Greetings! In this video I discuss the difference between sadness and depression. Sometimes, these two are used as if they are the same, but they are very different in how it’s experienced and it’s impact on the person’s life. I hope it is helpful.
It can be difficult to differentiate between sadness and depression. Oftentimes, people will use them interchangeably; however, they are quite different. Each impacts the person and the persons life in different ways and intensities.
Sadness is an emotion that everyone will feel at some point in their life about something. It’s a natural reaction to events and circumstances. It’s also an emotion that passes and diminishes.
Depression includes feeling sad or having no interest in things you used to be interested in for at least 2 weeks. In addition to this, it includes feeling worthless or hopeless, having difficulty sleeping, feeling tired or not having energy, difficulty concentrating or focusing in things, thoughts of death, and significant weight loss or gain. In teenagers, depression can present as anger. The teenager may be irritable or on edge.
These symptoms will then seep into life of the individual. The person may miss work or be consistently late to work. In school, the students’ academic performance could be impacted, and grades decline. Social life may also change, and the person may isolate at home or no longer be interested in hanging out or communicating with friends. Their appearance may also change and decline. A person who once spent time taking care of themselves to look a certain way, doesn’t anymore. Hair could look unkempt. The person no longer wears make up like before. Clothing may look disheveled.
Therapy is helpful for both sadness and depression. During sadness, therapy helps a person to get through a difficult event or circumstance. Everyone is different in how events and circumstances affect them. Therapy can help someone work on getting back to who they were before the event or circumstance.
Therapy helps a person experiencing depression by attending to and working on how to manage the symptoms so that the symptoms don’t seep into person’s life as much. Those who experience depression may notice that through therapy, their relationships improve, going to work has become manageable, there’s increased ability and performance at school, the person has hope, along with desire and motivation to do things.
Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for therapy. It is important to meet with a mental health professional for an official mental health diagnosis. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741. If you need immediate attention, call 911 or go to the local Emergency Room.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).