Sadness is a feeling that overcomes the best of us in various parts of our life. Despite what people may tell you, or what their social media post reveal, we all experience it.
Depression is something that is experienced often as well. In fact, here are a few statistics on depression:
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. (National Institute of Mental Health “Major Depression”, 2017)
Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; Jun 18; 289(23): 3095-105)
1.9 million children, 3 – 17, have diagnosed depression. (Centers for Disease Control “Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health”, 2018)
Adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary artery disease. (National Institute of Health, Heart disease and depression: A two-way relationship, 2017)
Despite the frequency of depression, you may not know what to look for to determine if you are experiencing just regular sadness, or depression. To assist with this, here are 3 signs to look for, to determine if your sadness has become depression.
You feel unhappy nearly every day, all day. It is normal for people to experience occasional unhappiness from time to time. But when you report feeling unhappy for at least two weeks, nearly every day, for most parts of the day, this is cause for concern.
You start engaging in unusually, high risk behavior. It is normal for people to experiment with things throughout the course of their life. But when you experience with risky things, during sad times in your life, you may be doing so as a way to cope. Examples of this include sexual promiscuity or alcohol and drug use. These are symptoms of depression, because the person is acting out in alternative ways to make themselves feel better.
You contemplate thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or others. When a person is extremely desperate, and they feel that there’s no way out, they may self-injure or report a desire to want to hurt themselves or others. This is the most damaging outcome, and unfortunately is often the one that is the most misunderstood. Suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts and attempts typically occur when a person feels that they have hit the bottom of their lives and are so desperate for relief that taking their own life or the life of others seems to be the only way out. This is very serious and could have dire consequences for all involved.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, please contact us at www.techtalktherapy.com. For suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at Call 1-800-273-8255. For homicidal thoughts, please contact 911.