Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Of course not!
So how can you say the difference?
Before answering that question I think I should share some facts on depression. According to the studies done a few years back by WHO (World Health Organization), depression was ranked as fourth as causes of disability worldwide just only to other major diseases and it was predicted by 2020 depression will be 2nd.
Ugh, but breaking all the expectations of the researchers, currently depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide affecting 264 million people globally. And of all age groups! But, women are more prone to depression than men and according to studies of 2018, India is the most depressed country.
Depression cases are increasing at an alarming rate but many times we do not know the difference between being clinically depressed and feeling sad.
According to ICD 11, A depressive episode is characterized by a period of almost daily depressed mood or diminished interest in activities lasting at least two weeks accompanied by other symptoms such as •difficulty to concentrate
• Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt, hopelessness,
•Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide,
•Changes in appetite or sleep,
•Reduced energy or fatigue.
In a severe depressive episode, many or most symptoms of a depressive episode are present to a marked degree, or a smaller number of symptoms are present and manifest to an intense degree, and the individual is unable to function in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important domains, except to a very limited degree(ICD 11).
There are different types of depression and I have discussed here about severe depression. But there is a less severe and common version of depression known as Dysthymia. This is also known as the minor depression characterised by most of the above symptoms in a less severe form but the symptoms should be present for at least two years.
In the present situation of COVID-19 lockdown, many of us are going through mixed feelings and we are not sure what we are going through. Some even feel they are depressed. But as I have discussed, to be diagnosed by clinical depression there are specific symptoms and strategies. So when you feel blue, instead of coming to conclusions, it is better to practice exercises that can vent your feelings. Thanks to our media culture, we just have to look at our phones or tv screens for different activity ideas. Or, just get into nature and spend time with yourself, you can see wonders happening to your mind and body. If you really think you need help, always turn to professionals, I bet they know better :)
So next time you feel you are in that dark place, just close your eyes and breathe!
Let this lockdown be the time to really think about your mental health. Stay home, stay safe. :) ☺️🥰