Millions of people around the world experience sadness or depression at some point in their lives. However, recognizing the difference between a diagnosis of depression and the emotion of sadness can help a person process both in a healthy way.
It is normal to feel sad from time to time. Everyone somewhere, sometime in lives will experience sadness. Sadness is a natural reaction to something painful which has happened. Depression is more extreme. It is a clinical illness which has a lot more symptoms than sadness and can, if not treated lead to suicide.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) note that depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States.
The difference between sadness and depression is a person experiencing feelings which they find upsetting can logically tell you what it is that is causing the unhappiness, whereas a person suffering from depression can not necessarily do so. People suffering from sadness know their feelings will begin to heal over a period of time. A person suffering from depression will usually get worse and do not see an end to the situation.
Sadness is a normal human emotion that every single person will experience at stressful or somber times.
A number of life events can leave people feeling sad or unhappy. The loss or absence of a loved one, divorce, loss of job or income, financial trouble, or issues at home can all affect mood in a negative way.
Failing an exam, not getting a job, or experiencing other disappointing events can also trigger sadness.
However, a person experiencing sadness can usually find some relief from crying, venting, or talking out frustrations. More often than not, sadness has links to a specific trigger.
Sadness usually passes with time. If it does not pass, or if the person becomes unable to resume normal function, this could be a sign of depression.
Depression is a mental disorder that has an overpowering effect on many parts of a person’s life. It can occur in people of any gender or age and alters behaviors and attitudes.
In 2015, around 16.1 million people in the US aged 18 years or above had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, accounting for 6.7 percent of all adults in the country.
Depression can last for weeks, months or years. It is not something that a person can merely ‘snap out of,’ much as they wish they could. It is just not possible. The feelings are intense and overwhelming and believe me; no-one wants to be contemplating taking their own life.
If a person has a loss of interest in life in their daily activities, job, relationship or socializing for more than about two to three weeks and their mood is out of character, then a visit to the doctor would be in order.
Some of the main symptoms of depression are:
- Tiredness/lethargy or inability to sleep (insomnia)
- Loss of interest in social activities and sexual relations
- Contemplating death and/or suicide
- Lack of self worth and inappropriate guilt
- Significant weight changes
- Lack of focus
If you have any symptoms, you should visit your doctor. There are screening tests are available and there are a range of them available on the internet as well.
So take care of yourself. You are the most special person there in on this planet. There is no one else even remotely like you that has your talents, skills or abilities. You simply cannot be replaced and you have important things to do with your life. The only person you can control is yourself, so take care of yourself first and foremost.
Everyone and everything else is out of your control. Start doing those things today that make you feel good. You know what they are. We’re all counting on it!
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