Understanding Depression Symptoms:
Are You Depressed or Just Having a Blue Day?

A thoughtful woman looking out of a window - signs of depression

You wake up after a restless night’s sleep.

As you rub the sleep from your eyes, you drag your feet to the kitchen, yet you don’t feel hungry for breakfast. In fact, you don’t feel anything at all.

Even though the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day outside, you prefer to retreat inside your home. You certainly are not motivated to go to work, or you can’t be bothered interacting with other people.

You just want to be left alone.

Are you depressed? Or are you simply having a “blue” day?

Understanding Depression Symptoms

Everyone Gets the Blues

First, it is important to note that everyone has an off or blue day from time-to-time. Let’s face it; life isn’t always easy. There are plenty of times when it just feels more comfortable to retreat into yourself and not have to deal with life. 

For example, it is understandable to feel down during certain days of the year, such as:

  • Around the anniversary of the death of a friend or loved one
  • When you’re separated from family during the holiday season
  • If you don’t have a partner or love interest on Valentine’s Day

Who doesn’t feel blue during these times? Anyone would feel sad if they were alone during a holiday, or had lost someone close to them.

The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t helped, either. Many of us have been unable to see friends or family in a long time, and that takes a toll on us, leading to us having more off-days.

However, when do you cross the line between having a blue day and depression?

How long has it been like this?

The first sign to be aware of is time. Specifically, how long you feel down or blue. If it is for a day or two, and then you are back to feeling more like yourself, then it was probably just a blue day. However, if you are experiencing these feelings for two weeks or longer, that may be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Depression is a persistent feeling that does not go away. It either lingers in the back of your mind or, in the case of major depression, it is an up-front issue. The main thing is that it does not go away, regardless of your attempts to shake off those feelings. You might be able to brush them aside briefly, but they are never far away.

How’s it affecting your life?

Another symptom of depression is that it significantly interferes with your life. Feeling down for one or two days doesn’t have a significant impact on your life. You are probably still able to function as you typically do, even though you’re feeling those emotions.

With depression, though, the opposite is true. In fact, depression makes it much harder to live your life. You might have difficulty doing everyday things like:

  • Going to work or school
  • Eating healthy and exercising
  • Spending time with friends and loved ones
  • Experiencing restful sleep

When you have depression, it seems as if you are stuck in a dark hole and that it is impossible to get out. The more you try to get ahead of the depression, the farther you fall behind. It can feel like walking through treacle. Everything is just so hard.

How are you coping?

Perhaps, in the past, you had more positive ways to blow off steam, such as exercising. Also, you were able to have a drink with friends in social settings without experiencing any negative consequences.

Yet, with depression, you find might yourself drinking much more, maybe drinking alone. Or, maybe, you are choosing to use recreational drugs to help you cope with the depression. As a result, depression can lead you into making unhealthy or dangerous choices that you wouldn’t have made previously.

The truth about depression

The truth with depression is that it is much more than simply feeling blue. Rather, depression occurs when you feel very sad or low for an extended time. Also, those emotions have a severe negative impact on your quality of life.

What can I do about it?

Remember, though, that with professional help, you can find your way out of the tangled web of depression.

If you are feeling depressed, talk with someone today. Depression rarely goes away on its own. Left unattended, depression tends to deepen and get worse. And the deeper it gets, the harder it becomes. So, act now. Call us on 0151 329 3637 or complete our online referral form and make an appointment with one of our specialist counsellors.

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