The conversation around depression has certainly become more open in recent years through social media and celebrities who are now openly talking about it. However, mental health is quite complex, and one needs proper information about the illness and the emotions in our mind to be able to differentiate between them. Many people use the term depression very lightly when they are just feeling a routine bout of sadness. However, sadness and depression are not similar.
Feeling sad is an integral part of depression, but it is not just the feeling of sadness that makes a person a patient of depression. Hence, it is essential that we know and understand the difference between the two so that a person can recognize when to seek medical treatment for the mental condition.
According to Medical News Today, sadness is a normal human emotion that all of us experience at stressful or gloomy times. There are numerous events that can affect a person to feel sad, like loss or absence of a loved one, loss of job or income, issues at home and these can all affect mood in a negative way. Failing an exam, not getting a job, or experiencing other disappointing events can also trigger the feeling of sadness.
Those who undergo the feeling of sadness find relief in crying, venting, or talking about their frustrations. Unlike depression, sadness is short-lived and goes away as we respond to the emotion. However, if a person continues to feel sad for a long time and gets constricted in their normal functions, then that becomes a sign of depression.
According to Healthline, when a depressed person is sad, it may feel extremely overpowering at times. However, a patient of depression will also have some moments when they are able to laugh or be comforted. The feelings a person has while in depression will seem to affect all aspects of their life.
It is difficult for a patient of depression to find enjoyment in anything, including activities and company of people. Other symptoms of depression may include Change in sleeping pattern, loss of appetite, constant feelings of sadness, fatigue, anxiety, tiredness and restlessness. One can also experience difficulty in concentrating, irritability, loss of interest and enthusiasm, feelings of unwarranted guilt and worthlessness. In extreme cases, one can also develop suicidal thoughts.