Are you sad or depressed?

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.”

Dale Carnegie

Human beings go through different emotional states in their lifetime. It’s impossible for a person to not FEEL anything (If that’s the case, they need to get checked). Similarly, different emotional states vary in different situations. Paul Ekman describes sadness as one of the six basic emotions, along with happiness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise.

Now, sadness is something we all have felt. Some more than the others. Every individual has gone through hardships or difficult circumstances in their life. Obviously, when bad things happen, one is bound to feel sad.

People often confuse sadness and depression. There use these terms as synonyms. When the truth is far behind it!

One needs to understand the difference between sadness. Why? Because it can land you up in huge trouble.

One can confuse a serious condition that needs treatment with a basic, normal emotional state. They may underreact or overreact as per the understanding of these two conditions. This is why it’s important to know the difference between sadness and depression.

Sadness

Let’s start with understanding what sadness is.

Are you sad or depressed?

As mentioned, sadness is a normal emotional reaction to bad circumstances. All of us have experienced it. And we will continue experiencing it. Loss, disappointments, challenges, failure, rejection, are some situations which can trigger sadness. It is also termed as low mood, feeling down or feeling blue.

Sadness by no means is a negative thing. In fact, it is a healthy emotion. It helps you in coping with difficult situations. It reminds us of things important to us. In some situations, it helps us grow strong and bold. // Are you sad or depressed?

Causes of Sadness

Sadness is usually associated with a specific situation. Such as loss of a beloved, demotion or loss of a job, failing in exams and general disappointments in life. When our wishes don’t materialize. Or dreams don’t come true. And our expectations are not fulfilled. We experience sadness.

But remember! If you’re sad about one thing, you’re still capable enough to feel happy for a pleasant experience. It varies in intensity from situation to situation. Once that situation changes, our associated sadness or pain fades away.

That’s the thing about sadness, we learn to deal with it. We get adjusted to the environment and get over our loss. During sadness, you can laugh and smile. You usually seek comfort to get better. You go to a friend, cry and vent out all your emotions.

Signs and Symptoms of Sadness

A person with sadness may exhibit these signs, and they are not diagnostic!

  • They express their sadness by crying
  • Might want to remain alone.
  • Have regular eating and sleeping patterns with minor disruption
  • Can participate in different activities, such as home chores, school work or job tasks.
  • Can enjoy some moments, such as listening to music or reading a book.
  • They start feeling better in a few days or a week at most.

Each individual has their own way of coping with sadness. There could be various ways with which one deals with sadness.

Remedies for Sadness

Sadness weighs you down. Depleting your energy sometimes. But it is easier to deal with sadness than you think. Although, the old school formula, that time heals everything works best here. Because it’s true in the case of sadness. It fades with time. As soon as we adjust to the new situation, we get better.

Are you sad or depressed?

But a few tips can help in overcoming sadness:

  • Allow yourself to be sad. It’s okay. You are only human. Talk about it with someone and express your feelings.
  • Cry as much as you feel like. It helps with stress. You feel light and better once all the stress hormones have flowed out of your eyes.
  • Write in a journal, read a good book or listen to music.
  • Eat healthy food and exercise regularly.
  • Think, analyze and evaluate the situation. If it’s something in your control then change it. You’re capable. But if it’s something beyond your control, then it’s not your headache to deal with it.

As humans, we can create a positive outlook and attitude regarding different situations. Interpretation of the situation is in our hands. Do it as you want it to be. Never set back due to these blows. As life will keep hitting you.

Now, you know what sadness is. So, don’t use words like “I am depressed” or “I have depression” for sadness. You will be fine.

If one doesn’t get better. And if sadness persists. If it’s impossible to look beyond the bleakness of life, that’s when depression surfaces its ugly head.

Depression

Are you sad or depressed?

Consider sadness as a normal cold, and depression the COVID-19. They look similar from a distance but up close they are quite different. // Are you sad or depressed?

