How Does Depression Differ from Occasional Sadness?

Everyone feels sad or "blue" on occasion. It is also perfectly normal to grieve over upsetting life experiences, such as a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job, or a divorce. But, for most people, these feelings of grief and sadness tend to lessen with the passing of time.However, if a person's feelings of sadness last for two weeks or longer, and if they interfere with daily life activities, something more serious than "feeling blue" may be going on. Depressed individuals tend to feel helpless and hopeless and tend to blame themselves for having these feelings. People who are depressed may become overwhelmed and exhausted and may stop participating in their routine activities. They may withdraw from family and friends. Some may even have thoughts of death or suicide.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

Most individuals experience periods of mild anxiety, especially in relation to obligations, deadlines, and other everyday life situations, such as driving in traffic. Mild anxiety is a normal part of life and includes things like worrying, tension, and agitation. Research has indicated that mild anxiety is beneficial, because it heightens awareness and alertness. For some individuals, feelings of anxiety are more intense, prolonged, and debilitating – causing serious disruptions in normal functioning. Psychotherapy is effective in treating all forms of anxiety – from mild to severe.

There are many forms of Anxiety that can become Anxiety Disorders.The five most common (according to the National Institute of Mental Health) are:

  • Panic Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Social Phobia

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • General Anxiety Disorder