Is It The Blues Or Depression?

Everyone gets the blues at times for various reasons. Feeling sad is a normal response to many of life’s struggles or losses. Chances are you’ve had the blues on many occasions.

But what about when the sadness worsens and goes on for weeks or months? What if you feel so badly that you’re having trouble performing your daily functions? What if you begin withdrawing from friends and family?

When sadness gets this intense, it’s time to seek some professional help, as you could be dealing with clinical depression symptoms.

Major Depression

When dealing with major depression, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms. If you’re not sure, see a therapist to have an assessment done.

Health experts assert that about half of the people who experience major depression never get diagnosed or treated for such, which is quite unfortunate. Many people fear being stigmatized or judged if they admit they are struggling. These days, though, plenty of people are open about their depression struggles, sharing with others their trials, as well as their triumphs.

Experiencing major depression does not mean you’re weak, crazy, or too emotional. It simply means that you’re in a season of struggle, which is quite common.

Here are some of the major clinical depression symptoms:

  • Feeling tired much of the time. You may not have much energy. Sometimes you can’t even get out of bed or dread getting up each day.
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, and struggle with feeling any sense of purpose on earth.
  • Lack of ability to concentrate, may forget things or start tasks, but it takes you twice as long to finish them due to poor focus.
  • Difficult time getting to sleep, waking up a lot during the night, or sleeping more than normal.
  • Loss of appetite or overeating.
  • The desire to sleep all the time because that is when you don’t feel pain.
  • Feelings of emptiness and desperation.
  • Body aches
  • Chronic illness.
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

To be diagnosed with clinical depression, at least 5 symptoms must occur for at least two weeks. If symptoms are under two weeks, it’s likely mild to moderate sadness.

Suicide Warning Signs

Major depression can make someone feel so much internal pain that they might have thoughts of suicide or perhaps attempt suicide. It’s likely they don’t truly want to die. In fact, it’s more likely they want to live, but the intensity of the pain they feel seems too overwhelming.

They think that killing themselves seems is the only way to end the pain.

It’s not.

There are plenty of effective, evidence-based treatments for those struggling with depression.

There are warning signs of suicide and ought to be taken seriously. Should you or a loved one display suicidal warning signs, you can call the local suicide hotline or the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566

Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Going from extremely depressed to very happy and calm for no apparent reason.
  • Consistent thoughts or talk about death.
  • Taking dangerous risks like speeding through red lights, doing dangerous behavior.
  • Complete loss of interest in everything.
  • Talking about how badly you want the pain to end and willing to do anything to end it.
  • Clinical depression that just keeps getting worse and worse.
  • Creating or changing a will, tying up loose ends.
  • Making suicidal threats or attempts.
  • Extreme isolation, have no desire to engage with anyone.
  • Making amends to loved ones for no apparent reason.

If you or a loved one displays any of these signs, reach out for professional help. Suicidal tendencies are nothing to play around with or ignore. Many people will display warning signs because they really want help, but don’t know what to do in order to get that help.

Treating Depression

There are various modalities to treat clinical depression, including medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. There are also treatment centers that treat major depression.

Should you also have an addiction, such as alcohol or drugs, you can receive treatment for both the addiction and the depressive disorder – also known as dual diagnosis.


Doctors can prescribe anti-depressant medication that treats some forms of depression well. Medication is typically the last resort, with physicians encouraging people to see a therapist first to see if the symptoms can be minimized or overcome with traditional therapy. However, there’s no shame if you must use medication to treat depressive symptoms. In fact, medication helps millions of men and women across the world live a higher quality of life despite struggling with major depression.


Meeting with a professional therapist to talk about various things in your life can help minimize depressive symptoms. You can:

  • Work on identifying and changing limited or faulty thoughts or belief patterns
  • Learn better coping skills
  • Increase self-esteem and self-worth
  • Learn better communication skills
  • Heal old trauma or unhealed emotional wounds
  • Learn tools for coping with life’s stressors and/or tough circumstances
  • Explore yourself on all levels

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help ease depressive symptoms as well. If you’ve fallen into bad habits or addictive behaviors, you can work on acquiring better habits and overcoming those behaviors. If your diet has been poor, you can adopt a healthier diet, as experts state that the foods we eat can influence our emotions.

You Can Learn To Feel Happier

Life is certainly full of struggles, setbacks, and all sorts of circumstances. Sometimes it is normal to feel sad due to a loss, such as a breakup, the death of a loved one, or a host of other reasons. Normally, you can get through the grief within a reasonable amount of time.

In the case that your grief feels too hard to bear or the grief lasts for week after week with no sign of lifting, consider reaching out for help from a professional. You can create a treatment plan that will help you minimize depressive symptoms, as well as work on any other issues you may be struggling with.

Tough times may come, but you can learn effective tools and techniques for navigating depressive symptoms. And, if you’re stuck, then it’s as easy as reaching out for professional help.

Here at Into Action Recovery Society, we treat addiction and major depression, as often, the two go hand in hand. Need help for addiction? Depression?

Contact us today. We’re here to assist you in overcoming whatever it is that’s holding you back.


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