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’re depressed, we tend to feel upset about any- and everything.
Depression clouds our entire lives. When we’re 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 be diagnosed with 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 depressed, 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 give my office a call.