What is the difference between depression and bad mood?

Very often people, being in a bad mood, call their state depression, and not necessarily because they want to deliberately exaggerate their psycho-emotional state. In the understanding of the common man in the street, bad mood and depression are identical. But we must not forget that depressive disorder is a disease that a psychotherapist must observe and treat.             

How to tell a bad mood from depression?

A bad mood manifests itself in a feeling of depression, sadness, slight irritation – this is a normal human condition associated with a reaction to stressful situations. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about when it lasts for several days. But in the case when the mood decline becomes prolonged, it becomes an alarming call and a reason to seek help from a specialist.           

It should be borne in mind that the depressive state is characterized by the following points:

  • mood disorder;
  • disorders in the vegetative system; 
  • asthenic disorder.

Depression is characterized by sharp mood swings towards lowered mood , apathy blues , anxiety, nervousness. Panic attacks are not uncommon, which mark the peak of anxiety and the fact that depression develops into a very acute mental disorder . From panic attacks and nervousness, a depressive disorder can find its manifestation in a state when a person cannot do anything, his movements are inhibited, it is hard for him to think, to concentrate on some work.           

Depression also affects your overall physical condition. If the examination does not reveal signs of any disease, then the physical ailment is of the same nature as mood disorders. Here depression manifests itself in changes in blood pressure, temperature, headaches, loss or stimulation of appetite, decreased libido.        

With regard to the asthenic component of a depressive disorder, depression manifests itself in irritability, sleep disorders, constant fatigue, often in connection with this, a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is made.      

Depression has an extreme point in its development, which speaks of the severity of a person’s mental state – thoughts about existential problems: the meaninglessness and aimlessness of life, an obsessive suicidal mood, with subsequent plans for suicide.       

It should be noted that in psychiatry there is such a thing as dysthymia or chronic depression . This diagnosis is made when the symptoms of depression last for more than two years. As a rule, it has a cyclical occurrence with a high frequency of manifestation of a complex of symptoms of a depressive disorder. All the symptoms of depression in the complex are the same full-fledged symptoms of the disease, as, for example, in the flu. Depression has primarily an existential basis, affecting not only the physical state, but also an acute, stable psycho-emotional state.             

From all of the above, the following alarming signs can be distinguished: 

  • changes in appetite;
  • insomnia or persistent drowsiness;
  • feeling empty and tired; 
  • trouble concentrating, restlessness; 
  • obsessive sense of meaninglessness, not the ability to get satisfaction from your favorite activities;  
  • thoughts of suicide. 

In the case of the above listed symptoms in varying degrees of severity in you or your loved ones, you need to sign up for a consultation with a specialist, psychotherapist will help deal with the problem by assigning a course of treatment.        

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