Depression vs. Languishing

sad man looking out window Depression is an extremely prevalent mental illness—7% of individuals in the United States are diagnosed with depression every year. That is approximately 18 million people in the United States. It is likely you or someone you know has experienced depression; however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have experience symptoms they may confuse for depression.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's Oleg Tarkovsky, Director of Behavioral Health Services, recently spoke with WBAL TV’s Jen Franciotti for National Depression Awareness month to discuss the difference between clinical depression and simply feeling down—the term for this is called languishing.

“Depression is a major mental illness. Typically, the most common symptoms of depression are profound sadness and low mood. Often people lose joy in activities that typically bring them joy.”

Oleg Tarkovsky, Director of Behavioral Health Services for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Simply feeling down is called languishing, where people lose motivation, are unfocused and easy tasks become more complex. It may be difficult to truly tell the difference between the two, and one can lead to the other very easily.

Tarkovsky stresses the importance of seeking help and seeing a health professional for an accurate diagnosis if your mental health is ever a concern. We must collectively work together to end the stigma around seeking help—even if you are currently experiencing what has been defined as languishing versus depression.

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