This expression may also refer to as a state of melancholia, sadness, unhappiness, or relatively a downturn in mood that may last only for hours or days.

Generally, depression can be quite distinct from clinical depression.

However, if the same mood persist for at least two weeks and is accompanied with other symptoms that obstruct the normal daily routine, it may be diagnosed as clinical depression or dysthymia.

It may also be other diagnosable mental illness, or as sub-syndromal depression, alternatively. In psychiatry, the term depression may mean several things like hopeless, discouraged, sad, or “down in the dumps”.

Several stimuli may trigger a depressed mood. This could possibly be caused by job loss, death of a loved one, graduation, change of residence, break-up of a significant relationship, or divorce are just a few of them.

Determinants of One’s Mood


The most common and obvious causes of depression are reactions to events, usually a loss.

The loss may be clear, like the death of a close friend, a family member or a loved one. It may also be less obvious such as a significant disappointment for example when someone fails to keep a promise which may cause a discouraged feeling.

Routines that cause boredom and loneliness may also cause depression. Financial problems, disputes or the feeling that the lives of others are more successful and significant are great and common contributors of a depressed mood.

Also, the inability to share one’s feeling with others and to have them considered acceptable by other people may be a way for feeling unexplainable grief and sadness.

Adaptive Benefits

While situation like this may seem to be a burden, it may also have adaptive benefits.

The loss of any loved ones such as a child, a friend, or a spouse, any physical illness or disorder or lifestyle tends to result to a depressed feeling.

This mood is adaptive because it makes the sufferer change his ways of living, thoughts, and lifestyle, if not, his agony will continue unless he does so.

Arguments continue about depression and clinical depression is the refusal of one person to start a change from within him and his own mind.

For instance, if one has encountered a death of a loved one, he must let go and later on continue to live his life with the world and other relations.

Depression also leads the person to engage in self reflection. During this time, the individual must look for a means to interpret his feelings and thoughts.