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What Does Mild Depression Feel Like

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Antenatal And Postnatal Depression

How to Spot Severe Depression vs Feeling Depressed

Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.

The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.

The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.

Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.

Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.

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Are There Different Types Of Depression

If you are given a diagnosis of depression, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe depression. This describes what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently, and what sort of treatment you’re likely to be offered. You might move between mild, moderate and severe depression during one episode of depression or across different episodes.

There are also some specific types of depression:

  • Seasonal affective disorder depression that occurs at a particular time of year, or during a particular season. See our page on SAD for more information.
  • Dysthymia continuous mild depression that lasts for two years or more. Also called persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression.
  • Prenatal depression depression that occurs during pregnancy. This is sometimes also called antenatal depression.
  • Postnatal depression depression that occurs in the first year after giving birth.

See our page on postnatal depression and perinatal mental health for more information. The PANDAS Foundation also has information and support for anyone experiencing prenatal or postnatal depression.

Is premenstrual dysphoric disorder a type of depression?

PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome . Many women experience PMS, but for some women their symptoms are severe enough to seriously impact their daily life. This is when you might receive a diagnosis of PMDD.

When Does Low Mood Become Depression

We all have times when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass in due course.

But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing depression. See our page on the symptoms of depression for more information.

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Major Or Clinical Depression

Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.

  • Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
  • Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.

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Symptoms And Causes Of Depression

Anxiety v/s Depression

Symptoms of depression can be very different from person to person. However, as a general rule, if you are depressed you feel hopeless, sad and lacking interest in things that used to make you feel happy.

Depression symptoms are bad enough to interfere with work, social life and family life, and can persist for weeks or months.

Doctors describe depression in one of three ways, depending on how serious it is:

  • mild depression it has some impact on daily life
  • moderate depression it has a significant impact on your daily life
  • severe depression this makes it nearly impossible to get through your life day to day

A few people with severe depression may have symptoms of psychotic depression.

Below is a list of depression symptoms it’s unlikely that one person would have all of them.

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What Depression Can Feel Like

Understanding what depression feels like is key in recognizing whether or not you are actually clinically depressed. Many people have a certain perception of depression as being a mental health condition thats totally debilitating or paralyzing.

The truth is, depression isnt always like that. There are smaller signs that may indicate that what youre experiencing is more than just feeling down or having the blues.

What does depression feel like? Some people report the following feelings when theyre depressed:

  • You suddenly have difficulty focusing or concentrating on work or school.
  • You find it difficult to see the joy in life.
  • You feel stuck or like theres no way out.
  • You begin experiencing disruptive sleep patterns.
  • You feel worthless or like a failure.
  • You cant find motivation for self-care like showering, getting dressed, or brushing your hair or teeth.
  • You begin having actual physical symptoms like unexplained aches or pain.

Depression can sometimes be a slow decline in functioning which is hard to recognize at first. So it is really important that we are mindful of our thoughts and feelings and get help and support if we start to have low moods.

Back Pain Or Aching Muscles All Over

You might feel okay in the morning, but once youre at work or sitting at a school desk, your back starts to hurt. It could be stress, or it could be depression. Although theyre often associated with bad posture or injuries, backaches can also be a symptom of psychological distress.

A 2017 research study of 1,013 Canadian university students found a direct association between depression and backaches.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have long believed emotional issues can cause chronic aches and pains, but the specifics are still being researched, such as the connection between depression and the bodys inflammatory response.

Newer studies

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Causes And Risk Factors

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.

Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.

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Future treatment may benefit from extensive contrasts including sequential and tipped techniques to relentless depression. Consistent depression will call for a mix of antidepressant medication and also high-quality, organized psychotherapy to attain excellent lasting results. A collaborative what does severe depression feel like method including both a psychoanalyst and scientific psychologist or CBT specialist in the treatment of the same patient is vital for distribution of reliable therapy. One space forthcoming is the concurrent or sequential indicator for medication as well as psychological treatment.

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Physical Symptoms Of Depression


One of the most common symptoms of depression is the feeling of being constantly tired and drained.

While depression exhaustion can be mental, it often presents as a lack of physical energy.

This may occur as a result of low-quality sleep, especially for those that attempt to manage their depression with drugs or alcohol.

For some people, low quality sleep means insomnia and sleep deprivation, while for others it might mean sleeping constantly without ever feeling rested.

Alcohol adds to this effect by interrupting the REM cycle, causing the brain to miss out on the most restorative periods of sleep throughout the night.

Incessant fatigue makes working and socializing especially difficult, and can contribute to the sad and hopeless feelings that often accompany depression.

Fatigue may also cause a depressed individual to abandon their workout routine and become less active, which can exacerbate depression over time.

Aches and Pains

Depression can quite literally hurt. Just as when you have the flu and your body seems to ache all over, depression can cause mild pain and discomfort to amplify, becoming severely distracting and debilitating.

Because our brains are responsible for producing the sensation of pain, poor mental health can cause inappropriate responses to varying degrees of pain.

Research has confirmed that depression lowers pain tolerance, intensifying pain that would otherwise be manageable.

Digestive Issues

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Depression: Recognizing Unusual Symptoms

One reason depression can be hard to identify is that its signs can vary widely from person to person and sometimes be masked by atypical symptoms. For example, some people who are depressed may show it by acting disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. In fact, aggression including outright acts of violence can be indicative of hidden depression, according to a February 28, 2017, report in Psychiatric Times. Depression masquerading as anger may seem surprising at first, but not when you consider that several underlying factors, including alcohol or substance abuse and childhood trauma, have been linked to both.

