What is the difference between depression and just feeling low?
In general, a low mood can include feelings of sadness, an anxious feeling or feeling worried. It can also come with tiredness, low self-esteem, frustration and anger.
Under normal conditions, a low mood will tend to improve by itself after a short time. This can be helped by making some small but significant changes in your life, such as taking steps to resolve a difficult situation or talking about your problems with a trusted friend, getting more sleep and drinking less can improve your mood. A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression.
Symptoms of depression can include some or all of the following:
- a continuous low mood or sadness
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- having low self-esteem
- feeling tearful
- feeling guilt-ridden
- feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- having no motivation or interest in things
- finding it difficult to make decisions
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
- feeling anxious or worried
Read more about the symptoms of depression, including the physical and social effects. Depression can also come on at specific points in your life, such as the winter months (SAD) and after the birth of a child (Postnatal Depression).