Definition of Depression - What is depression?

According to the definition of depression is:

  • A State of feeling sad
  • A mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide.

So the 1st part of the definition of depression says that depression can simply be a state of feeling sad, while the 2nd part of the definition defines it as a mood disorder.

There are 2 different uses of the word, of course. We often will say “I’m feeling depressed” even if we’re not truly experiencing depression as a mood disorder, but rather just feeling sad or down about something. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the difference between the 2. If you think you may be depressed, take the depression test for additional insight.

Remember, if you are feeling symptoms of depression you need to speak with a professional. The tests made available on this site are not intended to diagnose or evaluate depression.

Simply feeling sad can certainly lead to a deeper state of depression but it doesn’t have to and it doesn’t mean that we have a mood disorder.

Sometimes I think its easy for us to fall into a deeper state of depression because when we are feeling sad about a specific event in our lives, its natural to answer questions negatively when we normally would answer them positively.

When something has us feeling down, stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, or any other negative emotion, its natural to feel more pessimism and view everything with “the glass half empty” glasses on.

When feelings of depression come creeping in its important to maintain as much control as possible over your own emotions and take every effort to turn negative feelings into positive ones, as quickly as possible. Anyone who’s ever gone thru depression knows it’s a slippery slope. One minute you’re making a negative comment about something trivial, and the next you find yourself sliding down a path of negative thoughts, breeding more negative emotion, and this is how depression can start.