How is sadness different from depression

How is sadness different from depression
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 22-03-2023

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Millions of people around the world are experiencing sadness or depression at some point in their lives. However, recognizing the difference between a diagnosis of depression and a feeling of sadness can help a person process both in a healthy way.

Sadness is a normal human emotion that every single person will experience at stressful or sober times. Several 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 negatively affect mood. Failing an exam, not getting a job, or experiencing other disappointing events can also trigger sadness.

Whereas Depression is not an emotion, it is a disease. Just like in the case of chest infections, for example, some infections can just be a little sniffle, sneeze, etc., while some infections can completely wipe you out and keep you bed-bound for a long time.

Depression is a medical condition, which affects the way you feel, think, and act. It is more than just "the blues," or short-term sadness or low-energy feelings. It can significantly influence your life, job, health, and the people you care about the most.

Depression is a problem very common for men and women of all ages. It can be either mild or serious. It can come and go, or it could last a long time. An individual can only become depressed once or many times.

Symptoms of being depressed-

• You feel sad or hopeless.

• You feel little interest or pleasure in life.

• You gain or lose a lot of weight.

• You have trouble sleeping, or you sleep too much.

• You feel restless.

• You feel tired all the time.

• You feel worthless or very guilty.

• You have trouble with focus, memory, or choices.

• You think often about death or suicide.

The DSM-5 criteria include nine potential symptoms of depression.

  1. feeling depressed throughout each day on most or all days
  2. lack of interest and enjoyment in activities you used to find pleasurable
  3. trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  4. trouble eating or eating too much, coupled with weight gain or weight loss
  5. irritability, restlessness, or agitation
  6. extreme fatigue
  7. unwarranted or exaggerated feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  8. inability to concentrate or make decisions
  9. suicidal thoughts or actions, or thinking a lot about death and dying

Depression and sadness seem linked, but they are not the same thing. Sadness is an emotion that everyone experiences, often after stressful or life-threatening events. Depression is an overpowering and ongoing mental health disorder that can have a dramatic impact on daily living. Specific triggers will often cause sadness, while depression may have no identifiable cause. Sadness is a part of the depression, but it is temporary in nature.

Seek treatment

Look for professional help if the sadness seems to continue for a disproportionate amount of time. This might indicate the development of depression. HopeQure counselors are available to help you cope with the distress and discomfort which is caused by such conditions. Do not let depression ruin your life.



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