Depression, neurosis, bad mood – how to distinguish?

Depression became a fashionable word. We, without hesitation, say “I’m depressed”, it’s only the mood to go down. In fact, between a bad mood and depression there is a huge difference. If the first is a transitory condition, then the second is a serious illness. How to understand, is it time to go to the doctor? We learn to distinguish just a decline in strength and a bad mood from depression, and depression from neurosis and neurasthenia.


A bad mood is a normal state of a person. You can not always be happy with yourself and with life: from time to time, any person experiences attacks of bad mood, depression or depression. The only problem is that outwardly the depression is very similar to the most banal bad mood.

So, in either case, everything around is seen in black light or, on the contrary, it seems gray and hopeless, there is a tearfulness, irritability. How can we find out what this is? Let’s try to understand on our site

In fact, it is quite easy to distinguish a low mood from depression – it’s much easier than to distinguish depression from a neurosis.

A low mood always depends on circumstances from outside. But depression always depends on the internal state. External circumstances of life can only provoke depression in the very beginning, but do not affect it in any way – they do not strengthen or weaken.

Also understand what you have, you can with a simple test: you have to imagine that the external circumstances have changed. For example, there was a lot of money, a long-awaited vacation. If these thoughts cause a change in mood, bright thoughts appear, then there is simply a temporary deterioration in mood. With true depression, no pleasant external changes cause any movement of the soul.

With a bad mood, human aggression is aimed at the world, with depression – on themselves. People who are depressed are inclined to engage in self-flagellation and self-blame. In a person who is simply in a bad mood, self-esteem does not suffer and does not change to the low side.

With a bad mood, as well as with depression, there are problems with sleep. But with a low mood, it is difficult to fall asleep. The very same dream is quite full. With depression, the quality of sleep changes, it becomes superficial, intermittent, not carrying rest. With depression, there are seasonal exacerbations. In the morning a person may feel worse than in the evening. With a low mood, the person feels worse by the evening.

The most important is the duration of the symptom. Bad mood does not last long. If it lasts more than two weeks without any changes, it means that it is a depressive condition.

With depression, it becomes difficult for a person to adequately assess themselves, external circumstances, reality as a whole. It is characterized by a triad – a persistent drop in mood, motor and mental retardation. This manifests itself in apathy or anxiety, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in controlling thoughts, fatigue, weakness, lack of appetite. Depression is characterized by the inability to enjoy life and refuse to communicate (unwillingness to communicate, difficulties in communication, inability to support the conversation). In severe cases, physical symptoms are added to the physical manifestations – problems with the gastrointestinal tract, frustration of the work of many organs.

It is easiest to distinguish between moderate and severe depression from a bad mood. At the same time, all signs of depression are so pronounced that it is almost impossible to make a mistake. But the mild depression looks like a bad mood: the person does not like anything, but the working capacity is almost normal, and even there are improvements in the condition.

Depression can be of a different nature, and therefore treatment is required in many ways. If this condition is caused by a violation of biochemical processes in the brain, then long-term medication with antidepressants will be required. A poor mood of treatment does not require: you need to remove the stress factor, and sometimes just get enough sleep or go on vacation. With depression, no vacation will help improve the condition.


Neurosis also manifests itself in a depressed and anxious state. Therefore, it can easily be confused with depression. Exercise exercises for endurance and speed. Especially with anxious depression, when a person is not apathetic, but unduly worried. A variety of neurosis, many physicians consider neurasthenia, which is a severe exhaustion of the nervous system.

Only an expert can make an accurate diagnosis here. But an ordinary person can still distinguish depression from a neurosis in a number of ways.

It is important to keep track of where the changes in human behavior began. Neurosis is always caused by external causes. Depression, even with strong external causes, is caused by internal ones.

The neurotic reaction is often shorter. Depression is long-term – if left untreated, it lasts for months and years, leading to suicidal syndrome. Neurosis rarely causes thoughts about suicide.

For neurosis, other symptoms are common, with which people often go to doctors of various specialties. These include fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, palpitations of an unclear nature, pain in the heart, sweating, anxiety, trembling fingers, stomach pain, intestinal disorders.

For neuroses the condition of an awakening, fear is peculiar. Thus the person can test absolutely different fears which number is multiplied. The most frequent ones are fear of death, fear for loved ones, fear of getting a heart attack, stroke, cancer, fear of height, street, people. At fear before dialogue the person is afraid to communicate with people, but feels need for it. With depression, a person does not feel the need for communication. With depression, fears are rarely disturbed – a person is not afraid of either his life or the lives of others.

There are many kinds of neuroses. It is for them that obsessive states are characteristic that can prevent a person from living a full life.

Another difference – with neurosis, taking antidepressants does not lead to relief, because there are no violations of biochemical reactions in the brain. Help with neurosis can be psychotherapy and sedatives.


Distinguish neurotic reactions from psychoses can be quite simple, although often a neurotic may not look quite healthy adequate person. Indeed, some obsessive rituals such as endless washing of hands, cleaning, manic lining of dishes in a certain order, recounting objects, can cause the assumption of big problems.

But a person suffering from neurosis or neurotic reactions, realizes the presence of the problem and understands that his behavior prevents him from living. He can be aware of the connection of his behavior with the outside world, understands that his behavior is caused by external causes, and tries to eliminate them. Patients with neurosis understand the need for treatment and they themselves turn to specialists for help. Neuroses are reversible, that is, they are quite simply cured completely.

Psychosis is a persistent mental disorder, in which a person perceives himself and the world inadequately. Man does not control himself and lives in a different reality. Here, hallucinations, illusions, obsessive delirium, personality changes, memory disorders and behavior can be noted. At a psychosis the person does not consider, that requires the help, and even can aggressively perceive any treatment. He does not treat himself critically.

Psychosis begins imperceptibly, personality changes occur gradually, the problem grows over a long time. Neurosis often begins in a very specific way and one can even track what kind of event provoked it. Neurosis never goes into psychosis, so do not be afraid of it.

You can heal neurosis, psychosis is very difficult to treat.


Neurasthenia is an easy kind of neurosis caused by stress and overwork. Prolonged overfatigue of the nervous system leads to its exhaustion. There is a so-called nervous breakdown, and neurasthenia develops.

It is characterized by rapid fatigue, mental and physical, weakness, insomnia, apathy. Very often irritability develops, and the most innocuous things such as laughter or phone calls can irritate and cause attacks of anger. When neurasthenia is difficult to focus on one thing.

If the problem goes too far, then tearfulness develops. A person suffering from neurasthenia can cry completely without cause: tears can cause sharp sounds, a bell at the door, a bright light.

Unlike depression and neurosis, neurasthenia is treated quite easily. But here in the first place it is important to strengthen the nervous system, which requires long rest and stress elimination. It is necessary to change the way of life: the best way is not drugs, but walking, running, water procedures, especially swimming, full sleep and good nutrition with an abundance of vitamins. With neurasthenia, simple sedatives, such as valerian, motherwort, help well.

So, a bad mood is a sign of many diseases. Feeling that the world has lost its colors, one must listen to oneself and understand what caused the decay and bad mood. And this, in turn, will help in time to turn to the right specialist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *