Connect with us


Difference Between Being Sad and Being Depressed


Difference Between Being Sad and Being Depressed

Because of how “sadness” and “depression” are used in everyday life and pop culture, it can be hard to tell them apart. Even though they may look the same, they aren’t. Experts say that it’s like comparing one star to a whole group of stars. Understanding what makes sadness different from depression is important because it can help people know when to get help from a professional and stop them from suffering needlessly.

Experts who talked to Lifehacker said that sadness is a normal feeling that everyone has after a loss, disappointment, or something else that makes them feel bad. Dr. Kathryn Gordon, a clinical psychologist and author of The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook, says that depression is a mental health condition marked by a persistent sad mood or loss of enjoyment for most of the day and nearly every day for at least two weeks.

The length of time a person feels sad or depressed is one of the biggest differences between the two. Dr. Bedford Palmer, a licensed psychologist in California and the founder of Deeper Than Color, said that sadness is unique to a certain time.

“It can be a day’s worth of sadness. “It’s possible that the weather has changed right now,” Palmer said. “It could even be something that isn’t so bad. Sadness is something you can feel and understand, like when you say, “I’m sad because this happened,” which is right.

Depression, on the other hand, is much more complicated and can have major effects on a person’s life. Palmer said that depression is a group of symptoms, one of which is sadness, but that there are also other things going on. People may lose their appetite, have trouble sleeping, have stomach pain, have trouble focusing, or not enjoy things as much as they used to.

In these situations, the person is going through something other than sadness that can be hard for them to handle on their own.

What makes depression different from being sad or having a bad day

In an email, Dr. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said that when doctors try to figure out if someone is depressed, they look for more than just sadness. For a major depressive episode, which is when symptoms are so strong and overwhelming that they get in the way of a person’s daily life, symptoms need to be present for two weeks.

Gold says that this criterion shows that “people have reactions to life events or even just a harder day at work, and those don’t need to be pathologized.”

“A lot of people feel sad, and that’s a normal reaction,” Gold said. “But it’s important to pay attention to what else is going on with you when you feel sad, how long these symptoms last, and if they get in the way of your daily life.” “That’s important.”

Depression can also show up in ways other than sadness, and Palmer says that some people with depression might not even feel sad. Depression can make people find it hard to focus or make them very angry. It can also make people not want to do anything or pull them away from other people.

Sadness doesn’t last long, but depression can be hard to get out of

Palmer says that it’s helpful to think of depression as being on a spectrum. A person can have anything from a mild depression to a major depression. The level of intensity, or how much they affect a person’s life, and how long they last are what set these episodes apart.

“It’s not the same as feeling sad because you heard a sad song. “It’s even different from losing a family member and being really, really sad for a month, but then getting over it and feeling a little bit better each week,” he said. “Depression isn’t caused by an emotional trigger or the amount of time that has passed since an emotional trigger. You won’t feel better until the biological causes of your depression change, either on their own or with the help of medicine.”

Still, this doesn’t mean that sadness can’t have big effects on people. Gordon, a psychologist and author, wrote in an email that sadness can sometimes have a bigger effect on people, even if they are not also depressed. For example, she said that when sadness is tied to grief, it can affect people’s lives and moods for longer periods of time, even if they don’t have depression.

People with depression who don’t treat it could have another episode

People who care about someone with depression often tell them to “power through it” or that it’s just a part of life. Gordon says that depression can sometimes just go away on its own. This can happen because of time, changes in life, or something called “spontaneous remission,” which means no one knows why it happened. But this doesn’t mean that a person will never feel depressed again.

Gordon said, “If depression goes away on its own without treatment and learning new ways to deal with it, it makes it more likely that depression will come back at some point.”

Palmer agreed and said that people with depression often fall into a valley and then climb out of it. Depression’s effects go away, and the person may feel better, maybe for a long time. But how likely someone is to get depressed is a different story. Palmer said that being vulnerable is like having a physical illness like asthma. Palmer said that just because you haven’t been attacked in years doesn’t mean that you won’t be attacked in the future.

People with depression might think about ending their lives

Another big difference between sadness and depression is having thoughts about killing yourself. Gold, the psychiatrist, says that suicidal thoughts and depression often go together, and depression is one of the things that can lead to suicide. But she stressed that not everyone who thinks about killing themselves is sad. In the same way, not everyone who is depressed thinks about killing themselves.

Gold said that she thinks suicidal thoughts are a serious sign of depression, but she also said that a psychiatrist sees different levels of how serious thoughts are. Most of the time, friends and family don’t notice these things, but people who work in mental health are trained to.

“To a psychiatrist, there is a difference between saying, ‘It would be nice if I didn’t wake up tomorrow,’ and saying, ‘I’ve started saving my meds because I know that’s how I’d want to end my life,'” Gold said, adding that psychiatrists become more worried when suicidal thoughts happen more often or are harder to ignore.

How to know when it’s time to ask for help

All of the experts who talked to Lifehacker stressed how important it is for people to know their “baseline,” or what is typical for them, and to pay close attention to any changes. Gold says to ask about specific habits and things people do. You usually sleep seven hours, but now you’re only sleeping five. Do you eat differently than you normally do? Are you cutting yourself off from friends and not wanting to do things with them?

The psychiatrist said that another important thing to think about is whether or not a person’s symptoms are getting worse. (For example, if you used to be able to get out of the house to go see your friends but now you can’t.) People should also think about how their symptoms affect their lives. Even though you can still go to work or school, that doesn’t mean you’re fine.

“I see a lot of health care workers and college students who say, ‘I’m going to school and my grades are fine, or I’m going to work and I can still do my job well, so I can’t be depressed,'” Gold said. “From what I’ve seen, a lot of us can go to school and work for a long time even when we’re depressed. It’s the other parts of our day-to-day lives that get worse first.”

Gold said that some people might stop caring for themselves or their homes. They might also stop keeping friends or pay less attention to their relationships with their partners or children.

Palmer and Gordon say that feeling sad for a long time, like most of the day or almost every day for weeks, is another warning sign. People should think about getting help when their feelings are causing them a lot of stress and getting in the way of their relationships, work, or school. Suicidal thoughts are another big and serious warning sign. People who have repeated thoughts of killing themselves should get help right away.

How to treat depression

Gold said that treatment for depression depends on a lot of things, like how bad the symptoms are, the person’s mental health history, and the mental health history of their family. She said that therapy can help many people start to deal with their depression because it helps them figure out what caused it and what makes it worse. People can learn skills through cognitive behavioral therapy that can help them deal with depression without taking medicine.

Gold says that some people might not be able to get better with therapy alone and will need to take medicine. In these situations, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are the most common type of antidepressant, are the first choice for psychiatrists. Research has shown that the best way to help people with moderate to severe depression is to use both medicine and therapy.

Overall, all of the experts who talked to Lifehacker stressed that there are many treatments for depression that have been shown to work. They also said that you can get help at any time.

“Many people have depression. It has nothing to do with being weak or having a flaw. “It is a mental health problem that can be treated in a helpful way,” Gordon said. “If you’re having a hard time, please be kind to yourself and know that you deserve help.”

Continue Reading
You may also like...

More in Inspiration

To Top