It’s not unusual to feel sad from time to time. Sometimes we feel down because of something that we experience – a disappointment, a break-up, a disagreement with a friend, or a really tragic movie. Sometimes we feel sad and don’t even know why. There are things we can all do to reduce the feelings of sadness in our lives like having a good support network, focusing on positive thoughts or taking care of ourselves.

For some of us, these strategies for dealing with sadness or depression aren’t enough. Ongoing or persistent sadness could be clinical depression - a medical condition that can affect our ability to work, study, interact with people or enjoy our lives. It can be caused by imbalances in brain chemistry. But it can also be triggered by things that happen to us or around us like stress, traumatic events, relationship problems or break-ups, physical illness, or lack of sleep.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between general feelings of sadness and depression. So if you’re worried about yourself or a friend, the best advice is to be proactive and reach out for help. If you’re dealing with depression, the sooner you get support and start treatment…the sooner you’ll feel better.

Check out tips for dealing with depression by clicking on “Feel Better.”