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Is it just the blues or is it something else?


            Sometimes it’s just a case of “the blues,” a brief period of sadness that holds you down. But in a few days you are your usual chipper self. Depression is something different. Depression is a mood disorder, very common, but also serious. When you are depressed, the symptoms affect everything about you, how you think, what you feel, how you sleep (or don’t), whether you eat (too much of too little), your job. If your “blues” last longer than two weeks, something more than “the blues” is going on and you should consider talking to someone who is trustworthy and your health care professional.

            There are various forms of depression including perinatal depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), persistent depressive disorder and psychotic depression. Perinatal depression involves extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion that interfere with how the new mom takes care of her baby and herself. SAD comes on as winter arrives with shorter periods of daylight. Social withdrawal, sleeping more, gaining weight are some of the symptoms of SAD.

            Persistent depressive disorder is a condition that lasts more than wo years with periods of major depression and times of less severe symptoms. Psychotic depression is severe and includes things like hallucinations and delusions.

            The first step is recognizing that something just isn’t right and you need to talk to someone trustworthy. Your health care professionals will help you learn what is wrong and how to make it better.

            So, what should you look for?

  • Will the sadness, anxious feelings, feelings of emptiness not go away?
  • Do you feel like everything is hopeless?
  • Are you irritable all the time?
  • Do you feel helpless, worthless?
  • Have you lost interest in the things you used to enjoy like hobbies, crafting, hanging out with friends?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?
  • Do you feel restless, unable to sit still?
  • Is it difficult for you to concentrate, remember things, make decisions?
  • Are you having sleeping problems?
  • How is your appetite?
  • Do you think about death and suicide? Have you attempted suicide?
  • Do you have pain that can’t be explained and doesn’t go away when it is treated properly?

            Depression affects everyone differently, so treatment will vary, as well.

            It is said that you don’t realize how badly you felt until you feel good again. Maybe it’s time to take a look at these things.

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