Depression vs sadness: Determining the difference between emotion and mental illness

Depression vs sadness: Determining the difference between emotion and mental illness

Since there is a thin line between sadness and depression, many of us are unable to differentiate one from the other. While many people struggling with depression may think it as merely sadness, many suffering from sadness worry that they may be going through depression.

Due to the increased overlapping of the symptoms, it becomes quiet challenging to identify the real problem. Generally, people believe that the difference between both the conditions is more the matter of degree. However, in reality, there are quiet many serious differences between sadness and depression. While sadness is part of the human emotions, depression is a mental illness beyond the normal emotional game. Moreover, depression has the depression to impact socioeconomic and occupational aspects of a person.

Although a primary symptom of clinical depression is  the overwhelming  feeling of sadness, there are several other additional factors that are drawn up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that determine the real psychological state of a person. The current article highlights the key difference between depression and sadness for spreading awareness among the masses.

Key differences between depression and sadness

To be precise, feeling sad is a natural human reaction to events that cause emotional hurt or inflict pain. As a result, it is bound to be felt by all human beings at certain points in their lives at a varying degree.  However, it is a temporary feeling that will fade away with time just like any other human emotion and may get replaced with other emotions. As these emotions do not stay for too long, there will be moments when one will be able to laugh on them or be comforted.

On the contrary, depression is a mental illness. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life, such as feelings, thoughts, perceptions and behaviors, in an all-encompassing and chronic manner. Depression evokes sadness in “everything” and not only in “something(s).” It is not necessary for a person to be facing a challenging or painful circumstance to be depressed due to the increased chances of its development even in the absence of such environmental or social triggers.

When people suffer from depression, they are not able to enjoy any activity, even those enjoyed earlier. This condition drains out people’s energy and motivation and prevent them from experiencing joy, pleasure, excitement, contentment, anticipation, satisfaction or connection. Basically, a person going through depression finds nothing meaningful anymore.

Such overwhelming feelings inflict a number of behavioral changes, such as impatience, anger, frustration, etc. People going through depression ten to easily break down and take longer to bounce back from an episode of depression. In severe cases, one also develops suicidal and self-harm tendencies. The persistence of emotions like sadness, despondency, pessimism, etc. disrupts a person’s sleep and eating pattern that eventually lead to a dysfunctional life.

Act before it is too late

In 2015, approximately 16.1 million adults in the United States  aged 18 or above, roughly 6.7 percent of the total population of the adults, were affected by clinical depression. It is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Since depression is common, one should be equipped with at least some basic knowledge to be able to differentiate between depression and sadness.

In the absence of adequate information, one tends to neglect his or her condition that requires counseling and serious treatment due to confusion. While people may overreact to a normal emotion, such as sadness, depression often goes undiagnosed.

If a person going through depression is not treated soon, there is a grave risk of him or her committing suicide or harming the self. Being a common mental illness, there are many treatments available that would benefit most people. If you think you or your loved one is exhibiting signs of depression, contact the Arizona Depression Helpline to locate the best depression rehab centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-233-3895 or chat online to get details about the depression treatment programs in Arizona.