acts. Depression can cause feelings of sadness as well as making you lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can make it difficult to function at work and in your personal life.
The most common depression symptoms include the following:
• Feelings of sadness
• Depressed mood
• Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Changes in appetite – eating too little or too much
• Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping too little or too much
• Loss of energy
• Slowed movement and speech
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
• Trouble concentrating
• Trouble making decision
• Suicidal thoughts or actions
Everyone experiences sadness from time to time. Sadness is a normal human emotion, but sometimes these feelings of sadness go above and beyond normal levels and make it difficult to function in your everyday life.
The line separating sadness and depression is not always clear. You may find yourself wondering what the difference is between the two, or what depression is in the first place. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Difference Between Depression and Feeling Sad
Any number of things can happen to a person that can cause them to feel sad or melancholy. Some of the most obvious examples include the loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or stressful changes in your professional life.
It is perfectly fine – even normal – to grieve and experience intense sadness sometimes. Per the American Psychological Association, the sadness you experience in everyday life is different from depression in a number of aspects:
• If you are experiencing grief, these feelings tend to come in waves and are intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. If what you are experiencing is depression, overall mood is decreased for a period of most of two weeks.
• During periods of grief, self-esteem is typically maintained. However, during periods of depression, your self-esteem is brought down by feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is like other mental health conditions in that it is a complex result of a number of biological and environmental factors rather than the result of a single cause. Things like temperament, life experiences, and family history of depression can increase your likelihood of developing depression on your own.
That being said, some of the most common causes of depression are the following:
• Family history
• Early childhood trauma
• Brain structure
• Medical history
• Drug abuse
• Stressful events
In the same way that you should not feel shame for seeking treatment for a sickness like the Flu or high cholesterol, there should be no shame in seeking treatment for conditions like depression and other mood disorders. Depression may not show obvious outward signs or symptoms, but that does not mean it isn’t real. The symptoms are still felt and can be debilitating.
Fortunately, the future of treatment for depression looks more optimistic than ever before. Traditional treatments, such as antidepressant medications, as well as innovative new techniques, such as ketamine infusion therapy, present options for treatment and relief from your symptoms. Ketamine infusion therapy is proving to be more effective than traditional medical treatments, providing relief more rapidly and without the negative side effects of other antidepressant medications.
If you feel you have depression and would like to seek help for it, reach out to your Primary Care Provider or find a mental health provider to establish a diagnosis and start on the road to being a better you.
Contact us today at Exodus Health to learn more about our innovative ketamine infusion treatments to treat depression.