There isn’t a certain threshold someone needs to reach before seeking professional help. As is the case with most medical conditions, depression affects people to varying degrees. When I was a teen, I was self-aware enough to know that my sadness and hopelessness wasn’t typical, but the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a stranger. Plus, committing to therapy felt like something only people with “real” problems would pursue.
In fact, plenty of people with depression appear to be just fine. They put on a happy face, get up, go to work, and do what they have to do. This type of high-functioning depression can sometimes make it even harder for people to get the help they need. "It’s hard to spot precisely because the people dealing with it look, from the outside, like they’re holding it all together," writes Annie Wright, founder and clinical director of Evergreen Counseling in Berkeley, CA. "This can lead to a lack of ability to self-identify (or have those around you identify you) as depressed and, moreover, a possible resistance to seeking treatment because of the stigma surrounding more 'typical' depression."
Here's the bottom line: If something doesn't feel right, see your doctor or check in with a therapist. It can't hurt, and can only help.