According to the National Institute on Mental Health, clinical depression is defined as a common but serious mood disorder.
It is natural to feel sad or unhappy in response to loss, disappointment or unwanted changes but this is not necessarily clinical depression. Depending on the circumstances and the individual, these feelings tend to be temporary, normally resolving without any significant intervention and result in a return to ‘feeling normal again.’ However if you find the feelings of sadness are lasting more than two weeks and are beginning to interfere with your sleep, work, study, and ability to enjoy activities you normally find pleasurable you may be experiencing clinical depression and, we recommend you seek professional support.
If you are at risk of harming yourself, please call 911 for help immediately, or go to your nearest emergency room; In the Charlottesville area, you can also call Region Ten at 434-972-1800 any time of day or night.
If you aren’t sure what to say when you call, consider something like, “I haven’t been feeling like myself lately and I think I’d like to talk to a professional about this.” OR “I think I might have depression and I would like help.”