Am I Sad or Depressed?

"Into each life, a little rain must fall" is a way of saying every one of us will experience sadness in our lifetime. It is completely normal and natural. But there are some people who feel something deeper and darker than sadness, and they may feel this way despite there being no triggering event such as the loss of a loved one. 

So how can we tell the difference between sadness and depression?

Sadness versus Depression: The Real Difference?

As I just mentioned, sadness is a normal reaction to a difficult event in our life. We may feel sad because of a breakup, or from losing a loved one, or from leaving our friends after graduation. In other words, we feel sadness about something.

Depression, on the other hand, affects not only our emotions but also how we act and perceive the world. Depression does not require a triggering event. In fact, when we are depressed, we tend to feel upset about any- and everything.

Depression clouds our entire lives. When we are depressed, nothing feels as enjoyable or worthwhile as it once did. In short, we simply feel less alive.

Symptoms of Depression

To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must experience at least five of the following common symptoms, for a continual duration of at least two weeks:

  • An irritable or depressed mood 
  • A decreased interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Changes in our sleep patterns
  • Feeling sluggish most days; having a lack of energy and motivation
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Suicidal ideation

If you or a loved one are experiencing depression, it is very important to reach out for help from a trained mental health therapist. Depression robs you of your life, purpose, and happiness; but there are strategies to break free and find joy once again.

I would be happy to discuss some treatment options with you. Please email us or give us a call.