It’s never easy to ask for help, but sometimes we need to reach out to better our quality of life. If you’re suffering from depression, your quality of life is not what it should be. No one should have to suffer just because they don’t know to or want to ask for help. When I use the term “quality of life”, I mean functioning daily and finding joy in things that you once did. Getting on with a healthy life. I spent some time working as a case manager/care coordinator (when I was getting my MSW) with hospice patients and the focus was always on “quality of life” (as it is with most cancer patients as well). If “end of life care” means to keep someone as happy and fulfilled as they can be, why are not all people able to feel joy and “quality of life”?
When you have “the blues” or are feeling down in general, you might want to consider whether or not there has been a trigger for this mood change. Has someone passed recently? (Even within the last 6 months. Sometimes we remain in denial for a long time before we feel the actual “depression” part of the loss.) Grief is a big trigger for the blues, anniversaries of death dates, break-ups, loss of a job, etc. So is a change in the seasons, which can be Seasonal Affective Disorder so that might be a reason to seek out an assessment to rule that out.
Depression, on the other hand, is something that interferes with work, marriage or relationship, relationships with children, and every other facet of your life. This is the defining difference between having the blues and being clinically depressed. The depression interferes with most day-to-day functions, absenteeism from work, difficulty getting out of bed, lack of sleep or too much sleep, feeling sluggish, etc. Clinical depression lasts longer than having the blues. It is something that should be assessed and, likely, treated.