Feeling Bogged Down? Learn More About Quarantine Blues vs. Depression


Alright, have the Quarantine Blues got you feeling bogged down? The work from home life has lost its novelty and you may be asked to work more hours or you have lost your job completely, and you may have noticed you have been feeling more down.

You may be experiencing the Quarantine Blues. Feeling sad, down, or worried is part of being human, especially when you have experienced grief, loss, or a similar event. Our emotions are hard-wired in our brain and actually serve us a purpose- to survive! ☺️😡☹️😍😩Our emotions allow us to be creative, passionate, grieve a loss when we’re sad, get upset when our goal is blocked, or feel happy when we have accomplished something that is important to us. We are starting to see the mental health impacts that are a result of the pandemic.

I was just watching “The Last Dance” on ESPN, the limited 10 session series on Michael Jordan’s career with the Bulls. I was in awe of Michael Jordan’s talent on the basketball court. What is echoed in the series is that throughout his career, his dedication to the game was unparalleled and unbeatable. When a player tested his limits, Michael Jordan came back stronger and with more vengeance. His emotions of anger and pride led him to work and train harder than any other player on the court. His emotions (and maybe a bit of thinking!) led him to be one of the best basketball players in the world.

Okay- so emotions are pretty important. But, sometimes our emotions can impact us in a negative way so much so that our sleep schedules are off, concentrating seems much more difficult, and eating patterns are off (eating more or less than compared to what’s typical) . If your emotions are getting you feel more down than normal because of the pandemic, you are probably experiencing the Quarantine Blues. If you are experiencing the blues, check out these blog posts to try out some new coping skills (Coping Skill #1, Coping Skill #2, Coping Skill #3, Coping Skill #4).

However, If these symptoms are interfering with your work, sleep, and home life, you are probably experiencing depression. Major Depressive Disorder is a diagnosis in the DSM-5, basically the big book of mental health and psychiatric disorders (see chart below to distinguish between the Quarantine Blues and Depression). While the Quarantine Blues may leave you feeling down, you are more likely to recover naturally. Once the situation resolves, those who are experiencing the “blues” likely recover rather quickly. Getting therapy for the “blues” can be super helpful and offer you with support.

If you meet five of the nine criteria for depression for more than two weeks that causes significant distress or interferes with your life, then you may meet criteria for Major Depressive Disorder. If you do not meet all five of the criteria needed, but the symptoms are interfering with your life, then you may be experiencing an Adjustment Disorder with depressed mood. It is important to know when treatment would be helpful. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder or an Adjustment Disorder can be super effective! If you want to learn more about CBT, check out my blog post here.