Similarly, although its not clear why, a person who experiences anxiety is at high risk for developing depression, and vice versa. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that as many as 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression the same goes for people with depression having . Experts say there is often a genetic predisposition for these co-occurring disorders.

Depression may also manifest psychosomatically, meaning that instead of presenting first and foremost as a mood disorder, the dominant symptom may be things like vague aches, dizziness, headaches, , or , according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Complicating matters is that its often hard to know whether depression is causing the physical symptoms, or if the physical symptoms are causing depression.

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The 10 Symptoms Of Depression

But what exactly are the symptoms of depression? To diagnose depression, psychotherapists and doctors usually use the ICD-10, a classification system for diseases published by the World Health Organization . In the US a different manual is used, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . It works the same way. Both manuals distinguish between so-called core and additional symptoms of depression, which can exhibit themselves in different combinations.

Depression in two different people can look very different because not every depressive episode exhibits the same combination of symptoms. These many individual variations are one of the reasons why depression often goes unrecognized.

There are three core symptoms characteristic of depression:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest and joy in things
  • Loss of drive, lack of energy

This dejection, very common to depression, can go so far that the mood of those affected by it does not even brighten up with positive events. Attempts of friends and family to comfort or cheer up people with depression often only create more tension and feelings of guilt. This can also burden relationships quite a bit. Some feel like they cant cry anymore, others cry a lot more than usual.

Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

How Depression Affects our Spiritual Lives

Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.

Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling empty
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Aches and pains without clear physical causes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.

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What Does Depression Feel Like

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

Sadness is something we all experience from time to time. For some, this feeling is temporary and goes away on its own. But for others, this persistent feeling of emptiness, unhappiness, and hopelessness becomes a regular part of their day.

If your mood has changed over the last few weeks and engaging in routine daily tasks is getting more difficult, you may have depression, and you’re not alone.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. According to data from 2017, it is estimated that 17.3 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had a least one major depressive episode in the past year.

Depression, a mood disorder that can cause mild to severe symptoms, can affect how you feel, think, and manage daily activities.

What Does Depression Feel Like Hope For A Better Tomorrow

posted on May 17, 2021

Everyone experiences times in their life when they are unhappy or feeling low. The feeling may last for a short period of time then you move on. Depression is more than just a temporary feeling of lows. Its a mood disorder with a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can affect much more than simply how you feel and it isnt something you can easily just snap out of.

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How To Explain Depression To A Child

Explaining depression to a child is a challenge because it requires carefully considering their perspective. Children are often smarter than we give them credit for, but they do have limited, somewhat naive world-views, so introducing something as serious as depression can be difficult. The last thing you want to do is create unnecessary anxiety for them.

Here are some tips:

Speak to them on their level. Kids may not have the same emotional vocabulary as you. To help them understand its useful to use analogies and examples that are relevant to their world. Think about where they may have been exposed to sadness, maybe in cartoons or movies, at school, or through friends.

Be specific. When faced with uncertainty children will pick up on emotional cues from adults. Because you might be feeling down, the child may interpret the situation as negative or wrong and react with fear. Try to be clear about what is going on and what that means for them and most importantly, normalise it. Let them know this is something people go through and thats ok.

Reassure them. After having a somewhat serious conversation with a child, they may be a little confused and scared. Calm them down and let them know that everything is going to be ok, some things might just be changing, as they always do.

Stomach Pain Or Uneasiness In The Abdomen

6 Signs You’re Severely Depressed

That sinking feeling in your stomach is one of the most recognizable signs of depression. However, when your abdomen starts to cramp, its easy to write it off as gas or menstrual pain.

Pain that worsens, especially when stress arises, may be a sign of depression. In fact, Harvard Medical School researchers suggest that stomach discomfort like cramps, bloating, and nausea may be a sign of poor mental health.

Whats the link? According to those Harvard researchers, depression can cause an inflamed digestive system, with pain thats easily mistaken for illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Doctors and scientists sometimes refer to the gut as the second brain, because they have found a connection between gut health and mental well-being. Our stomachs are full of good bacteria and if theres an imbalance of good bacteria, symptoms of anxiety and depression may arise.

Eating a balanced diet and taking probiotics can improve ones gut health, which may enhance mood, too, but further research is needed.

Digestive problems, like constipation and diarrhea can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Often caused by food poisoning or gastrointestinal viruses, its easy to assume that gut discomfort stems from a physical illness.

But emotions like sadness, anxiety, and overwhelm can disrupt our digestive tracks. One 2011

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Looking After Someone Who Has Depression

If you’re close to someone with depression, their condition can affect you too. Your relationship, and family life in general, can be strained, and you might not know what to do or how to help.

Talking about the situation can help. Finding a support group, or talking to other people in a similar situation, can make it easier to cope. If the condition is causing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, you could contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with both of you.

When suffering from depression, men are less likely to ask for help than women. They’re also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms.

What Foods Help Ease Depression

While no specific diet has been proven to relieve depression, a healthy diet can help you feel your best physically and mentally. Certain foods may be linked to brain health and support for memory, alertness, and mood. Examples include foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids , antioxidants , and nutrients like choline . Always talk with your doctor before making any major diet changes.

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