People are going to disagree, actually, on what constitutes depression. Pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists have spread the view that if you think negatively for two weeks you are depressed. But that's probably not true. There's a difference between sadness and down periods in life, which everyone gets, and depression, which is a chronic illness that can come and go but when it's there it's really there and life gets very hard to cope with. It also depends on whether there's a reason for feeling sad. In your case, because you've had several bouts of this that lasted, it very well might be depression. But the fact it goes away when you're on vacation makes it sound as if there's something maybe going on in school that is bothering you. It's something to think about. But the label isn't really that important -- if you feel unhappy that long and it affects you that much, what could it hurt to see a therapist? What does it matter if it technically is depression or isn't? And why would it be your fault if it isn't depression? Life isn't a contest, it's just life. Feeling down isn't blameworthy, it's just unpleasant. To me you have two choices: see what happens, or start therapy now. Either way, therapy isn't a jail sentence, it's a conversation. Peace.
A therapist could help identify what things or lack of things make you depressed. Could help in identifying those things, then you'll know what to work on.
It's very common what you describe. It's not good, people should not feel that way. It can be a sign something needs to change, and a therapist can help identify what those things are.
Also you're at an age where developing depression is common. We like to get those people to a therapist as early as possible, as data shows the long term outcome is better the earlier they get help.
And it's common for a depressed person to have periods of being less depressed, and then periods of being more depressed.
Best wishes i hope someone better than me can help sort this out for you. Therapists love what they do they love talking with people and helping them.
You sound smart. What I've found is that it is pretty normal to have times of 'the blues'. Where we are bummed out, kind of want to withdraw a bit and aren't our happiest. I would be almost everyone has periods of time like that. It's not fun but it's the ups and downs of life. I don't know if you are male or female but you have a ton going on right now with hormones changing, school demands, peer demands. It's a lot to deal with. Sometimes recharging our batteries like you do during a 'break' is helpful. Pressure of school is less, you aren't in the mix of academic frenzy and managing socially and can just relax. This may be why that is a mood lifter.
Clinical depression is a bit different. This is when you really aren't functioning very well. Everything is literally a chore from just getting up in the morning and facing your day. You can be very hopeless with no image of things getting better, ever. Sleep can be difficult. Too much or too little. There is a whole criteria. Doctors have this questionnaire and they can ask you. Be really honest if you are assessed in this way.
As to therapy? Well, I think almost anyone can benefit from someone caring to talk to. It doesn't have to mean anything is wrong with you or you have some big diagnosis to have someone understand where you are coming from. Coping skills on the hard days are important to learn and a therapist can help you with that. So, I don't think this hurts. But can sure help.
Hang in there. To me, you sound pretty normal for your age and very introspective which will take you very far in life.
Whether it's depression or stress.... a therapist can help.
I’m going to agree w/ ev1 else here - I don’t see how seeing a therapist could do any harm. Also, altho it’s normal to have ‘down’ periods, the fact that yours have lasted quite awhile & you’ve had them on multiple occasions makes me think it’s a little more concerning than than just the normal ‘blues’. Even tho things seem better when you’re on break, you know you’ll be facing the same pressures once break is over, so it’s quite likely the depressed feeling could return. I just have the feeling this might not go away on its own, so I think you should keep your app’t with the therapist. Good luck to you & please check back in at some point & let us know how you’re doing...