A Bad Day…Or Something Else?
Have you ever had a bad day? You know, a nothing feels good, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, glass half empty kind of day? We’ve all be there, right? Most of the time, a bad day is just that: a day…or a few at most…and then we are back on our feet and feeling like ourselves again. But what if you aren’t? Could it be something more? Could it be depression? Let’s take a look at how to tell the difference between a bad day and major depression.
The Bad Day Blues
It is completely normal to have bad days. With all the stress and responsibility that comes with today’s world: school, work, relationships, bills, student loans, commutes, etc., it’s natural to have times when you are feeling down. In fact, with moderate to high levels of distress affecting most individuals in the United States and stress being a common trigger for depression, it is no surprise that we are singing the blues from time to time.
Recognizing the Signs of Depression
If bad days are common, how do you know when it has become something more, something like depression? Here are the primary symptoms of depression according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders:
- Depressed mood most of the day, almost every day
- Decreased interest or pleasure in activities, most days
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling agitated/keyed up or really slowed down
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death **
How To Tell the Difference Between a Bad Day or Depression
You may have noticed that the symptoms of depression can look and feel a lot like a typical bad day. For this reasons, it is important to know how to tell the difference. Here are a few tips for telling the difference between the two:
It may be depression if…
- You have at least five of the above symptoms during the same 2-week period of time
- At least one of the symptoms you experience during that 2-week period is depressed mood or decreased pleasure in activities
- The symptoms you experience cause you distress or impair your social, academic, or occupational functioning
Taking Charge of Your Depression
Depression is a serious mental health concern that affects approximately 15.7 million adults aged 18 years and older. At times, it can be mild and may resolve on its own; it can also be more severe and require professional assistance to overcome. If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering depression, please contact us to find out more about treatment options that may be helpful. You may also find helpful books like Mind Over Mood on our CBT Resources page.
Anna L. Lock, Psy.D, Director of Training | Behavioral Associates Los Angeles
Behavioral Associates Los Angeles is a group of cognitive-behavioral therapists specializing in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. To find out more, contact us by phone at 310-205-0523 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also request an appointment with a Behavioral Associates LA psychologist by submitting a brief patient assessment form on our Website. Our clinical staff will follow up with you within 24 hours of submission.
**Having thoughts of death is a serious and life threatening symptom of depression. If you or someone you know are having thoughts of ending your life, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.