First let’s take a look at this from a definition point of view. Sadness is the state of being sad, which is characterized by being sorrowful, disappointment and dejected. Depression on the other hand is a chronic state of being sad, which is characterized by severe sorrow, severe disappointment and severe dejection! Some people who are merely sad hype it up in their heads to convince themselves that they’re suffering from depression, while some people who are actually suffering from depression think they’re just unhappy or going through a low period. On one side, we could be over reacting to a basic human emotion whereas on the other hand we could be ignoring a very serious problem. And this confusion is the precise reason why it’s essential to understand the difference between sadness and depression.
Let’s look at the symptoms
You may have some or all of these symptoms from time to time, which is an indication of sadness. But if these symptoms last for longer than two weeks, then you could be depressed. These symptoms occurring in a chronic manner paired with suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts are a red flag – in such a scenario it’s time to seek immediate professional help.
- Constantly feeling irritable
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Change in eating patterns
- Difficulty in concentrating and lack of focus
- Loss of interest in things which you once enjoyed
- Feeling lethargic and tired all the time
- Feelings of guilt
- Body aches and headaches for no physical reason
- Feeling worthless and helpless
Do you still enjoy the things you once liked?
When you’re sad you might not be in the mood to go for a movie or finish your work or maybe even go to the gym that day, but most usually this feeling of sadness is overcome by some persuasion and doing something you always enjoy is a sort of ‘pick me up’. But if you’re suffering from depression, you no longer enjoy the little or big things, no matter who tries to persuade you or how hard someone tries. You just won’t be able to see beyond your bubble of sadness, and nothing really excites you anymore.
Do certain things trigger an emotional reaction?
When you’re sad or going through a low phase in life, certain events like a sudden change r feeling homesick or separation anxiety can make you feel disheartened and disappointed. This might cause an overreaction, but the reaction is always based on a certain event. When you’re depressed, you don’t need a trigger or stimuli to make you down and low. You always feel a sense of sadness and misery – your attitude becomes a pessimistic one.
How normal are your eating and sleeping habits?
You’ve had a rough day and you really don’t feel like eating, and don’t even talk about sleeping that night – you already know it’s going to be a sleepless night with your mind in overdrive. But the night will pass, a new day will start and you’ll be back to normal – that’s just being sad. Someone who is depressed will experience a change in eating and sleeping patterns which is more permanent. Such a person could barely eat or binge eat, he or she could sleep for fourteen hours or more, or become an insomniac.
Do you have self harming thoughts?
Any person who is just sad will never thinking about harming themselves. Such thoughts or even attempts at hurting yourself are one of the biggest indicators of depression. If you or someone you know is having a lot of suicidal thoughts, then it’s time to consult a psychologist as soon as possible!
Need to talk to our juno.clinic depression counselors online. Call Us at 022-3381-4194