Are you depressed? Is it any difference between sadness and depression? Human emotion is a vast field of research, and there are still many unanswered questions, but there’s a clear answer to the ones we have just made. Feeling sad and being clinically depressed is not the same thing, and there’s a way to tell the difference between sadness and depression, and a series of alarm signs that would lead us to suspect depression in ourselves or a close relative.
We all feel sad from time to time, and it is a part of our emotions. Sadness is a natural thing, and expressing this emotion is the healthiest way to drain loss and grief. However, there’s a clear line that divides sadness as a human experience and depression as an alteration of this naturally-occurring feeling. Even so, these warning signs are often misleading, and patients are usually biased and confused about terms, which is why it is advised to see a professional regardless of the signs and symptoms you’re detecting in yourself or your relative.
These are the most common signs and symptoms in major depression and other depressive disorders:
A depressed or sad mood
First and foremost, depressed patients often feel sad. It might seem odd to highlight sadness as a symptom in depression because it is commonly accepted that depressed patients are always in blue. But that’s not always the case. Some patients may not feel sad, and they are still depressed because they fulfill the rest of the criteria. On the other hand, other patients would experience sadness, but they have no idea as to the reason why.
Depressive disorders are variable in this regard, and each case should be treated in a very individual and professional way. Patients who can’t point out a reason and those who do not feel sadness at all usually experience a delay in diagnose. The approach will be different when the patient can trace back the source of sadness, which is commonly associated with a loss or sudden changes in people’s lives.