How to Determine if Depression is Real?

How to Determine if Depression is Real?


  Feeling Low is Not Always Depression   

Whenever anyone feels sad or low, they always say that they are in Depression. But is that so? NO. Depression is known in many other names also; which are Major Depressive Disorder, or Clinical Disorder; is quite different from just feeling low. Depression is a type of a mood disorder in which there is a continuous feeling of sadness and in which an individual feels a complete loss of interest in everything. It is also not similar to the 'mood swings' that people feel on a daily basis.




  • Feeling sad for a longer time
  • Loss of interest in the activities or work that were of interest for the individual earlier
  • If there is any change in the appetite of the individual
  • If there is any change in the sleeping pattern of the individual ( either is sleeping too much or is not bale to sleep at all).
  • If the individual is facing any difficulty in concentration, thoughts, or even in making any decisions.
  • If the individual feels irritated, frustrated and gets angry easily.
  • Whether the individual is feeling hopeless, worthless anfd having thoughts of suicide.


NOTEThe symptoms as mentioned above should be there in the individual for at least two weeks almost every day and minimum of the five symptoms from above mentioned should be there; and also to see if these symptoms are bringing any changes in the previous level of functioning in the individual; only then can we diagnose it as Depression. For the five symptoms, one of which should be depressed mood and another should be a loss of interest in all activities. In children, we might see irritableness as a symptom rather than them being sad.




In Children


  • Anxiousness


  • Cranky


  • They pretend to be sick


  • They refuse to go to school and find excuses not to.


  • They always worry that they are about to die.


  • They do not listen to their parents.


  • They will cry a lot.


  • They will have low energy.


In Teens


  • Will face trouble at school.


  • Will have low self-esteem.


  • They will withdraw from their friends and even their family.


  • They will face difficulties in doing their homework and even will have problems in concentrating.


  • Will feel worthless, hopeless, restless, guilty, frustrated,


  • Excessive sleepiness, increase in their appetite.


In College Students


  • They might suffer from insomnia or may sleep a lot as compared to earlier.


  • They will have difficulty in completing their work.


  • Will have either decreased appetite or will have an increased appetite; and as a result of which will have either weight loss or weight gain.


  • They will tend to avoid social; situations which they earlier used to enjoy.


  • Negative view of life and themselves.


In Adults 


  • They may suffer from the middle of the night insomnia or early morning awakening.


  • They also sometimes complain about gastrointestinal complaints and diarrhoea.


  • They along with depression experience sadness or grief; and sometimes they feel a lack of emotions.


  • They tend to avoid family and social situations.


  • They also face difficulty in fulfilling responsibilities.


  • Males sometimes display an abusive relation and a relation of control.


  • Females face lot of mood swings, and also go through Rumination. In Females the Postpartum depression and premenstrual Dysphoric depression is more commonly seen.


Prime causes Of Depression


There are many factors that are responsible for causing depression. Some of which are mentioned below.


There are certain chemicals in our brains; when there is a difference in any of these chemicals, it ends up contributing in developing symptoms of depression. Genetics also play a role in depression. In studies it has been found that the chance of a twin to have depression is 70% if one twin is also diagnosed with the same.


Self esteem also plays a role in developing depression. People who have a lower self esteem they easily fall into the trap of stress and low self worth which makes them more prone towards depression.


Environmental factors also plays a role in developing depression. People who might have been in an abusive environment or in a neglect, violent environment are easy to develop depression.


 Treatment  For Depression


“Depression is not treatable.”- this statement is a myth.


Depression is definitely treatable. Acoording to statistics, the percentage for the success of getting fully treated from depression is 80-90%. This means that these many people (out of 100) will be treated from depression completely.


Before starting or deciding the treatment for depression, it is necessary for the therapist to diagnose it properly. There are cases where the blood report of the client is also asked, to make sure that the depression caused in the individual is not due to biological reasons such as an increase in the thyroid level or any deficiency in the vitamin levels.


For the treatment, medicines can be given such as antidepressants. The effects of the medicines are seen in the 1st few weeks, but the complete effect won't be seen within 2-3 months. It takes some time and the medicines are usually recommended for 6 months.


Psychotherapy, talk therapy are very useful for depression which is in mild or moderate levels. Antidepressants are to be given only when the situation gets worst and becomes severe. Sometimes during moderate or mild depression, antidepressants are also given along with the psychotherapies, while most of the time, psychotherapy is done alone.


CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is very useful in treating depression. It is focused on problem- solving where the negative and distorted thoughts of the client are figured out and changed to more positive thoughts. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is also used for severe depression and is done only when all other treatments do not work on the client in treating depression.


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Aleena Thakurta

Aleena Thakurta

Intern at Psychowellness Center