Having occasional feelings of sadness is part of life. However, you may want to consider seeing a counsellor to assess whether you have depression if feelings of sadness interrupt your daily life as well as cause pain to you and those close to you. Depression, and its symptoms, vary widely between individuals but it is often identified through disinterest in previously pleasurable activities as well as feeling unhappy, irritable, anxious, angry, sad, distracted, unfulfilled, helpless, worthless or guilty.
People suffering depression can experience physical symptoms of aches and pains, fatigue, loss of energy, loss of appetite or binge eating, changes to sleeping patterns such as insomnia or excessive sleeping. Those with depression may experience inexplicably crying and thoughts about death, dying or suicide. Major life events such as child birth, bereavement or divorce may cause temporary depression but some individuals can suffer from depression throughout their life.
What is the difference between low mood and depression?
The wear and tear of life can leave us in low spirits and factors which can contribute to this may include relationship problems sleep problems, stress at work, bullying and chronic illness or pain. These factors can result in suffering with a low mood. It is also possible to suffer with low moods or feel without there being an obvious reason and symptoms can include; sadness, feeling anxious or panicky, worry, tiredness, low self-esteem, frustration and anger.
Generally by making some small changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, you can usually improve your mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks. However, if a low mood does not go away this can be a sign of depression and you should speak to a professional about this.
If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from depression or having thoughts of suicide then get help immediately. For urgent situations where suicide is being considered call The Samaritans 116 123.