Depression is a clinical diagnosis that requires a licensed professional to test for. It’s important to note that depression isn’t just one thing. It’s not just immense feelings of sadness or emptiness. There are many factors that professionals consider before providing a final diagnosis.

“Feeling empty alone does not automatically mean it is depression,” says board-certified psychiatrist Pia Quimson-Guevarra, D.O. “However, if you feel empty along with other symptoms such as having a sad or depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, decreased interest or pleasure in activities, weight changes, fatigue, concentration difficulties, sleeping difficulties, subjective feelings of moving or thinking slower or faster, or thoughts of death or suicide, it could be depression.”

If you suspect you may be dealing with depression, consider finding a therapist who can support you in managing your symptoms. If you are considering harming yourself or someone else, call 9-8-8 (in the U.S.) to be connected with confidential support from the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or text HOME to 741741 to get connected to Crisis Text Line.

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