Bad Mood or Depression: Symptoms of Mental Disorder

In our daily life, full of stress and a full range of emotions, it’s absolutely normal to reach the bottom from time to time and be in a blue mood. However, it is crucial for mental health to differentiate between melancholy and depression, which has nothing to do with a bad mood. Let us define the characteristics of a transient feeling and persistent mental disorder, such as depression and anxiety. 

Decoding Bad Moods

A bad mood can be linked to some events of our daily life. It can be caused by stress at work, personal conflicts or even lack of sleep. But such condition is temporary and usually goes off once there are no specific triggers. This feeling might be uncomfortable, however it does not effect one’s ability to function and enjoy life. Bad moods do not need any medical treatment. 

Symptoms and Signs of Depression

Depression, on the other hand, is a clinical condition, a mental disorder, casting a long-term shadow on a person’s life. It is not just about feeling sad; it’s a persistent emotional andphysical disturbance, which effects the individual’s life significantly, lowering the level of functioning and satisfaction. Depression affects approximately 280 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Key symptoms include:

• Persistent Sadness: A deep, enduring sense of melancholy that doesn’t lift with changes in circumstances.

• Loss of Interest: A significant decrease in enjoyment or interest in activities that were once pleasurable.

• Fatigue: Overwhelming tiredness or lack of energy that makes even small tasks seem strenuous.

• Changes in Appetite: Significant weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting.

• Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or oversleeping nearly every day.

• Feelings of Worthlessness: Intense and inappropriate guilt or a feeling of being worthless.

• Difficulty Concentrating: Inability to think, concentrate, or make decisions.

• Physical Symptoms: Unexplained aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems.

• Recurrent Thoughts of Death: Frequent thoughts about death, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempts.

If a combination of some of these symptoms is present most of the day for a two-weeks period, that means the person is likely to have a mental disorder, called depression. As a health disorder, it usually requires a specific medical treatment. 

The Impact of Depression

Depression can lead to various emotional and physical problems. It is often accompanied with the feeling of tiredness, a feeling of being incapable of performing everyday tasks, nervousness and anxiety. People experiencing depression loose their interest to activities they used to do. They often avoid taking responsibility, communication with people and participating in entertainment events. 

The Underlying Causes of Depression

Being a health disorder, depression is a complex condition which might be caused by different factors. Long-term stress, traumatic events, changes in brain chemistry or hormone imbalance are just some of the facts that can be the cause of this disease. 

Treatment Options for Depression

Effective treatments for depression include, but are not limited by taking specially prescribed medicine, psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). However it is usually crucial to change the lifestyle, exercise regularly, change the diet and get sufficient sleep. 

The Importance of Seeking Help

Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is also not a condition that can be willed away. People with depression need professional assistance to get better. Recognizing the signs of depression and understanding that it is a medical condition is the first step toward recovery. The next step should be addressing a corresponding specialist, to follow a long-term plan of recovery. 

What you can do to help your loved ones

Unfortunately, not all people consider depression to be a mental disorder, requiring medical treatment. Older generation in particular, are inclined to see it as a transient state of mood. So, the first step is to convince them that depression needs to be treated by professionals. Otherwise it might lead to even more serious health disorders. The next step is finding a proper doctor or center. And the final step: it is necessary to follow the individually designed plan of recovery.

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