Psychology. Depression or depression: do you know the difference?

“Over time and events, each of us experiences a whole range of feelings, from the saddest to the most optimistic, notes the Ministry of Health. Within this wide range of emotions, sadness, discouragement and despair represent normal human experiences. »

So being depressed is normal? Well yes: this momentary drop in morale can be caused by life events or even by a drop in light. This is called the winter blues.

But “depression is a temporary state that does not require medical treatment”, specifies the Quebec association Ecoute-Entraide. So “if you feel depressed for more than 15 days, you may be experiencing depression,” she continues.

Duration and intensity of symptoms

Indeed, what distinguishes, among other things, depression from depression is the duration of the symptoms. “Much more intense and profound than depression, depression is an illness that affects the moral and the physical,” emphasizes Ecoute-Entraide.

Symptoms include unrelenting sadness, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, loss of hope, and suicidal ideation.

According to the definition of the Ministry of Health, “to be able to speak of depression, and therefore of disease, it is necessary:

  • that these mood disturbances are multiple and well characterized;
  • that they manifest themselves (almost) permanently for a period of more than two weeks;
  • that they cause significant discomfort in one or more areas of daily life (difficulty or inability to get up, go to work, go out shopping, etc.).

A widespread disease

And don’t think it only happens to others. Or that it stems from a weakness of character.

Depression is a common disease in the world, since it is estimated that 3.8% of the population is affected, including 5% of adults and 5.7% of people over 60 years old. According to the World Health Organization, about 280 million people worldwide suffer from it.

If you think you suffer from it, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

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