Is feeling down or having a case of the blues the same as having mild depression? Many people may make the comment "I'm feeling depressed today" when in fact they are possibly having a bad day and feeling a bit down. The two conditions can be related, having too many "bad days" or feeling "blue" continuously can develop into mild depression but they start out as two quite different conditions. Having a bad day or feeling down is completely normal and we all suffer these days from time to time but mild depression is an actual mental health disorder requiring treatment of some type to enable us to recover our normal balanced outlook on life.
How do we tell the difference between mild depression and a case of the blues? If we have a case of the blues then these feelings are temporary and will dissipate fairly quickly, usually they do not last more than a few days or a week at most. However if we have feelings of worthlessness, intense sadness, feeling that there is no hope or that we want to cause harm to ourselves and these feelings last longer than a week then this is probably more than just feeling down and we are more than likely suffering from mild depression.
If you believe you may be suffering from mild depression then your first port of call should be a visit to your family doctor as only he or she can correctly diagnose the condition and make a course of treatment best suited to your symptoms. Mild depression is completely treatable but should not be taken lightly as failing to seek out a diagnosis and treatment can lead to a far more serious condition which has the potential to be life threatening.
There are several ways to treat mild depression, here are 4 solutions available to you, your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of treatment depending on your symptoms and their severity.
- Medication – usually anti-depressants
- Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Psychotherapy
- Exercise – excellent natural way to treat mild depression
- Dietary Changes – healthy eating can aid recovery
In the past anti-depressants would often be a doctors first choice of treatment and if one drug was not working effectively they would add a second drug without hesitation.
Nowadays, following years of research and study, talking therapies are thought to be as effective if not more so than medication and will often be offered either before or against a course of anti-depressants.
So if you feel you may have crossed the line from feeling blue to having mild depression then fear not, you do not have to suffer in silence, there is help available. Seek help from your doctor, eat a healthy balanced diet, get daily exercise, considering talking therapies and if necessary a course of anti-depressant medication and you will soon be back on track and feeling depression free.
© Andrew Tudor Jones