Many different events throughout our lives will make us feel sad. Failing a test at school or a project at work, losing a loved one or something important, stress in your life, traumatic events, and other challenges can all result in feelings of sadness, guilt, despondency, and more negative emotions.
Depression also produces many of these same feelings, but it is different in that depression is a mental health condition and in many cases will not go away on its own with time. The similarities between sadness and depression can make it important to know which one you are experiencing and when is the right time to seek help from a psychiatrist.
Differences Between Depression and Sadness
Depression and sadness have many similarities in terms of what you may feel emotionally, but there are some key differences that makes it possible to tell them apart. These differences include:
- Triggers – Sadness almost always has a trigger, or a certain event that causes you to feel sad. Depression might have a trigger, but can also develop on its own seemingly without a reason.
- Timing – Depending on what caused your sadness, feelings will start to fade over time. Depression is more persistent. When low feelings last longer than two weeks, that is often a sign of depression rather than sadness.
- Lack of Positive Emotions – When you are sad, you will likely still feel positive emotions throughout the day. For example, the loss of a loved one may make you feel sad, but you will likely also remember happy memories from your time together. With depression, it can feel impossible to experience anything other than sadness, guilt, and anger.
Additionally, depression can have a few symptoms that go beyond sadness. These can include a withdrawal from activities and hobbies you once liked, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. These are not typically present with sadness and are an indication of a depression condition.
Although depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, many cases of it are not diagnosed or are misdiagnosed, leaving patients without the treatments they need. It is important whenever you feel persistent sadness or negative emotions, especially if they meet any other criteria above, to seek the help of a psychiatrist.
Depression treatment in Dallas can help you manage both symptoms of sadness and more lasting symptoms of depression with an effective range of treatments. If you are experiencing ongoing feelings of sadness, set up an appointment with Aware Behavioral Health today.