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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tarra Bates-Duford

Depression vs Sadness: 6 Key Differences

We all experience feelings of sadness at some point in our lives, often experiencing this unpleasant feeling multiple times during the course of our life. Sadness is a normal reaction or response to things that are distressing, unpleasant, divorce, relationship breakup, loss, etc. Sadness allow us to recognize as well as appreciate happiness as we unconsciously use negative feelings and sadness as a way of determining and measuring our own happiness. Sadness can also result from unexpected change or a change that you were ill prepared to deal with. As a reminder, although sadness can result from change or a stressful event it can also serve as an indicator that changes are needed to be made in your life. Sadness just like a lot of other emotions in life is a normal part of being human.

Feelings of sadness is more common than most people think or will acknowledge. That being said the best way to manage feelings of sadness is to acknowledge your feelings, effectively processing what is causing, contributing to, and maintaining your sadness. In order to successfully overcome depressed feelings or a low mood allow yourself to be sad. Denying such feelings causes them to become stifled, forcing them to go underground without being properly acknowledged or resolved. It is important to make time for yourself to explore your own personal feelings as some of feelings can be rather complicated and difficult to sort through.

Helpful Tips That Can Be Used to Alleviate Sadness:

  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings

  • Taking a walk

  • Spending time with a good friend or close family member

  • Removing yourself if at all possible from people or environment that is causing you sadness

  • Doing something special for yourself, i.e., watching a movie, taking a bubble bath, reading a book, etc.

Warning Signs Sadness May Have Turned into Depression:

  • Loss of interest in people or things once enjoyed

  • Difficulty and or challenges with memory or cognition

  • Significant feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness

  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns (significant decrease or increase)

  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations

  • Irritability

  • Anxious mood

Unlike clinical depression, sadness is something we all experience. It is a normal reaction to difficult times in life and usually passes with a little time. When a person has depression, it interferes, limits, or prevent normal functioning from occurring. Depression unlike sadness has far reaching arms, causing pain for both the sufferer and those that love him or her. Depression can occur at any age, within any race, culture, socioeconomic status, religion, etc. However, most chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children. Depression can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Depression can exacerbate pre-existing medical and mental health conditions. Sometimes medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression.

Sadness vs Depression

  • Depression is a mood, while sadness is an emotion

  • Depression can have a biological base, originate from life events, certain medical conditions and some drugs as well, but sadness is mainly due to life events and sometimes due to medical conditions.

  • Person’s experiencing depression is emotionally numb sometimes but a sad person is exhausted.

  • A depressed person exhibits self-disgust, self-loathing but a sad person shows self-sympathy.

  • Someone who is depressed may willfully avoid social interactions but a sad person longs for company but neglects social activities due to the focus on troubles.

  • Depression can develop to a mood disorder, but sadness is not a psychological disorder only a natural way of responding to a painful or distressing situation.

#Depression #Sadness #mooddisorders #RiskFactors #WarningSigns

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