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Depression vs. the Blues

It can be difficult to differentiate depression from a normal episode of "the blues." Everyone experiences the blues because of troubling events such as the loss of a loved one, job difficulties, money problems, family issues or illness. Most cases of the blues disappear quickly and do not prevent us from finding enjoyment. The key component of depression is that the pervasive feeling of sadness exists most days for a period of two weeks. Take the self-assessment quiz and see.

Such normal emotional reactions to stressful events often are diagnosed as grief (loss of a loved one) or an adjustment disorder (emotional reaction to a clearly identified source of stress, such as relationship, job or financial issues). With or without treatment, these feelings typically improve. Treatment may be helpful in developing healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with the source of grief or stress. In severe cases, these episodes could lead to major depression.

If it is a bad case of the blues, consider seeking professional help if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Mar 2015
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.