According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression “causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems and decrease your ability to function at work and home.”
For many people, this isn’t just a state of sadness due to life’s difficulties- this is something more.
What nobody Tells you
As a Therapist in Atlanta, I notice many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding what depression is, who is at risk, and what ‘causes’ it.
One of the most common misunderstandings about depression is that no one is “immune.” It can affect anyone- even those who appear to have success and an ideal life.
It can be hard not to feel judgment towards oneself, especially when you seem to “have it all together,” yet still feel sad. But here’s the thing- depression is more than just feeling sad. Feeling sad or experiencing grief is a normal response to loss or difficult life circumstances.
This is something to take seriously, and there is no shame in seeking support.
How to know if you’re just feeling sad or if it’s something more
Depression can come out of the blue. Something does not have to be challenging or difficult to “cause” it. If you feel sad for no apparent reason, this could indicate it is something more.
It can last a long time. When your low mood or sadness doesn’t go away on its own, specifically if it lasts two weeks or more, this is an indication you could be experiencing depression.
Depression can disrupt your everyday functioning. Difficulty concentrating, less drive and motivation at work, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. These are also indications of depression.
This can run in families. If your parents or siblings have depression, your risk significantly increases. If you wonder if you are just feeling sad or if it could be depression, consider if your close family members also struggle.
There are many misconceptions about depression. What nobody tells you, is that it is more than just feeling sad. It can lead to very serious circumstances if left unacknowledged and untreated. But, you don’t have to go through this alone. If you are starting to suspect that your feelings of sadness and grief could be a little more, reach out to an Atlanta Therapist today.