With the highs and lows of life, you are bound to experience feelings of sadness. Even now with the lockdowns, rising cases of deaths and glaring uncertainty of what the future holds, many of us are battling moments of sadness.
Although sadness and depression may feel the same, they are quite different when placed under a microscope.
Tied to a certain situation, you are likely to feel sad when bad things happen. It could be a deal gone bad, the loss of a family member or you’re just having a really bad day. This may cause you to cry, feel low or even experience some pain.
However, this doesn’t linger for too long and your toddler’s laughter or a funny cat video won’t stop you from smiling. In short, despite the situation you’re facing you can still find happiness in certain things.
Depression on the other hand is different.
Although it may be characterized by some sadness or triggered by it, depression is like a dark cloud that takes over your life and nothing interests you anymore.
To further understand whether you may be depressed or just feeling blue, here are a few ways you can find out what exactly you may be battling.
- Sadness passes
As a normal emotion all human beings have, sadness is a natural reaction to situations that are upsetting. Although the degrees vary depending on how bad or intense the trigger is, it is a temporary feeling that goes away with time. It may take a few hours or days but the bottom line is, it will go.
And despite your sadness you will have moments where you forget and you will actually be fine
Depression on the other hand is a type of mood disorder that affects your functioning and persists for quite some time. It affects you from the time you wake up to the time you go back to bed.
If not treated, it may last for a very long time.
Depression affects your life and relationships making them seem unbearable (Photo: Shutterstock)
- Depression affects your entire life
When you’re depressed, it affects your life and the things you used to do to the extent that those around you like family and friends start to notice changes. You find it hard to find enjoyment in anything.
Before you know it, you are having sleeping difficulties or sleeping too much. You become easily agitated, irritable and lack energy almost every day. Sex becomes a chore and your drive goes down. Life practically becomes unbearable.
If you’re sad, it affects your mood. When distracted you may be feeling all jovial until you fall back on the sad thoughts and you become teary or distant. It comes and goes and eventually, it fades.
- Sadness is an emotion
Unlike sadness which all human beings experience, depression is a mental illness which affects your social, occupational and personal relationships to the extent that getting through the day feels overwhelming.
Nothing cheers you up anymore and you have zero motivation to do anything. It gets to the point where your outlook on life becomes warped and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness begin to creep in.
Sadness is very independent and subjective to the person (Photo: Shutterstock)
- Sadness is different from one person to the next
Persistent sadness may be a sign of depression but it may not necessarily be depression. It must be accompanied by other symptoms. A criteria and official diagnosis are needed to come to that conclusion. Your doctor will have to do a test to determine your mental state.
Sadness however is up to someone to admit they are feeling that way. It is very independent and subjective to the person. You may have been laid of with your colleague but he or she may be fine despite the unfortunate outcome.
It doesn’t affect everyone the same regardless of the similar situation
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