How Does Depression Differ From Occasional Sadness?
Friday, October 20, 2017
Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but depression is more than occasional sadness. Depression is characterized by extreme sadness or loss of interest that lasts more than several days. If untreated, depression can have harmful effects on the mind and body. It can cause disruptions to daily life and research shows that it may be linked to various chronic illnesses.
Symptoms of depression can include lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, difficulty or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, problems concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and possibly recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Contrary to popular belief, people with depression cannot simply “snap out of it” and feel better right away. Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by a sense of isolation can seem untreatable, but even severe cases can be effectively treated. Acknowledgement and support from family, friends and mental health providers can make a big difference.
The public is encouraged to participate in screening events or take an anonymous depression screening online at www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org. There are screening programs geared specifically toward military personnel and their families, college students, employees and the general public.
To learn more about depression and mind/body health, visit www.apa.org/helpcenter. To find out more about the Ohio Psychological Association visit www.ohpsych.org and follow us on Twitter at @ohpsychassn.
The Ohio Psychological Association, in Columbus, Ohio, is membership organization of approximately 1,500 Ohio psychologists. Its mission is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare. For more information or for a psychologist referral, visit www.ohpsych.org.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.