What Is the Difference Between Sadness and Depression?
When negative events occur in our lives, we feel sad but might say we're depressed. However, sadness and depression are two different things, and this confusion can often be a detriment to mental health. Mistaking depression for sadness could lead people not to find a therapist when they may benefit immensely from treatment. So how can you know which you're experiencing? Here’s how you can distinguish the difference between sadness and depression.
Every human being will experience sadness at some point in their life. A rainy day, setbacks at work, or a friend moving away are just a few situations that may cause someone to feel sad. Fortunately, you can typically find relief from sadness through catharsis. This might come in the form of talking to a friend, crying it out, or making art to express your emotions. One important thing to note is that sadness fades away over a short period of time. If your feelings of sadness persist or worsen after two weeks, it can make sense to find a therapist in your area who can help you figure out what’s going on.
More than 18 million people in the U.S. are affected by depression in any given year. Common symptoms that may signal depression include a lack of concentration, appetite changes, an overwhelming sense of fear, fatigue, and loss of interest in favorite activities. A person suffering from depression may also feel hopeless, worthless, restless, or irritable. The symptoms and intensity of depression can vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors. In some cases, your surroundings can have an influence on depression symptoms. Depression is a condition that requires treatment, just like any other medical issue. Unlike sadness, it doesn’t go away on its own. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above for a prolonged period of time, it might be time to find a therapist and seek out treatment.
Treatment For Depression
Depression is typically treated with antidepressant medication and cognitive therapy. This form of therapy is a teaching tool that can help patients learn to replace negative thinking patterns with more positive ones. In conjunction with antidepressant medication, therapy can be an excellent way to manage your depression.
Whether you're feeling sad or you think you might have depression, it’s important to pay attention to your mental health as you would your physical health. It could be time to find a therapist and start treatment for your depression. It can be a great first step even if you’re unsure whether you have depression or not.