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Are You Clinically Depressed or Having Common Life Issues?

“Man, I’m depressed today.”

I’ve heard this phrase more and more often lately. The cold weather and COVID-19 have got many people feeling down right now, but does that mean they’re depressed? Well, it depends.

As a counselor, I see lots of different types of depression. Some clients are depressed because they’ve gone through a tragic death, romantic breakup, or financial troubles (the correct term for this is situational depression because it’s caused by the situation you’re dealing with in life). I also work with clients who are dealing with depression as a mental illness (clinical depression).

How can you tell if your symptoms are the result of clinical depression or are because you’re just going through a tough time right now? And why does this even matter? After all, if you’re struggling to function, it’s hard to feel the energy to care about why.

So, what are the differences between clinical and situational depression?

  1. Situational depression is usually temporary.

  2. Situational depression is in response to an event.

  3. Clinical depression is ongoing and can happen at any time.

  4. There is no “cure” for clinical depression, but it can be treated.

Regardless of the type of depression, you’re experiencing, talking to someone can help. Unlike clinical depression – which can be managed but never wholly cured – situational depression often resolves with time, at the end of a situation, or through a change of scenery.

Sometimes, I talk to clients about how they’re feeling, and they don’t even realize that the symptoms they’re describing to me may indicate depression:

  1. Poor self-esteem

  2. Low energy

  3. No motivation

  4. Can’t focus

  5. No desire to see anyone

Sound familiar to you? If it does, that doesn’t mean that you’re weak or less than. It just means that you might need a little extra help right now to get you through this. That's okay.

Follow Danny on IG at DLRoss72

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