Are You Depressed or Just Moody? You Can Be Both

May 17, 2024 Mahevash Shaikh

People, I feel wrongly, assume that you are either depressed or moody. When I was a teenager, I used to get frequent mood swings. At this age, I would also get episodes of depression. Unfortunately, I was labeled moody, and this was one of the primary reasons I was diagnosed with depression in my twenties. Honestly, I believe this is pretty common: depression and moodiness are considered mutually exclusive. However, according to personal experience, a person can experience both depression and moodiness.

Signs of Moodiness; Signs of Depression

Do you often experience rapid emotional changes? If you feel angry one minute and sad the next due to a minor inconvenience or for seemingly no reason, you might call this moodiness. I'd say that moodiness or mood swings are all about experiencing unpredictable, intense feelings; I know this because I have been moody for years.  

When you feel persistently sad, empty, or hopeless for at least two weeks and meet additional criteria, you have officially crossed over from moody to clinically depressed. Note that there are various types of depression, with each type having its unique diagnostic criteria. From what I have seen in myself and others, depression is a lot more severe than moodiness and also lasts longer.

You Can Be Both Moody and Depressed

Take it from me: it is possible to be a moody person who also gets depressed from time to time. Moodiness is a mood, and at the end of the day, depression is a mood disorder. It can be hard to distinguish between moodiness and depression, so it's best to consult a licensed mental health professional to know whether you are moody, depressed, or both. 

Whatever you do, don't make the same mistake as me and the people in my life by assuming that depression and moodiness are mutually exclusive. If you find yourself asking if you are depressed or just moody, know that you can be both. What's more, moodiness and depression can even co-occur and amplify each other.

It's high time we stop labeling an individual with mood swings as moody without considering that they might also be depressed. The consequences of doing so can be severe because moodiness is an emotion, and depression is a mental illness. Incorrect self-diagnosis can prevent a person from getting diagnosed with depression and seeking the professional help they need to cope with it. If you or someone you know struggles with mood swings and prolonged sadness, make sure you consult a professional. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2024, May 17). Are You Depressed or Just Moody? You Can Be Both, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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