Many of us get sad about various things in our day to day life. Didn’t get good grades? You get sad. Lost any loved one? You get sad. Had some loss in business? You get sad.
Feeling sad from time to time is just another part of being human, it’s an emotion. Almost everyone gets sad in their life at times but these days people get confused with sadness and depression.
What’s the difference between sadness and depression –
Sadness is just an emotional state. Almost all people have experienced it and we all will, in future again. Sadness is mostly caused by any disappointing or hurtful situation. It is temporary. This type of sadness doesn’t last long it fades with time or when we get over the loss of situation.
Whereas depression is a mental illness. It’s a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. An abnormal emotional state which affects our emotions, mood, thinking, perception and behaviour. We feel sad about everything when we are depressed.
Depression affects one’s daily life and its characterized by loss of interest in activities and persistent low mood. It’s more than just being sad.
Symptoms of Depression –
Common symptoms of depression includes –
1. Persistent feeling of sadness.
2. Loss of interest and pleasure in all activities.
3. Tiredness and lack of energy .
4. Depressed mood most of the day, especially in morning.
5. Feeling of being worthless and helplessness.
6. Feelings of deep, unwarranted guilt.
7. Low self esteem, anxiety and restlessness.
8. You’ve lost or gained weight.
9. You often think about death and suicide.
10. Physical symptoms like headache, body ache and cramps with without any specific cause.
Causes of depression –
1. Brain chemistry imbalance – Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the neurotransmitters which are involved in mood regulation.
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances which help different areas of the brain communicate with each other. When certain neurotransmitters are in short supply, this may lead to the symptoms we recognize as clinical depression.
2. Genetics and Biology –
Most researchers suspect that having parents or siblings with depression may be a risk factor.
Though, researchers are not yet certain about all the genetic risk factors for depression.
3. Grief and loss –
Following the loss of a loved one, grieving individuals experience many of the same symptoms of depression. Trouble sleeping, poor appetite, and a loss of pleasure or interest in activities are a normal response to loss.
4. Stressful life events –
loss of job, loss of a loved one, death/grief, divorce, or retirement. Sometimes starting a new job, (which may be too demanding), having a baby, may also lead to depression.
Drugs and alcohol can contribute to depressive disorders. But, even some prescription drugs have been linked to depression.
6. Chronic illnesses –
Illness is related to depression in two ways. The stress of having a chronic illness may trigger an episode of major depression.
In addition, certain illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, Addison’s disease and liver disease, can cause depression symptoms.
When people have chronic and severe depression, the ultimate thing they think about is suicide and death.
Warning signs of Suicide-
These include –
1. Thoughts of death and suicide.
2. Thoughts or talk of self harm or harm to others.
3. Aggressive behavior and impulsiveness.
How can you help someone who is depressed?
1. Show empathy.
2. Love unconditionally.
3. Always be there for him/her.
4. Offer any help with treatment and encourage the person to get counseled with a doctor.
5. Educate yourself about depression so as to understand about depression and how to relate better.
6. Offer hope in whatever form they will accept it.
7. Take care of yourself.
Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for the sake of those who love me.” — Susan Polis Schutz
Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” — Madeleine L’Engle
To whoever reading this-
I hope you, your family and friends always stay healthy and happy. And if you know someone who has depression but is not taking any treatment then please encourage them to go and see a psychiatrist.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” — Christopher Reeve