How Do You Know If You’re Depressed?



Our Ask a Therapist series gets answers to your questions about mental health from real therapists. Follow @idontmind on Instagram for more and a chance to ask questions of your own.

Today’s therapist is Theresa. She’s a licensed clinical social worker and VP of Policy and Programs at Mental Health America. She also really likes cheese.

Is a therapist the same as a psychiatrist or a psychologist? It not, what’s the difference?

“Therapist” is sort of a broad term that can be a bit confusing as it can apply to many professions — like social workers and counselors. Basically, a therapist is anyone who’s licensed to provide therapy.

Psychologists also provide therapy, but because they have PhDs, some of them do other things like psych testing, research, and consulting.

A psychiatrist is a medical provider that prescribes medication and focuses on your medical care.

How do you know if you’re depressed?

It’s okay to feel sad sometimes. But depression is feeling so sad, irritated, or sluggish that it gets in the way of living the life you want. If you’re not sure, take a mental health screen

How do I overcome the fear of failure?

Unfortunately the best way to overcome the fear of failure is to fail and see that it doesn’t kill you. Just go for it! It may even make you feel stronger.

How do you help a friend with depression who cuts?

Be there. Ask lots of questions. Listen. Don’t jump to giving advice. Find out why they do it. Be honest about how you feel. Show support and love.

And if you’re in a tough spot and feel alone in helping your friend, reach out to someone who can help you.

Getting help for cutting is like getting help for other addictions—it’s hard to do it alone. If your friend is in crisis and needs someone to chat with, text MHA to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor 24/7. And if it’s an emergency, please call 911.

Is crying a good coping mechanism?

Yes, sometimes you just gotta cry. Crying is a natural response to lots of emotions—sadness, anger, feeling overwhelmed. Holding it in is often harder.

But if you’re crying all the time and feel like it’s not a normal amount, you might be struggling with depression. If you’re not sure, take a mental health screen and see if something else is going on.

Follow @idontmind on Instagram for more Ask A Therapist answers and a chance to ask questions of your own.

Content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as medical advice or to replace consultation with your physician or mental health professional.