How is Depression Different from Sadness?

How is Depression Different from Sadness?

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), India ranks first in the list of the most depressed countries in the world with over 56 million people suffering from depression. This is surprising because 17% of all the suicides committed in the world last year were from India. In such a situation, a problem like depression cannot be ignored at all. People see depression as sadness or stress, but depression is much more serious than this.

Sadness is a normal human emotion. We all experience it. Sadness usually arises from a difficult, tragic, challenging, or depressing event, experience, or situation. This means that when things are not in our way, when our feelings get hurt, when we are desperate, we experience sadness which is a part of our life. But depression is an abnormal emotional state that affects our thinking, feelings, perceptions, and behavior in a serious and prolonged period and takes the form of mental illness. It reduces our energy, motivation, happiness, enthusiasm, anticipation, satisfaction, connection, and ability to understand.

There are many different symptoms of depression which are very important to know so that they can be understood at the right time;

Signs & Symptoms of depression

Emotional Symptoms

  • Sadness, dissatisfaction, and disappointment.
  • Anxiety, tension, and discomfort
  • Loss of appetite and thirst
  • Blame yourself & Mourning
  • Anger, irritability or frustration over small matters

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Thinking negatively about yourself
  • Worry about the future
  • Consider yourself to be a failure
  • Regret thinking about the past
  • Think too much
  • Difficulty in making decisions, focusing and remembering things
  • Lack of confidence
  • Suicidal thoughts

Motivational Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in routine work
  • Lack of initiative
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • Break out of the relationship

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Speak slowly
  • Sitting in one place
  • Do not feel like going out of the house
  • Don't feel like talking to someone
  • Feeling weakness

Somatic Symptoms

  • Headache, neck pain & back pain
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Chest pain
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
  • Excessive fatigue

This is just the initial symptoms. With the onset of these symptoms, no person can be called depressed. Psychologically, any person is diagnosed in a depressive disorder when at least 5 of the following symptoms should remain in the person for two weeks –

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Lack of interest and enjoyment in ordinary work
  • Experiencing difficulty while sleeping, Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
  • Loss of appetite and loss of body weight or vice versa.
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired
  • Negative self-concept, blaming oneself and feeling of ineptitude
  • Difficulty in concentration, slow thinking and decision making
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or a suicide attempt

If you or someone you know has had this symptom for more than 2 weeks, you need to consult a trained mental health professional for treatment. If for some reason you do not want to go to the professional, then at least talk to a friend or loved one whom you trust. Depression is a very common mental disorder and there are many treatments that people benefit from but it is necessary to take the first step on your behalf and talk about your problem without fear.

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