Though they are often used interchangeably, depression and sadness are not the same thing. It’s possible to be depressed without being sad, or sad without being depressed. It’s also possible to experience both of these feelings at the same time, which can cause even more confusion as to what they are and how they can be best dealt with. This is why it’s important to know the difference between depression and sadness so that you can seek depression treatment if necessary.
What is Depression?
Depression is a serious mental illness that can negatively affect how you feel, think, and behave. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can make it difficult to function in your everyday life. Unlike sadness, which is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at times, depression is more than just feeling down or blue. It’s a persistent problem that can last for weeks, months, or even years.
How Do You Know If You Are Depressed?
Depression isn’t as simple as feeling sad. It’s a serious mental health condition that can have a profound effect on your mood, thoughts, behaviour, and physical health. Depressed people might lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. They may sleep too much or too little, and notice other symptoms (more on that below), which is when they should opt for depression therapy.
How Can You Differentiate Between Feeling Sad and Being Depressed?
It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between feeling sad and being depressed because they share many symptoms. However, there are some key differences.
First, sadness is usually triggered by a specific event, whereas depression can occur without any obvious trigger.
Second, sadness is usually short-lived, while depression can last for weeks or longer.
Third, people who are sad generally still enjoy activities that they used to enjoy, whereas people with depression often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s time to seek depression treatment:
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
How is Depression Treated?
One of the popular forms of depression treatment is TMS therapy. TMS therapy is a treatment for depression that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in people with depression. TMS is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure offered by qualified professionals at a depression clinic.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between depression and sadness, especially if you’re feeling down over something that has happened in your life. If you’re struggling with these emotions, it is ideal to consult with a professional to gain clarity and peace of mind.