Everyone has good days and bad days, ups and downs. School, parents and relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Things can be great one minute and awful the next. This can feel overwhelming. Everyday sadness can be caused by a loss or a major life change, such as the death of someone you care about, a break-up of a relationship, or the divorce of your parents. But if this unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks and starts to interfere with your life, it might be something more serious.
When people talk about feeling “depressed,” they might mean they’re having a bad day, or they might be talking about clinical depression. The difference between having a bad day and clinical depression is
- how intense the mood is: depression is more intense than a bad mood;
- how long it lasts: a bad mood is usually gone in a few days, but clinical depression lasts two weeks or longer;
- how much it interferes with your life: a bad mood does not keep you from going to school or spending time with friends; depression can keep you from doing these things, and may even make it difficult to get out of bed.