Being sad is one thing, being depressed is another!
Nobody welcomes feelings of sadness, but feeling down is sometimes part of life. When feeling down, people often wonder, “Am I depressed?”
Many people who think they are merely sad may be struggling with depression. On the other hand, many people who are extremely sad and worried may not be depressed. Because we associate depression with its primary symptom of sadness, many of us struggle to tell the difference between these two common psychological states.
While it may not seem to matter what you call it when you or a loved one is hurting, it is important to understand how these conditions are different.
Millions of people struggle with untreated depression each year. This also impacts friends, family and work relationships. The better we can recognize depression, the more we can reduce its impact. Depression is treatable and people can recover to enjoy more positive, healthier lives.
What is the difference between sadness and depression?
Sadness is a normal human emotion and is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation.
Depression is an abnormal emotional state, that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors.
Depression affects all aspects of our lives, making everything less enjoyable, less interesting, less important, less lovable. Depression saps our energy, motivation, and ability to experience joy, pleasure, excitement, anticipation, satisfaction, connection, and meaning.
Symptoms of depression include:
You can take control today!
Overcoming depression may not be quick or easy, but it’s far from impossible. You do have more control than you realize, even if your depression is severe. The key is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself each day.
The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. Decide to do the best you can one day at a time and consider implementing any of the following suggestions.
When to Get professional help for depression…
If you’ve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
Don’t forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if you’re receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.
If you think you or a loved one might be depressed, it is important to seek the counsel of a trained mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Depression is an extremely common mental illness and there are many treatments that benefit most people.