To ask, “what is depression?” might sound like a silly question, but let’s really think about this for a moment. “Depression” is an overused term these days, to say the least. We hear it so often, it has become so vague it’s nearly lost its meaning. What does depression feel like? How do I know if I’m depressed? I feel sad sometimes, am I depressed? These are questions you may have asked yourself. One of the problems with identifying depression is that we have been programmed to believe that if we don’t always feel happy we are depressed.
There is a big difference between being sad and being depressed. There is also a big difference between having depression and being in a state of depression. Sometimes feeling sad is the appropriate reaction to an emotional setback. It’s not healthy to just be happy all of the time, because if you were that way, it would mean you are ignoring real tragedies and setbacks when they occur. It is also normal to enter a state of depression after a major emotional setback, such as the loss of a loved one. It would be typical for you to feel depressed for a longer than usual period of time immediately proceeding such an event.
We all feel depressed from time to time, but that does not mean you have depression or that you are a depressed person. This is how the National Library of Medicine defines depression:
“True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.”
When we are talking about depression in a serious way, this is what we are talking about. If your feelings of sadness, anger, mental anguish, etc. are interfering with your ability to function as a human being, you have depression. That’s not to say you can’t be a depressed person and still experience a wide range of emotions. You don’t have to be depressed literally all of the time to have depression, but if you find that you continuously experience moods or bouts of depression that are interfering with your normal life, then you are suffering from depression to some degree.
Luckily, meditation can do wonders for depression. Please continue to follow my blog so you can learn more about how meditation can help with depression.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.