How to distinguish depression from sadness?

Feeling sad is an integral part of depression, but it is not the same thing. Knowing and understanding the differences can help a person understand when to seek treatment. In this article, we will tell you how to distinguish one condition from another and what treatment options for depression exist.

Depression and sadness are connected, but they are not the same thing. Sadness is an emotion that everyone periodically experiences, often after stressful or frustrating life events. Depression is an insurmountable and ongoing mental health disorder that can greatly affect daily life.

Spleen triggers often cause spleen, while depression may not have a specific cause. Thus, sadness is part of depression, but it is temporary.

See your doctor if you feel that the spleen lasts too long. This may indicate the development of depression.

To do this is extremely important in order not to aggravate the condition, and also to start treatment on time, if necessary.

Sadness or spleen

Sadness is a normal human emotion that every person experiences in stressful or difficult times. A series of life events can inspire sadness. The loss or absence of a loved one, divorce, dismissal, financial or domestic problems can negatively affect the mood. A failed exam, interview, or other disappointing event can also cause sadness.

Nevertheless, a person who is sad can relieve his condition with the help of tears, walking or talking with loved ones. Most often, sadness is caused by a specific trigger, and it passes over time. If the mood does not improve and the person is not able to resume normal life, this may be a sign of depression.

If a bad mood worsens or lasts more than 2 weeks, a person should talk with a doctor.


Depression is a mental disorder that has a huge impact on a person’s life. It can change the behavior and life of a person of any gender or age.

Ukraine ranks first in Europe in the number of people suffering from depression.

Her symptoms include:

  • Feeling of disappointment.
  • Sadness.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Loss of interest in activities that a person previously considered interesting.

In especially serious cases, a person may think about suicide or try to commit suicide. People with depression no longer want to spend time with family or friends, they can give up their hobbies or stop going to work / school.

If symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, the healthcare provider can diagnose major depressive disorder (MDD).

Symptoms of the BDR include:

  • A daily depressed mood that lasts most of the day, with visible signs of hopelessness and sadness.
  • Loss of interest in normal activities over a long period of time.
  • Significant and inadvertent loss or weight gain.
  • Insomnia or, conversely, too long sleep, which affect the normal schedule.
  • Fatigue and low energy.
  • Feeling worthless or overly guilty on a daily basis.
  • Inability to concentrate or make a decision.
  • Repeated thoughts of death, suicide, and suicide attempts or planning.

Experts say that if a person experiences any five of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, then he has serious psychological problems. To diagnose BDD, the doctor must make sure that the symptoms are associated exclusively with depression, and not with another medical diagnosis – substance abuse or underlying disease.

Unlike sadness, depression can turn a person’s life into a difficult test. Sadness is just one element of depression.

Depression Treatment

If symptoms of depression persist for 2 weeks or longer, seek professional help. Your doctor will help you find the treatment you need to treat your symptoms. After diagnosis, possible treatment includes medication, counseling, and psychotherapy.

Drug treatment

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to treat depression. They function by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that helps improve mood. Examples of SSRIs include citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline.

According to the Mayo Clinic, these drugs can relieve symptoms of depression, although they carry a risk of side effects. For example, if a person first uses antidepressants, there is a risk of symptoms worsening before they improve. Family members of the patient taking the medicine should carefully monitor their condition and seek medical attention if symptoms begin to worsen.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expressed concern that some SSRIs may cause suicidal thoughts in young people and may pose some risk to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. As a result of this, a warning appeared on the drugs. When prescribing SSRIs, the doctor must carefully weigh all the pros and cons of using the drug.

Psychotherapy and counseling

Psychotherapy involves communication with a specialist, and can be combined with antidepressant treatment. The therapist will help identify problem areas, teach you how to cope with difficulties and teach a person the features of this condition.

Treatment for severe depression can be inpatient, especially if the person is at risk for himself (due to the risk of suicide) or is not able to take care of himself. Outpatient facilities and psychotherapy clinics can also help with long-term care.

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