Depression is a serious, abnormal emotional state, categorized under mental disorders in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). Depression is a mood disorder characterized by excessive sadness, loss of interest and motivation.

It is chronic and pervasive in nature. It can alter our cognition, physiology, and behaviors. In depression, we feel sad about everything. All hopes are lost and one doesn’t feel happy in any situation. He loses his capability to feel happy.

Depression becomes general. It paints all aspects of our life. Sadness comes in particular situations. But depression, it jumps and throws itself over every situation. It turns you against yourself and makes you believe that you’re worthless.

Causes of Depression

Are you sad or depressed?

Depression usually doesn’t need any specific situation to get triggered. Although, it’s onset could be due to some stressful situation. For vulnerable people, social and environmental stressors can be enough to cause depression. Such as financial difficulties, ongoing conflicts, loss of loved ones or something important.

Researches also suggest that genetic factors also play a role in causing depression. It’s said that there are 30 percent chances that genetic factors make a person prone to depression.

Moreover, personality traits also influence the causation of depression. Some people tend to look at the world, through the pessimistic glass. They think negatively about every situation and possess a negative outlook on situations. They are more prone to falling in depression earlier than others.

Lastly, some physical illnesses or medications can also develop depression-like symptoms. Such as problems associated with thyroid, diabetes, and hypertension. Medication such as beta-blockers, corticosteroids, hormonal medications and medications used to treat high cholesterol.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

To diagnose depression, at least five out the nine following symptoms must be present for consecutive two weeks, most of the time or nearly all the time.

1.      Feeling sad or irritable.

2.      Loss of interest or lack of interest in pleasurable activities.

3.      Significant changes in appetite, characterized by weight gain or loss.

4.      Significant changes in sleeping patterns, lack of sleep or sleeping too much.

5.      Agitation in physical movements or slowing down.

6.      Feeling tired and lack of energy

7.      Lack of focus, concentration, and difficulty in decision making.

8.      Feeling guilty or worthless for no reason.

9.      Suicidal thoughts or ideation.

Treatment

Depression is a real illness. It requires treatment and doesn’t go away just like that. Depression tends to leave a huge impact on people suffering from it and the ones around them. We should give it special attention. // Are you sad or depressed?

There are various treatments available for depression. Sometimes these treatments work in conjunctions for a good prognosis.

Psychotherapy

Are you sad or depressed?

Psychotherapy or sometimes called “talk therapy” is a primary treatment of depression. It involves talking about your condition with a trained professional mostly a psychologist.

It can work alone or with support of medications, depending on the condition. A therapist helps in understanding the situation and identify problem areas. Furthermore, they educate individuals about the reality of their condition. They help in devising coping strategies to deal with issues.  

Most commonly, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used for the treatment of depression. It works on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of the problem.

Medication

Are you sad or depressed?

Depending on the condition, medications can be the first line of treatment for depression. In severe cases, depression is managed through medications.

Antidepressants such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are used in the treatment of depression.

Medications are prescribed by a psychiatrist and should only be taken as per instructions.

Sometimes, hospitalization becomes important in severe cases, especially when there’s a risk of suicide. Therefore, careful evaluation and diagnosis of depression are necessary by a trained professional. //Are you sad or depressed?

Quick Review of Differences

Sadness can be a precursor or one symptom of depression. But both of them are an entirely different phenomenon.

  • Sadness is an emotion. Depression is a disorder.
  • Sadness is short-termed. Depression is chronic.
  • Sadness is specific to the situation. Depression is generalized to every situation.
  • Sadness brings temporary changes in mood. Depression brings changes in life.
  • Sadness is a subjective experience. Depression is diagnosed.

Conclusion

Sadness and Depression are interlinked with each other. But quite different in nature. Hopefully, now you’re able to understand the difference between sadness and depression. As it can help you or a loved one in times of demise. Therefore, be happy, be positive and spread happiness in your surroundings.

// Are you sad or depressed?

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