Do you know the difference between being depressed or just being sad?
Most people don’t. However, this matters because perhaps the best way to avoid health complications arising from depression is to deal with it in its early stages.
It is normal to feel sad from time to time. Sadness is a natural reaction to something upsetting which has happened. Depression on the other hand is more extreme. It is more of an emotional or mental illness which has a lot more symptoms than sadness and can, if not treated lead to suicide.
One huge difference between sadness and depression is that a person experiencing feelings which they find disconcerting can reasonably tell you what it is that is causing their unhappiness, however a person suffering from depression may not necessarily be able to do so.
When one is sad, we tend to know that things will get better over time; on the other hand, a person going through depression may not see an end to his or her problem and may consequently think things are or will get worse.
This may lead to a depression that could last for a long length of time. With the negative feelings being so intense and overpowering, depression is oft times something one just can’t snap out of, at least not without assistance or taking exact measures to match or overwhelm its hold on a person.
Though it is safe to say anyone going through depression experiences sadness, but not every sad person is necessarily depressed, both emotional hindrances might need to be addressed and catered to the same or very similar ways.
However, since depression is usually more burdensome than just a state of sadness, one needs to be able to distinguish between the two to determine the amount of effort that may need to be done to correct either state of these negative emotions.
In order to be able to attack depression-advisably in its earlier stages-below are its symptoms in no specific order.
- Irritability and mood swings.
- Hopelessness and extreme pessimism (a negative outlook on life)
- Loss of energy, extreme fatigue and tiredness.
- Loss of interest in hobbies, having a good appearance and even associates and loved ones.
- Extreme feelings of helplessness and no self worth.
- Suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
- Insomnia (lack of) or excessive sleep.
- Inexplicable weight loss or gain thereof, triggered by eating disorders.
Though not a conclusive list as characteristics vary by patient, these symptoms of depression listed above are the most common ones.
If you happen to experience any of these symptoms, the first step, in my opinion and based on research will be to look within and ask why this may be occurring. Thoroughly assess your situation to see what it is that could be triggering these symptoms of depression within you. Could it be a failure at something or the loss of something or someone of importance?
If you go over the problem carefully, you would be able to target the cause and consequently solve it. Remember, the mind is the most powerful force on the earth, He who can control it can control all things my friend.
I will also mention that for both sadness (a symptom of depression obviously) and for the emotional disorder-depression-which we have now characterized for the purposes of distinguishing between the two, some steps you can take on your own for help will be engaging in some form of physical activity such as exercise or other hobbies.
This step exercises the motor centers of the brain, making the blood flow away from the emotional activity center; consequently one becomes more receptive to positive thoughts.
In addition to this tip, an observance of nature will show us that when animals are frightened or angered, they abstain from eating until after the passage of some time. Moreover, it is true that under stressful circumstances many civilized people refrain from eating and find in truth that they lack the desire for food, but it is also too often that most of us will eat large meals under these circumstances.
Now, worry, fear, anxiety, excitement, hurry, heated arguments at meals: all prevent the secretion of the digestive enzymes of the body and hinder not only digestion, but the whole nutrition process.
This considered, perhaps the last thing you may want to do while dealing with depression or sadness-be it its causes or symptoms is to eat excessively, I may go as far as to say to even eat at all.
It is also advised that at this crucial stage of emotional encumbrance, try and seek out the company of uplifting friends, relatives and associates. As much as possible, purposely surround yourself with uplifting and positive elements like your favorite DVD comedies, books, sitcoms and things of that nature.
So if you are unsure if you are truly depressed or just sad, take heart, neither of these negative emotions can overpower you-if you take charge and overcome them. It may not always be easy and you may need help, however, the desire to be-little their effects over you will be the first step towards success.