What are you feeling? Depressed or perhaps just “down”?

I need to make some things clear.  I use the word “depression” a lot. That’s because that’s the main focus of this blog

However, remember that depression has to meet certain criteria to be called depression.

 I hear people use the word “depression” far too easily They have a few bad days and they label it as depression.

 We shouldn’t diminish a serious condition that many people battle by referring to “being depressed” when what we really are is just “down”.


I have not referred to my moods once in these past fifteen years as depression. I say I’m feeling a little down or if it goes on for a few days I will say I’m going through a rough patch. Remember, I know what it feels like to be clinically depressed (meaning needing some outside intervention) and while I’ve been anxious, fearful, worried, “down”, I have not been depressed these last fifteen years and I’m careful to make that distinction.

For one thing, if you label yourself as depressed you might actually find yourself there if you keep using the word “depression”. A couple of weeks ago, I had some very “low mood” days for almost a week. It was while we were at the cabin and it is highly unusual for me to be anything but happy when I’m there. I have to be honest, I was afraid. I was worried I might be heading down that dark path of depression after so many years.

About a week prior, I had had to take my husband to the Emergency Room and he had to spend the night. Because he’s had open heart surgery, that’s the first place hospital staff go in their thinking. As it turned out, he was fine. MIght have just been heat, exhaustion, and dehydration.

I had handled it really well.

Or so I thought.

But I think it bothered me a lot more than I realized. I’m sure Satan used that to trigger those bad days. Plus, I had not been sleeping well either. The one thing I’ve learned is that three or four days of not sleeping well is very bad for me. I had not put two and two together. I got through it but it was really scary.

During that week, I was reminded of how awful depression is and why I started this blog. I want my followers to know I understand. Not because of head knowledge, but because of heart knowledge. I’ve been there.

If you are reading this blog and you are going through depression now (meaning a medical professional has diagnosed it as such)  take hope. This is a a totally treatable and manageable illness. It might take a while, depending on your course of treatment, before you get better, but:

You will get better.

And if you’re simply having some bad days, (unless it goes on for at least two weeks and unless you fall within the guidelines for a diagnosis, it’s not depression), watch how you describe it.

The words we use have a powerful impact on our mental well-being. We hear ourselves speak them, they enter our mind and they reinforce how we’re feeling so try not to refer to yourself as depressed. Think of a different word, a more accurate word.

Summer is hard for some people, especially those who suffer from low moods or depression. There are various reasons cited:

  • The days are long.
  •  It’s hot.
  • Everyone seems to be having family reunions, having fun, taking trips, etc.
  • You feel the pressure to look like you’re having fun.
  • You have to wear a barthing suit. 🙂

My mom always had a hard time with summer. She preferred winter because she could justify sleeping more which was one of her coping mechanisms for managing her depression. It worked for her.

I hope this post helped you differentiate between a few bad days and a serious case of depression. Remember, depression is serious and won’t just go away after a few bad days. A low mood will.

God bless you where you are today.

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