In 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health found that 17.3 million adults experienced depression in the United States. Of the adults with depression, 68.3% experienced significant impairment in major areas of their life.
Sadness versus Depression
It can be difficult to differentiate between sadness and depression. Sadness is an emotion that everyone will feel at some point in their life about something. It’s a natural reaction to certain events and circumstances. It’s also an emotion that passes and diminishes. Depression does not pass as easily, includes feeling sad or having no interest in things you used to be interested in for at least 2 weeks, and leads to difficulty in major areas of a person’s life. CLICK HERE to watch my video, “Am I sad or depressed?”
Major Depression Symptoms
Each individual can experience depression differently: They can experience a different number of depression symptoms, with different levels of impairment to their daily life. A clinical diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder includes at least 5 of the following symptoms for at least 2 (consecutive) weeks (DSM, 2017):
- Depressed mood more often than not
- Loss or decreased interest in things that were once enjoyable
- Change in weight without trying
- Sleeping a lot during the day or inability to fall asleep at night
- Moving very slowly or difficulty staying still
- Extreme tiredness or lack of energy
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death and/or suicide
An official diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder must come from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist.
What do I do?
Therapy is helpful for both sadness and depression. During periods of sadness, therapy helps a person to get through difficult events or circumstances. Everyone is different in how events and circumstances affect them. Therapy can help someone work on getting back to who they were before the event or circumstance.
Therapy helps a person experiencing depression by attending to and working on how to manage the symptoms, so that the symptoms don’t seep into the person’s life as much. Those who experience depression may notice that through therapy, their relationships improve, going to work becomes manageable, there’s increased ability and performance at school, and the person has hope, along with the desire and motivation to do things.
I provide individual therapy for depression. If you are interested in receiving individual therapy with me, you can call, email, or self-schedule a phone consultation. CLICK HERE to learn about telehealth. Ready to get started? Let’s work together!
Interested in learning more? Watch my videos below:
(IG Live) How one experience paved the way towards becoming an Asian American therapist
I want therapy, but I’m not that bad
Am I sad or depressed?
Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. The topics being discussed are meant as a self-help tool for you own use. It is not psychotherapy or counseling. This information is to be used based on your own judgment. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly.