Many people describe themselves as sad or depressed when they have a case of the blues. However, these two adjectives are used interchangeably all the time. So are they really just the same emotion, or is there a big difference between these two feelings?
Keep reading to find out more about depression and sadness, their differences, and their similarities. Learn what you can do to handle them healthily!
What’s The Difference Between Sadness and Depression?
Sadness is when you’re feeling “low”, “down”, or “blue” in reaction to an event. We normally experience it when we deal with loss, disappointment, or other daily struggles. However, feelings of sadness do eventually pass.
While sadness does negatively affect your mood for a time, it does not prevent you from going on with your daily life. It can even go away when we do calming activities, take a break, or receive good news. Sadness is manageable without too much effort or external help.
Depression, on the other hand, can feel similar because those who are depressed feel low and down too. But depression is a mental illness that lingers. It affects your self-esteem, your mood, and the way you understand things and people around you. Medically, it can be called “clinical depression” or “major depressive disorder”.
There Are Clear Reasons For Sadness, But Not So For Depression
While sadness is a reaction to unfortunate circumstances or negative outcomes, depression can happen for no reason. Sometimes, even when things are going your way, you can feel depressed. It’s more than just feeling low – those with depression often feel hopeless.
They may experience terribly strong guilt, lose interest in their favorite hobbies, or socially withdraw. It can feel debilitating to the point that even simple tasks like bathing or getting up feel impossible. Those with depression also frequently struggle with sleeping and eating problems. Painfully, this helplessness can result in additional guilt that makes depression even worse, resulting in a vicious cycle.
In many cases, they may experience difficult thoughts about life and death. It may even reach the point that they question their reasons for living and attempt to hurt themselves. For many depressed people, this feeling doesn’t go away on its own. It has a strong impact on their lives, and the simple advice of “cheering up” is not enough.
Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Professional Help
Concerned about a persistent case of the blues? Depression is a real and serious mental illness, so don’t be ashamed to take steps to seek treatment. If you’ve been feeling “sad” or “low” for a prolonged period of time, take a step back. Think about it further if you’ve been feeling this for no obvious reason.
If you suspect that you’re depressed, it’s important for you to seek professional help. Don’t dismiss your concerns about depression! With therapy, medication, or a combination of other treatments, many depressed people are able to manage their moods and go about their daily lives.