Explore By Topic: Depression

Depression is both a feeling and a mental health condition. It’s important to understand the difference and use sensitivity when talking about your experiences with sadness or clinical depression.

Need to Know

Clinical depression is more than just being in a bad mood or feeling sad temporarily.

The biggest difference is how long it lasts and how much it affects your life.

To be diagnosed with depression, someone must have symptoms for more than two weeks.

Various factors contribute to depression, including genetics, biological differences, brain chemistry, trauma, and significant life events.

Symptoms of depression include sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, changes in sleep and appetite, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is linked with increased risk for substance misuse and suicide, so it’s important to reach out for help.

Treatment for depression can include talk therapy, medication, and self-care practices such as exercise and meditation.

Things to Avoid

Avoid using “depressed” or “depression” to describe feelings or emotions. Consider terms such as “sadness” or “feeling blue” instead.

Don’t jump to conclusions about yourself or someone else having depression. If you’re feeling low, consider saying, “I’ve been really down lately, and I’m planning to reach out for help.”

Don’t take online mental health quizzes or list off symptoms in a checklist format.

Try not to oversimplify the cause of depression. Clinical depression is usually a mix of causes, and it can be unhelpful to your audience to imply it’s caused by a single life event.

When sharing personal depression treatment, avoid naming specific medications to decrease the chance of someone self-medicating. Stick to terms such as “medication,” “antidepressant,” or “treatment.”

Your Opportunity

Remind your followers that speaking up for help is a sign of strength and an important part of feeling your best.

Sometimes people don’t speak up or reach out for help because they’re afraid they’ll be judged if they’re diagnosed with depression. Share examples of people being supportive and understanding.

When sharing self-care or treatment strategies that have helped you cope with depression, mention that the experience is different for everyone and encourage people to reach out to a professional.

Share resources with your followers who may be struggling with depression or other mental health challenges.


The Jed Foundation →

Visit JED’s Resource Center to learn more about depression and sadness.

Mental Health is Health →

Get info, tips, and resources from Mental Health is Health

Dial 988 Hotline →

Dial 988 for a free conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.

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