What is the difference between sadness and depression?
Sadness is a universal emotion that is experienced by all of us at some point in our lives. Feeling sad is a normal response to various situations and life events, such as loss, disappointment, rejection, stress, life transition etc. However, what happens when the sadness doesn’t go away? And how can we tell the difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed?
Depression is a mood disorder that goes beyond normal sadness and affects millions of people worldwide. While the emotion of sadness may come and go, when a person is feeling depressed, they are often in this emotional state for an extended period and can last for weeks, months, or even years. When left untreated, a mood disorder can negatively affect a person’s daily functioning and relationships and can lead to personal, social, and economic problems, and even shorten one’s life expectancy.
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person; however common symptoms include:
sadness or hopelessness for an extensive period
Exhaustion or lack of energy
Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
Disruption in sleep routine
Having a difficult time concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
What are some coping strategies to help people who suffer from depression?
There are many lifestyles changes a person can make that will help boost their mood and reduce symptoms of depression, such as:
Talking to someone you trust about how you are feeling
Prioritizing self-care activities, such as participating in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet getting enough sleep, and engaging in pleasurable activities
Tackling small tasks that can bring a sense of accomplishment
Staying connected with people you know and love such as friends and family
How do most people overcome depression?
Although depression is treatable, it may be difficult to overcome on our own. If you think you are depressed, consider seeking support from others, speaking to a medical practitioner about your concern, or making an appointment with a mental health professional that can work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is an effective form of treatment for depression. Depending on the severity of symptoms or length of time the individual has been suffering, treatment can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. A typical treatment plan can take anywhere from 8-20 sessions.
Remember that with the right support, you can recover and regain your quality of life.