In the cold season, when daylight hours are minimally short, and once again I do not want to go outside due to frost, piercing winds and constant darkness, you often start to catch yourself in a bleak mood. But how do you determine what bothers you: just a bad mood or depression?
People tend to exaggerate their feelings and emotions, so most complain not about “bad mood”, but about “depression”. And the word is serious, and it sounds more respectable. It is extremely difficult to characterize the actual state of a person in a depressed mood, since most of his comments and remarks will be purely subjective. When talking, for example, with a psychotherapist, the patient may declare that he has suicidal thoughts, even if there are none.
However, it should be remembered that there is a big difference between bad mood and depression. There are several signs, both external and internal, that will help you figure it out. And to understand this is extremely important, because if a bad mood sooner or later changes to a good one, then depression is a mental illness that requires treatment.
Firstly, you need to honestly answer your own question – is your situation really hopeless? For example, now you are in a depressed mood, you want to cry, you don’t have any strength at all, everything around you seems completely sad and gray. But imagine that your circumstances are changing dramatically (you need to present honestly and in good faith, and not brush off, they say, nothing good will happen to me): you win a large amount of money, make unimaginable career successes, meet the handsome prince / princess, and the like. If thoughts about this begin to color your life in bright colors, then you are in a bad mood. If you honestly admit to yourself that no circumstances of the outside world will affect you (or you already have everything, but you do not care), everything is disgusting, unnecessary and uninteresting – then this is depression. For the purity of the experiment, try repeating this after a couple of days.
Secondly, there is another distinguishing feature: in a bad mood, it is common for a person to be angry with others, to look for the reason for his condition from the outside , so a bad mood will quickly change to a good one when changing external circumstances. With depression , self-esteem first of all suffers, a person considers himself guilty of all his troubles and often incapable of changing, and therefore changing his life. That is why, in this state of people, the idea of suicide as the only solution to the problem is often haunted.
Thirdly, it is extremely important to pay attention to some emotional features of human behavior. So, increased tearfulness, emotional instability, psychological “breakdowns”, problems not with sleep, but with falling asleep, a desire to speak out, find support and understanding among others indicate a bad mood.
In depression, a person, as a rule, is not able to share his experiences with anyone, rarely cries, behaves apathetically, has problems not falling asleep, but with sleep in general. The very word “depression” comes from the Latin “deprimo” – to crush, crush. Indeed, if in a bad mood a person has increased nervous excitability, then with depression, most behavioral symptoms are suppressed – a person is closed, silent, passive, there are changes in habitual behavior. This disease is so dangerous – others may simply not notice the disease.
Fourthly, an extremely important aspect is how a person perceives objective reality and himself in this reality. Psychologists say that there is a very simple way to distinguish depression from a bad mood. If a person asks the question “What am I doing: is it just a bad mood or depression?”, Then the answer is always obvious – just a bad mood. Being depressed, a person is no longer able to objectively assess the degree of his emotional decline. For example, he can be so absorbed in the idea of suicide that he is simply unable to understand how wrong and dangerous his thoughts are.