Depression VS Feeling Down | Counseling | Therapy

Depression VS Feeling Down

Alex Robboy , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

Depression VS Feeling Down image

Center for Growth / Depression Therapy in Philly: DEPRESSION versus feeling down

FEELING DOWN vs. DEPRESSION We All Go Through Slumps… Here’s How You Can Tell If It’s Something More: Feeling sad has become such a common emotion in society that the saying “feeling down in the dumps” takes too much effort to verbalize; we’ve invented new ways to express our despondency. “Eh,” “meh,” “blah,” we might say to someone upon being asked how we’re doing. These new terms, in accordance to the lack of energy we have from experiencing sadness, are barely four letters long. Everybody experiences days, weeks, and perhaps an entire month where they praise these small words for expressing to the universe in a quick and easy way just how terrible they feel. Though feeling sad isn’t desirable, we can also feel pleasure, love, and excitement. Usually, these feelings are completely normal and a part of what makes us human beings, and not fish.

Sometimes we may feel upset for some reason we can’t put our finger on, which can be due to the fact that the factors that influence these feelings aren’t perceivable. We can feel sad because of changes in our hormones, a lack of energy thanks to a poor diet, or even because we aren’t getting enough sunlight. However, many of the things that make us feel sad are pretty obvious: experiencing the death of a loved one, failing a test, watching something depressing on the news.

And regardless or circumstances, conditions, or what’s going on in your life, once in a while everybody just has a bad day.

You may feel restless, filled with too much energy, or want to spend a day curled up in your bed, unwilling to go out with friends. Whether the reasons are obvious or not, it’s normal to occasionally feel lousy for a little while. What you need to recognize is that these emotions are normal, and should fade within a few days. If you have just gone through a tragedy, or a break-up of a long term relationship, the symptoms will take awhile to decrease. The negative feelings will get weaker as time goes by; the situation will become easier to deal with. It’s important to note that the common factor about all kinds of sadness is that it gets better. Of course you will go through difficult times, but you will find that eventually you can still have good moments that make you smile, and even laugh. You will be able enjoy life once more, and eventually feel alright again.


Clinical depression is much different from the feelings just explained above. When you’re experiencing depression, the expression “snap out of it” doesn’t apply to you, in the same way you can’t shake off an illness in a day. Because that’s just want depression is- an illness. However, it does not have to be chronic and is most certainly treatable! Mild depression can be cured often times through counseling, or “talk therapy.” Individuals with more serious cases of depression often experience noticeable improvement and relief or symptoms by working with a psychiatrist to develop a regime of therapy and possibly medication. There is plenty of help to be had, and depression is not something you have to live with.

Unfortunately, it is also common for someone with depression to never seek help. They might feel embarrassed to ask for help, or may think they can handle their emotions on their own. If they could just ignore it, maybe it will go away- perhaps it’s just a “down in the dumps” period. However, in the case of depression, being unable to recognize the disease as a real medical problem can have devastating results, and can sometimes end in suicide for the untreated victim.

Below are areas that illustrate the differences between Depression vs feeling down. Through recognition, you can take the appropriate action and make certain the problem gets the right kind of attention.

People who have depression often experience a difference in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or oversleeping. Depressives have a tendency to be tired all of the time, even though they may be lying in bed for 12 hours. Eating habits and appetite are also affected. Apathy towards activities they once enjoyed occurs, along with feelings of worthlessness. Depressives usually have a difficult time concentrating and staying focused, which results in difficulties following conversations and making decisions. While you might find one or two of these symptoms in someone who is experiencing severe grief or loss, demonstrating all of these symptoms is a sign that the individual needs to receive immediate attention and is probably experiencing clinical depression.

Even in the most tragic circumstances, the most acute sadness usually passes within a month or two. Untreated episodes of depression can last for months, sometimes over a year.

To individuals with depression, the disease can be crippling to them, changing every aspect of their daily life, inhibiting them from experiencing it in a healthy way. It becomes a struggle to get out of bed each day.

Individuals experiencing common sadness may feel this way for a long time, but it noticeably lessens and grows weaker. Depressives don’t experience this eventual relief. it is equally severe no matter how long it has been from the start of a depressive episode.

Lack of Pleasure
Even during sadness, people can experience moments of happiness. However, people suffering from clinical depression are less able or even incapable of experiencing pleasure, even while doing an activity that would have once given them extreme enjoyment. This apathetic attitude causes isolation from family and friends.

There is usually a trigger to sadness, such as an even in an individual’s life, or even a perceived condition they feel they are struggling with. However, as is often displayed in the media, even the most wealthy, seemingly happy individuals can experience depression. While people who are susceptible to depression because of genetics may have a depressive episode triggered by a negative event, depressive episode can also start for seemingly no reason at all.

It’s important to remember that depression is an illness, and isn’t simply a rut that one can easily recover from. If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from this illness, seek professional help immediately. Let your friend in need know that you are there for them, to support them and that they do not need to suffer. Seek professional help. Everyone experiences sadness sometimes, but depression is more than a phase. By being able to recognize the difference between sadness and depression, you can help get someone’s life back on track, and even save it- whether it be a loved one’s, a friend’s, or your own.

If you are lookin for depression therapy in Philly, call 267 324 9564 to speak with a counselor today!

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