Depression Vs. Sadness
What You Need To Know
Each and every one of us will experience sadness at some point this year. In the USA, around 18 million of us will also experience depression this year. From the outside, sadness and depression can look very similar. Just as the cold and the flu look similar on the outside, right?
But they are not! Not at all… in fact, if sadness were to feel like getting a cold, then depression is to feel like getting Covid-19 to an immune compromised person over the age of 80. Pretty big difference, right?!
Our confusion, much like it would if we were treating the wrong physical ailment – cold vs covid-19, can lead us to neglect very serious situations (depression) and likewise can cause us to over-react to minor situations (sadness). This distinction can be crucial to our depressed loved ones because depression has major long term implications on one’s health and longevity.
Much like the weather, our lives have many seasons. Many emotions and feelings will come and go. When we look close, sadness and depression are quite different entities. So it is important to understand the differences and be prepared with knowledge.
What Is Sadness?
Sadness is a common, normal human emotion that we all go through at some point. Without sadness we would not know happiness, they balance each other. Sadness reminds us that we care about things and is usually tied to one specific thing. Leaving you with the ability to still be happy or excited about other things, just disappointed or sad about one thing.
Sadness is typically triggered by a challenge that did not go as hoped for, disappointing events, loss, or difficult/hurtful situations and experiences meaning you generally have something to feel sad about. So it makes sense that when that something changes or time lessens the hurt and we have adjusted, that sadness just goes away on its own.
Sadness is in response to a particular thing/situation, whereas depression is like a big, thick wool blanket that just smothers every single aspect of your life. You didn’t see it coming, you may not understand why you are feeling this way, but suddenly it is there, covering everything, blinding you, not letting you breath fully.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a common, but not normal, human emotional condition. It affects over 300 million adults worldwide and knows no boundaries with age, race or economic state. It is a mental illness that affects every aspect of our lives, from how we think, to how we perceive things, to choices we make and behaviors we exhibit all in for long periods of time.
Depression does not require a particular trigger as sadness does. It can creep in slowly over time and will make us feel sad about absolutely everything. I mean everything for longer than a month. Like deeply sad, over even the smallest things.
Like that heavy wool blanket being tossed over you, depression hangs on us and affects all aspects of our lives. Life is suddenly not interesting, there feels like there is no joy, you don’t see the point in doing any of it. Depression sucks all of the energy and motivation out of us, it makes us more impatient, quicker to anger, frustration builds, physical ailments begin, and it takes forever to bounce back from situations. In addition, depression will change your sleep habits, eating habits and daily routines as you slowly lose touch with who you once were.
The major signs of depression will include but are not limited to as we all go through things uniquely to us: Sad for longer than 3 weeks; loss of pleasure; changes in weight; changes in sleep patterns; feeling slow/sluggish all the time; restless yet unable to accomplish tasks; can not focus on things; feeling useless/worthless; struggling with guilt; excessive shame; thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know feels this way, you are not alone.
The good news is that in this day and age depression is completely treatable. Help is readily available. I speak from experience. It took 2 years for my depression to creep in and completely wreak havoc in my life, then another year of awareness and recovery to where now, I have so much to look forward to and feel so blessed. I went from complete self-isolation, crying at everything and anything, feeling completely worthless to now realizing how wonderful this life is. It can be done.
Awareness is the first step to conscious health and success. Please don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going about sadness and depression, check out this post on7 things you should know about depression.
Malibu Mama Loves Xx