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Walking The Line And Understanding Our Minds

man meets with therapist to gain understanding

“At what point does joy become a mania, sadness becomes depression, apprehension becomes anxiety, fear become a phobia?” asks Jeffrey Kluger, author of “Understanding Our Own Minds” for TIME Magazine. This question is an important one because walking the line between feeling and diagnosis can be a difficult one. This is why it’s important to speak to a professional about your feelings if you think that there is something wrong. You also may be denying the feelings you are having, so it’s important to see a professional if others are worried about you. The fine line may not be so fine after all, says Kluger. Continue reading to learn more.   

“We value imagination but not a hallucination. Yet they’re close kin.”

There are diagnostic criteria that must be met in order for someone to be diagnosed with a disorder. But where does one feeling end and a diagnosis begin? It can be difficult to differentiate and decide when you should reach out for help. Deciding which side of the line you are on – feeling or illness – can be difficult. This is why it’s important to take the advice of those around you, as well as go with your gut. You can reach out to us at Arbor Behavioral Healthcare for more information. We have the tools to help.   

What tools?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is where the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders are housed. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 16 million American adults will have depression every year. But what is the difference between sadness and depression? Here are the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-V for Major Depressive Disorder:  

  • Five or more symptoms (a few of the many are included in this list) that have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning, while at least one of the five symptoms is either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.


    • Depressed most of the day, nearly every day
    • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
    • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
    • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
    • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for death by suicide


  • The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • The episode is not attributable to the psychological effects of a substance or another medical condition.
  • The occurrence of the major depressive episode is not better explained by another psychotic disorder.
  • There has never been a manic or hypomanic episode.


Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you walk the fine line of mental illness and give you the tools to understand yourself. Contact us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to hear from you.