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Am I Truly Depressed?

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Major depressive disorder (MDD) includes symptoms such as a sad mood, loss of interest, weight changes, sleep difficulties, fatigue, diminished self-worth or guilt, trouble thinking or concentrating, and thoughts about death or suicide.

"...up to 60% of those classified as majorly depressed experience some type of sleep abnormality."

You Don't Have to be Sad to be Depressed

Interestingly, according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), one may be depressed without feeling sad. For example, if things you previously enjoyed are not interesting to you anymore, you are having trouble focusing, your sleep patterns have changed, you have gained or lost weight recently, and you find yourself tired more than usual, you may be clinically depressed. Of course, a mental health professional will have to assess individual factors to make a definitive diagnosis. It is beneficial to be aware of any changes in your day to day experience, especially energy levels and sleep which are often markers for depression. In fact, up to 60% of those classified as majorly depressed experience some type of sleep abnormality.

Not All Depression Looks the Same

Other findings on depression have found that it can occur at just about any age and tends to peak in the mid-20’s. Further, depression often looks different depending on age. For example, children who are depressed often show somatic complaints, irritable mood, and withdrawal from others. Adolescents tend to manifest depression in the form of aggressiveness or destructiveness. Adults on the other hand, may experience depression in the form of cognitive problems such as memory loss or distractibility. Finally, your culture may influence how you express your own depression and it may frequently show up in the form of bodily complaints and fatigue.

Why Does it Matter?

Knowledge of the symptoms of depression and awareness that one can be depressed without feeling sad is important for seeking appropriate care and intervening before conditions get worse and experiencing further risks: substance abuse, physical health consequences, and elevated suicide risk.


If you are experiencing severe emotional distress and suicidal thoughts the following toll-free hotline is available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline).

If you are interested in treatment for symptoms related to depression, contact Dr. Razo today for a free 30-minute consultation.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental

disorders : dsm-5 (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association.

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