4 Ways to Know if it’s Sadness or Depression

Woman sitting on ground with head in lap

It’s normal to feel a little down, stressed, or anxious every once in a while, as career and social pressures can fuel momentary bursts of sadness and make you feel a bit “off.” And while you can’t expect to feel your best every single day, if you are gripped by an unrelenting sense of hopelessness that prevents you from enjoying the experiences you love the most, it may be time to take a closer look at your feelings.

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Is Drinking Making You Depressed?

Woman on chair holding bottle of wine to her temple.

Drinking has a firm foot in our culture, and it seems to fit any occasion.

Having a birthday and turning 21, 30, or 50? Have a round on the house!

Getting married? Crank up Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” and throw one (or five) back while grooving on the dance floor into the wee hours of the morning.

Going on a first date? Why not meet at the bar for a classy cocktail or glass of wine?

Had a hard day at work, bad week, or even a rough month when you just can’t seem to shake that sinking feeling? Nothing a drink to lift the spirits can’t solve…

And that’s where we begin to run into trouble — self-medicating our depression through alcohol consumption.

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Is Depression Genetic?

Mother holding child's hand

By now most of us know the symptoms of major depression well: Loss of pleasure in favorite activities, irritability, significant weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping habits, loss of energy, feeling worthless, an inability to think clearly, indecisiveness, hopelessness, and at its most severe, recurring thoughts of suicide.

The impact of depression is debilitating. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people globally suffer from depression — approximately 5 percent of the world’s population — and it’s the leading cause of disability. What’s worse, even in high-income countries nearly 50 percent of those with the illness don’t seek treatment.

And while depression reaches the lives of so many worldwide and is arguably one of the most studied mental illnesses, we still know little about its origins. Is depression genetic? Is it environmental? Short answer: It’s complicated.

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3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing

Young employee frustrated at her desk
Photo credit: AdobeStock/anyaberkut

3 Misconceptions Your Coworker With Depression Wants You To Stop Believing” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women.

In the past few years, there has been an uptick in people being more open about mental health issues, and for that, I will forever be grateful. For too long, people felt ashamed to admit when they were battling anxiety or depression, even though they are two of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., alone.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few irritatingly persistent stereotypes and misconceptions about depression around. Here are a few things that your coworker with depression wants you to stop believing.
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A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months

sad penguin alone looking down at feet

Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder or another kind of depression, it’s absolutely possible for you to feel the winter blues. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold and shorter days, you may have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t slip into a dark place…and I’m not just talking about the lack of daylight hours!

As the winter barrels ahead, use it as an opportunity to really get in tune with your feelings. Take note of your emotions and evaluate if the holiday season and the colder weather have been affecting you negatively. If they have been impacting you, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of things you can do to cheer up, even just a bit.

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6 Reasons Why It’s Hard for People With Depression to Exercise

Asian woman depressed in bed

Everyone knows exercise is great for depression. Studies show physical activity has an equivalent effect to medication for Major Depressive Disorder. As helpful as these findings are, they are of no use when people are unable to get motivated to exercise. So many people with depression feel they are lazy when they don’t exercise. This self-criticism makes them feel worse and, in a vicious cycle, leaves them feeling even more depressed.

Nonetheless, there are many reasons people with depression find it difficult to work out, none of which include laziness. Below are only a few. If you have depression, you can use the insights to better understand the condition and forgive yourself when you have trouble getting motivated to exercise. Continue reading 6 Reasons Why It’s Hard for People With Depression to Exercise

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

depressed woman working on laptop coffee mug

Imagine someone who seems to be living a perfect life. She has a great job, a loving and supportive partner, and plenty of fun outside of work. Getting to the office on time is no problem, and she is one of the most productive employees at her company.

There’s one problem, though: she is miserable, unable to derive happiness from much of anything. Because she lives with high-functioning depression, it is difficult for people to understand how anything could be wrong. Continue reading What Is High-Functioning Depression?

5 Tips to Prepare for the Season of SAD

woman holding coffee mug during winter snowing

Up to 10% of the American population lives with SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder]. In the fall and winter months, when the days are shortest, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be very challenging to deal with. As the name suggests, those who live with the disorder may experience a cluster of depressive symptoms such as feeling low or depressed, sleeping too much, experiencing low motivation, and so forth.

SAD can put a strain on those living with the condition. This post includes some tips to help you prepare for the upcoming season of SAD. Continue reading 5 Tips to Prepare for the Season of SAD

Mental Health in Bed: Sex and Depression

man woman in bed depressed

To make life with depression even more depressing, the mental illness can seriously mess with your sex life. Unfortunately, depression can go hand in hand with sexual dysfunction, which can affect everything from your libido to your ability to orgasm. This can be rough on not only the person suffering, but also on the person’s partner, and can put a strain on relationships.

Just as not everyone feels comfortable opening up about their mental illness, not everyone feels comfortable opening up about their sex life. And they’re even less likely to open up about it if they have a problem and feel like they’re broken or not “normal.” Can you blame anyone for not divulging when the word “dysfunction” has such a negative denotation? Sadly, it’s pretty common for people with depression to have their sex life interrupted in one way or another. Continue reading Mental Health in Bed: Sex and Depression

What Is Crippling Depression?

depressed man in bed dark room

What is Crippling Depression?

Crippling depression is clinical depression [major depressive disorder] that is severe to the point of limiting basic functioning, including the ability to work and live normally. Some of those afflicted experience episodes that last for a few weeks or months, as in after a loss or the death of a loved one. In other cases crippling depression is resistant to treatment and becomes a lifelong struggle.

Everyone who has lived with crippling depression has a unique experience, but there are some common threads such as difficulty sleeping healthily or getting out of bed. When describing his period of crippling depression, mental health writer Stefan Taylor mentioned dropping out of college and “laying in bed all day.”

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