Are you sad or depressed? A normal reaction in life to loss, difficult situations, problems, and disappointment is to be sad. Sadness is normal and comes and goes in life with situations that cause it. It is rarely a permanent state of being. We speak about being down, feeling low, or being blue. We may even say that we are depressed but if that feeling is brief and has no material affect on our life it is not the sort of that that is typically called depression. Depression is a feeling or mood that does not necessarily require an event in life to trigger it, lasts and lasts, and has a negative effect on our life. Sorting out being sad versus being depressed is important in lingering cases.
What Is Depression?
True depression is a mental illness. It affects how you see or understand yourself, how you relate to things and people around you, and your overall mood. Clinical depression is a name often used by professionals as is depressive disorder. Both major depression and major depressive disorder are used for severe cases of depression. Whether depression comes on for no understandable reason or for a reason that you understand, it lasts much longer that a bout of simple sadness.
People who are depressed not only feel sad but they feel worthless and without hope. Depressed people may feel ashamed or guilty and commonly find it hard to concentrate, make decisions and get going or get motivated about anything. Depressed people often isolate, lose interest in the people and things that used to give them pleasure or enjoyment. People who are depressed often have trouble sleeping, have poor appetite, aches and pains that they cannot explain, and very little energy.
Unlike simple sadness that goes away on its own, depression often requires treatment. This is especially the case when depressed people start having thoughts of hurting themselves or ending their lives.
What to Do about Sadness
There are simple things that a person can do to reduce sadness and get back to a happier life. Spending more time out of doors, watching a funny TV show instead of a depressing or contentious news program, taking some time off to relax, letting yourself feel sad and even letting yourself cry, going out with friends to do something fun. None of these is a scientifically proven cure for sadness but rather common sense measures than are simple to do. When sadness is prolonged, deep, and lasts for weeks, it may be depression and a person should seek professional help.
Professional Suggestions Regarding Sadness
There are several things that professionals commonly emphasize when people are sad. One is not to feel bad, inadequate, or sad about being sad. In other words, do not turn simple sadness into more than it needs to be. It is absolutely OK to let yourself feel sad about loss, the failure of something in your life, or things like rejection by someone you are attracted to. Typically, simply letting your emotions run free for a bit lets you get to the other side of your sadness faster.
Figuring Out Why You Are Sad
Sometimes we feel down or low and, while it is not awful, it tends to last and makes no sense. Writing or journaling is something that therapists often suggest to help ferret out the reason or reasons for one’s sadness. While we may feel low about breaking up with someone there may be threads of what feel like unfinished business that we need to work through for we are done. Or there may be someone or circumstances in an otherwise happy and satisfying life that haunt us just on the edge of our conscious thoughts. When this is the case, writing things down often helps.
Act Like You Are Not Sad and You Will Feel Better
It can be all too easy to wallow in self-pity when we are sad. Simply going through the paces of a normal life is often enough to extinguish persistent sadness. Although we smile when we feel good, a surprising finding is that by smiling, we cause ourselves to feel better even when we are upset, anxious, angry, or sad. Like you are happy, put a smile on your face, and go through the steps of a normal life and sadness often melts away.