Through years into my clinical practice, i have acquainted many patients fighting with depression who thought they were just sad. Alternatively, i have also met patients who were actually sad but were worried that they might be depressed. Due to the reason that depression is generally associated with the primary symptom of extreme sadness, many people struggle to distinguish between these two similar yet different psychological conditions.
This is a major problem.
This confusion can lead us to overreact or panic over a normal emotional state of sadness, or on the other hand neglect a serious condition of depression that requires immediate medical attention. That’s the reason our ability to distinguish between the two is extremely important.
What is the difference between Sadness and Depression
Sadness is a normal human emotion. Most of us have experienced it and will most probably experience it again at some or other points in our life. Any hurtful, disappointing or difficult event can trigger sadness. This causes us to feel sad about something or someone. This means that once that event or situation changes, the feeling of emotional hurt starts fading, or once we accept or adjust to that particular thing of disappointment, our sadness starts disappearing.
On the other hand, depression is an abnormal emotion state of mind. It is a type of mental illness that impacts our thinking, perceptions, emotions, and behaviors in chronic ways. Depression makes us feel sad about everything. Unlike sadness, depression doesn’t difficult circumstances, hurtful events or situations as a trigger. In fact most of the time it occurs without any such triggers.
Depression affects every part of our lives significantly. Everything around us becomes less interesting, less enjoyable, less important and less worthwhile. It impairs our energy and motivation levels. All our thresholds of joy, excitement, satisfaction, and connection suddenly start decreasing. We, in turn, become more impatient, short-tempered, get easily frustrated, break down quicker and it takes us longer than usual to recover back from everything.
The true symptoms of Depression
To fall under the category of depressed, a person needs to have at least 5 of the below symptoms for a continued period of at least two weeks. Being said that: The severity of the symptoms must also be taken into account, so request everyone to use this only for guideline purpose and visit your mental healthcare professional for a confirmed diagnosis.
- An irritated or depressed mood throughout the day.
- A sudden decrease of interest in most activities including activities which used to very pleasurable earlier.
- Noticeable changes in appetite and weight.
- Unable to sleep or always feeling sleepy.
- Slowed movements or persisting restlessness throughout the day.
- Reduced energy levels, feeling more tired or lousy always.
- Experiencing feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
- Unable to focus, think or concentrate.
- Suicidal thoughts.
If you think that you or someone you love might be going through depression, it’s important to consult a mental healthcare professional for immediate diagnosis and treatment. It is a very common mental illness and there are a wide variety of treatments available which have helped most people. For details on depression treatment visit https://www.manovikasclinic.com/psychiatric-treatment/depression-treatment/