Are You Sad or Depressed?

Knowing the difference between sadness and depression is vital in getting the care you need. If you are sad or depressed, you must be feeling awful, and there are ways to tackle both. Sadness is an emotion that is uncomfortable for many of us and is usually triggered by an event. Depression likewise can come on after an event, but it can also be a chemical imbalance.

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When you feel sad, it is probably because something has happened that has made you feel this way, from relationship break-up to watching something that has upset you. You don’t tend to feel hopeless or guilty; it is usually a passing phase, although it can last a few days.

When you are depressed, you can also feel sad, but along with this comes thoughts and feelings of devastation, hopelessness, irritability and emptiness. It can be triggered by many things, from financial insecurity to grief. It usually lasts three months or more and much longer without treatment.

What Are The Symptoms of Sadness

are you sad or depressed, woman looking sad

Sadness can feel awful at the time, it is not a pleasant experience, but everyone at one point in their lives experiences sadness. It is emotionally based and commonly results from an experience. If it is a deep sadness, it can last a few days, especially if you keep replaying an event in your mind.

  • You may be tearful
  • Your heart may feel heavy
  • You may want to be alone
  • You may find solace in company
  • There are moments it appears to lift

What Are The Symptoms of Depression

Depression is overwhelming and affects all areas of your life, from your emotions and concentration, and some people also feel physical pain. Depression does not stop after a few days; it can take many weeks with treatment to feel better and, in some cases, years.

  • Overwhelming sadness, which does not disappear.
  • You may be irritable and angry.
  • Feeling tired and lethargic is common.
  • You may find you are sleeping more or less than usual and waking up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep.
  • Your eating may increase or decrease, which may cause weight gain or loss.
  • You find it difficult to concentrate and focus on things.
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed doing, such as hobbies and exercise.
  • Guilt over things that are not your fault or overwhelming guilt over past events.
  • You could have aches and pains; they could feel like flu pain.
  • You may have suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self-harm.

As you can see, the differences between sadness and depression are vast, and there are many more symptoms. The more severe the sign, such as suicide, is not a result of sadness and requires emergency medical treatment. If you do feel suicidal, please go to your emergency medical centre. Or contact your countries suicide hotline.

How Can You Treat Sadness

chamomile tea to treat sadness

Usually, sadness can be treated via distraction methods such as watching a comedy or playing games. Exercise can help fight off sadness and make you feel better about yourself as it makes you release feel-good endorphins.

Chamomile tea can also help as it is a calming and relaxing drink, so too can a few pieces of dark chocolate as it contains antioxidants and can also improve your brain function.

How Can You Treat Depression

The first step to treating depression is admitting something is wrong and then getting yourself to your doctors. If you don’t want to take antidepressants, there are alternative treatments that you can find here. But your doctor should be the first place you go.

Alongside antidepressants, it is recommended that you also seek therapy to help get you through and learn new patterns of thought and retrain your behaviour should you need it. If you have not got a local therapist near you, you can use an online service called [AF] Online Therapy, their prices start at around £23.00 per week, and they are a global company.

There are plenty of resources on this website to help you get through depression; why not have a read of the following:

Some medications can bring on some of the symptoms of depression, and if you are on them, you will need to speak to your doctor about it; the medications are:

  • beta-blockers which slow down the heart
  • corticosteroids are a group of steroids that are used as anti-inflammatories
  • hormonal medications
  • statins are used to treat cases of high cholesterol
  • alcohol, although not classed as a drug.
  • benzodiazepines usually used to treat anxiety

In Summary

There are significant differences between sadness and depression; one is life-threatening, the other is not and the quicker the treatment is in place for depression, the better the outcome. Sadness, although being an unenviable emotion, usually resolves itself quite quickly.


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Lou Farrell

Hi and welcome to Mentriz, where all manner of mental health issues are discussed, from anxiety to bipolar disorder. You can find what you are looking for by using the search function at the top of the screen. All articles are for information purposes and do not replace the advice of a doctor. I hope you find the website helpful and if you have a suggestion, please contact me.

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