Sadness is a normal feeling. You might feel sad if you’re going through hard times or when you experience a traumatic event such as losing a loved one.
It could even be something small that can make you feel sad. But feeling blue most of the time could be a sign of something more serious.
At Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, our goal is to help you feel better. We can help you learn to recognize the signs of depression so you know when it’s time to get medical help. Here are a few telltale signs to look for.
How to tell if it’s depression or not
There’s a difference between feeling sad or down about something and depression.
Depression makes it hard to do everyday things that you want to do. You may lose interest in activities that brought you joy, and you may not feel like getting out of bed. You may even withdraw from your family or friends.
Depression can last for weeks or months at a time, or even years if not treated. It can also come and go. There are many types of depression, including:
- Seasonal affective disorder — usually happens during cold, dark months of the year
- Chronic — lasting more than a year
- Perimenopausal — the time leading up to menopause
- Postpartum — after you have a baby
What to look for
If you are going through hard times or recently lost a loved one, you are most likely feeling sad. But when you can’t really pinpoint a reason, or that feeling doesn’t subside, and everything in life feels overwhelming, it could be depression.
Here are some other signs to look for:
- Loss of interest in people or activities
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue that never seems to go away
- Trouble concentrating at work or in school
- Restlessness or irritability
- Hopeless or empty feelings
- Headaches and other aches and pains
- Suicidal thoughts
Depression is a risk factor for suicide, so it’s important to get medical help right away if you have thoughts about harming yourself or ending your life.
If you’re having a mental health crisis, please call 911 or go to the emergency room. Or, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
If you think you may be depressed and you’re not suicidal, seek the care of one of our mental health experts at Bowman Medical Group.
When to seek medical help for depression
Some people don’t want to get professional help for depression. They think they can just shake it off, or they’re embarrassed, or it just seems like too much work to look for help. If you’re feeling this way, please know that you’re not alone and we can help you get your life back.
Depression warrants a medical intervention when it interferes with your quality of life. If you’re stuck in bed, frequently miss work, or find it hard to do anything at all, you may be depressed. We can start you on a personalized treatment plan that may include therapy and/or medication.
If you’re ready to feel like your old self again, make an appointment with one of our trusted psychiatrists today by calling 310-982-7003.