There is a difference between feeling sad and having depression. Sadness is a normal response to disappointment, loss, endings, etc. People who are depressed are sad, but their sadness is present more often than not and can affect social, occupational, and other areas of functioning. A person with depression may also cry a lot, feel angry or irritable, and have frequent and vague physical complaints, such as headaches, muscle aches, and stomach upset.
Please answer "Yes" or "No" if you have engaged in or experienced any of the following over the past two weeks on a fairly consistent basis.
- Felt bad or down most of the time?
- Felt irritable or on edge?
- Lost interest in activities I used to enjoy?
- Felt tired most of the day on a frequent basis?
- Slept too much or unable to sleep most nights?
- Had trouble concentrating?
- Felt anxious, restless, or lethargic?
- Felt worthless, hopeless, or helpless?
- Experienced aches, muscle pain, or stomach problems?
- Had frequent thoughts of death or dying?
If you answered "Yes" to 5 or more of these, then you might be experiencing depression. If you are concerned about your mood, please seek medical and/or psychological support. If you are a Vanderbilt faculty or staff member, you can start by calling Work/Life Connections – EAP at (615) 936-1327 for a free, confidential assessment.
Please consult the Vanderbilt Health and Wellness Resource Library for more information on Depression. You can also access other online screening instruments through the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Association.