April 22, 2024

Mild Depression – It’s Worse than it Sounds

It may be hard to convince a person dealing with mild depression that they’re in better shape than a person who has been diagnosed with a more serious case of depression.   Although the medical community may consider a person’s depression as mild for the depressed person it can still be a very difficult condition to have for the individuals affected.  Additionally, it is hard for a person dealing with any form of depression to see there are any positives in their situation as it is the nature of the condition.

Because it is in a less severe state, mild depression is often labeled as an emotional or psychological disturbance when in fact it is not.

The Symptoms of Mild Depression

You may notice that the symptoms below are some of the same symptoms one would see for a more serious form of depression.  This makes sense since the difference between mild depression and, say, chronic depression has more to do with the duration and severity of the symptoms than the symptoms themselves.

Some of the symptoms associated with mild depression include:

Feeling hopeless and sad

Often unable to put the finger on exactly why, the mildly depressed seem to have a cloud of sadness covering them.  There is also an accompanying feeling of hopelessness and a person typically feels alone or as if they are the only person in the world who can’t find happiness.   In men this can oftentimes manifests as irritability.

Low energy

A person who is mildly depressed often reports feeling more tired than usual.  It is a literal slowing down of the self where one physically feels they are unable to do the things they were once able to do.  People may feel like they don’t have the energy for sex or even less intense activities like showering.

Sleep patterns change

With mild depression one might find they are sleeping more than they usually would.  The opposite side of the spectrum could also be a case where a person is actually having a problem sleeping and does so less hours per night than is normal for them.

Appetite change

It is common to see people who do not eat enough and who eat too much when they have a mild form of depression.  Food may become a way to try and feed an emotional need, in which case a person will eat in excess; or, a person may be so completely wrapped up in feeling down that they lose interest in food altogether.

Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed

Often others will notice that a person is a lot less social, which is another common symptom of the disease.  A mildly depressed person may still attend to their commitments, like work and caring for their family; but often these people will begin to decline attendance at any other extracurricular activities they previously enjoyed.  Creative people may experience a lack of inspiration or a physically fit person may suddenly lack the motivation to exercise.

Problems concentrating

Another common symptom found in people who suffer from mild depression is their inability to focus for any length of time.  Unfortunately, this symptom often impacts both the personal and work life in a number of ways.

Causes of Mild Depression

Now that we’ve talked about some of the main symptoms of mild depression, let’s take a look at what some possible causes are.  Keep in mind, some people are affected by more than one of the causes listed below, making them even more prone to depression.

Hormonal and/or chemical imbalance

Those “feel good” chemicals in the body that are essential to us all seem to be unusually low in people who are depressed (even in mild cases).  Chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norapinephrine are all neurotransmitters found within the brain and if their levels are too low, can lead to depression.

Loss of a loved one

When someone dies, the loved ones left behind are the ones who suffer.  This suffering, for some, can be enough to categorize a person as suffering from mild depression.  When something so tragic happens, expected or unexpected, it is not hard for grief to spiral quickly out of control and morph into depression.

Major life changes

Becoming handicapped, getting divorce, having “empty nest” syndrome and the sudden loss of a job would all be examples of important major life events which could happen to provoke change a person isn’t prepared for; this is often a major cause of depression.  When these events occur, an extended period of sadness can turn into a person becoming “stuck” in their life unable to move past the event.

Surprisingly, some of these major life changes may not seem to naturally lead to a depressive state – such as the case with normally ‘happy’ occasions such as a wedding but even ‘happy’ major life changes can contribute to a depressed state.

Family History

Some people are genetically predisposed to being diagnosed with mild depression.  Gender can also be included under this category because women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as their male counterparts.  Unfortunately, a person cannot choose their gender or the family they are born into.

mild depressionTreatment for Mild Depression

There are some treatments which have proven very effective in treating this particular form of depression.  As one might imagine, since this is about mild depression, some of the more severe treatment options are typically not necessary.

The following is what a person affected by mild depression can expect as far treatment options:

Individual or group therapy

Talking out feelings with a professional and possibly others who share their pain in some way can be useful.  Often people are able to identify with others as stories are shared with one another and a licensed therapist is able to help them work through whatever issues are causing the depression.

Change in lifestyle

A physician may ask a patient to do something as simple as begin an exercise regimen.  This combined with teaching the patient ways to create more positive thought patterns can be very effective in treating mild depression.


While it is not likely that a person with mild depression will be prescribed medication as treatment without other options first being considered, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  Because each case is different, it will be up to a physician to determine if medication is appropriate for a particular patient in treating a mild case of depression (a patient can get a 2nd opinion if they are uncertain).


Mild depression, though not as severe as other forms of the disease, must still be properly addressed and treated if it is to be eliminated from a person’s life.  Any person suffering from this form of depression also needs to seek treatment to avoid it becoming a more serious form of depression.


Related Posts

Clinical Depression

Severe Depression

Types of Depression

Reactive Depression

Causes of Depression