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Network Health Blog

Could it be Depression?

person with their head in their hands for depression

What is the Difference Between Sadness and Depression?

Everyone feels sad from time to time, it’s a natural human emotion. But depression is a serious condition that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports an estimated 16 million American adults had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

“We all feel sad at times, but depression is different,” Network Health Quality Improvement Coordinator Michele Eggers explains. “It affects how you feel, think and handle daily activities.”

There are two different types of depression, persistent (lasting 2 years or more) and situational (resulting from major life changes, trauma or stress). Depression requires understanding and medical care.

Symptoms of depression

Speak with your doctor if you experience these or other symptoms for more than two weeks.

  • Change in sleep habits
  • Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Feeling tired and fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless or irritable
  • Feeling sad, hopeless or anxious
  • Thoughts of harming yourself

What can I do if I have depression?

  • Speak with your doctor to create a treatment plan
  • Exercise
  • Do something you enjoy every day
  • Spend time with people who make you laugh
  • Set realistic goals

With a healthy lifestyle and the right treatment plan, depression is manageable.

Resources on depression

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