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Depression and Sadness: How to Identify One from the Other

While many use the terms depression and sadness synonymously, these two things are very different. It’s safe to say that they are poles apart. These two are dangerous to confuse, and if you do not correctly identify the real issue and understand whether what you are dealing with is a depression or whether it is sadness, you will not be able to move on effectively. Here are the differences between depression and grief.

Emotion vs. Mental Illness

Sadness is an emotion, which humans experience owing to their situations, life events, challenges, and tragedies. Conversely, depression is more than a feeling – it is an abnormal state of emotions that happens to affect your daily function, and your behavior, perceptions, and thinking.

Depression manifests itself in pervasive and chronic means. Sadness is a feeling, and it comes with similar feelings that one may experience during the depression. Except that depression leads to a loss of interest in activities, in life. It takes a hit on the person’s self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness.

Reaction vs. State of Mind

Events or experiences, like a loss by death or a break-up, can trigger sadness. But the emotions that surge is different for each person, just as the way they express, it is different. When it comes to depression, a person will feel sad about everything in his or her life. This feeling is not about any particular circumstance, event, or situation. A depressed person’s life might not have signs or reasons that seem obvious to make the sad. However, the person might experience symptoms of depression, without any reason for such feelings in their lives.

Fading With Time vs. Persisting Over Time

Grief heals over time, and you stop feeling sad unless you think about the incident a lot. And that’s a sign that you’re moving on with life. However, with depression, you feel broken from inside. There are times when the person feels worthless and believes there is no way out of the situation. Thoughts of self-harm, mood swings, and constant tiredness can be symptoms of depression.

Mood-Changing vs. Life-Altering

When you are experiencing a bad phase in your fie, this naturally ill affects your mood and your feelings about the situation at hand. It is not unusual to continue feeling emotions simply because you are recalling a disturbing evet or thinking of the reason you are sad. When you are unhappy, you can become distracted by being busy with other things or taking your mind off of whatever saddened you. But when it comes to depression, your life takes a hit no matter what the circumstances and no matter what you may be doing. There exists a lack of motivation and disinterest that makes you deeply unnerved.  You lose the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures, and you lose touch with the feelings of joy, laughter, being thrilled, and only having meaning to life.

Acknowledgment vs. Lack of Acknowledgement

When a person is sad, they acknowledge their feelings, and they know they are going through an emotional state because of a particular situation or event or experience. Conversely, with depression, a person may not even have any knowledge about their psychological state.

Depression requires medical diagnosis by a professional. It is essential as it is not as quickly identifiable and can be thought of as sadness. Symptoms like moodiness, unexplained disinterest that lasts longer than two weeks, calls for concern. You should see your doctor as soon as possible.

After looking at all the differences between sadness and depression, it all boils down to the fact that grief is something that an individual can sort out on their own and work through. In contrast, depression is a condition that requires treatment. Should you suspect that you may have any of such symptoms presented for depression, it’s best to seek professional help. Sadness is simply a state of mind, while depression is a concern relating to mental health. Help raise awareness by spreading the knowledge on the differences between these two often confused terms.

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