We’ve all felt sad. We’ve been faced with difficult situations at home or work, a relationship has ended, or we’ve dealt with loss. It is a normal human emotion that we will continue to experience at different times throughout our lives. The good news is, the feeling of sadness will go away. Once the problem has resolved, or the hurt that we have experienced has faded, our sadness fades too.

Depression is different than sadness. Depression is a mood disorder that affects all aspects of life, making everything less enjoyable, less important, and puts a strain on the body. Depression may cause you to feel impatient and quick to anger.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that to be diagnosed with depression, you must have at least 5 of the following symptoms continually for 2 weeks:

  • Feeling depressed throughout the day.
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Restlessness, irritability, or agitation.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Feelings of guilt or excessive worthlessness on most days.
  • Sleeping too much or not enough.
  • Appetite changes paired with weight loss or weight gain.
  • Problems with concentrating or making decisions.
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions.

It’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many other people are fighting similar battles and many of us are experts at putting on a happy face to conceal what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Depression is a serious condition that requires treatment to manage. Sometimes we disregard a serious illness or even overthink a normal emotion because are confused when it comes to being sad versus being depressed. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with depression, a research study could be an option. Qualified participants receive care from board-certified physicians and receive compensation for time and travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.