How Is Clinical Depression Different from Having “The Blues?”

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It’s impossible for someone to feel happy all the time. Most people have experienced a case of “the blues” or …

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It’s impossible for someone to feel happy all the time. Most people have experienced a case of “the blues” or have felt “down in the dumps.” Many people often believe that these feelings are what clinical depression is, leading them to use tired phrases and affirmations to try and lift their spirits. However, these well-intentioned affirmations often do not have the desired effect and can create more distance between you and your loved ones.

Learning how to talk with people about their depression often begins with doing away with your preconceived notions about what the condition is and how it’s perceived. So how is clinical depression different from having “the blues?” Here are some of the biggest differences.

Differences in Feelings

When you’re feeling “down in the dumps,” you often describe feelings of sadness and dejection about a particular situation. Things may not have gone your way recently, and you’re feeling a specific way about it, but it often doesn’t extend beyond those initial feelings. On the other hand, clinical depression has a host of additional thoughts and feelings associated with it.

Sadness is often only the tip of the iceberg regarding clinical depression. People suffering from the condition often experience additional symptoms, including:

  • Significant weight fluctuations
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration

Underlying Causes

Mental illnesses have various underlying causes that act as triggers. For clinical depression, external triggering events may play a pivotal role in the onset of the condition, but it’s rarely the only reason. Research has shown that various genetic and biochemical factors contribute to whether someone develops clinical depression. This genetic predisposition makes it more likely that someone will suffer from the condition at some point in their lifetimes.

On the other hand, the blues isn’t intrinsically tied to genetic markers or family history — it’s external stressors. Different life events may leave us feeling discouraged and down about ourselves, but these incidents may be fleeting, and we can quickly rebound from them.

Symptom Intensity

In some instances, differences between a simple case of the blues and clinical depression come down to the intensity of their symptoms. If someone has a severe case of depression, it can interfere with every facet of their everyday life. From work responsibilities to relationships and daily activities, someone suffering from depression can face increasingly difficult obstacles in accomplishing and maintaining these responsibilities. When someone is merely feeling blue, they’re usually able to act normally and perform these tasks without interruption.

How Long Does It Take for It to Be Considered Depression?

The diagnosis may vary from person to person, but the line between feeling the blues and approaching clinical depression usually happens at the two-week mark. If you continue to experience intense feelings of sadness, melancholy, hopelessness, and more after that milestone, you may benefit from seeing a professional and getting an official medical diagnosis.

Let Clearview Treatment Help With Your Clinical Depression Treatments in Venice, CA

Whether you have a case of the blues that has lasted longer than you thought it would or have been diagnosed with clinical depression, knowing where to go to get the support you need is crucial. At Clearview Treatment, we have helped countless patients sit with their depression, figure out the underlying causes, and find a personalized treatment plan to help them with their recovery.

We understand every case is different, and there isn’t a one size fits all approach to your treatment. Our team works with each patient to fully understand their underlying triggers and help them move on to the next stage. If you or someone you love has clinical depression, we’re here to help. Contact our team at 866-928-5118 today to learn more about our treatment programs and admissions process.

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