Depression or Just Sadness?

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Experiencing a loss may make you sad, but if the sadness becomes out of proportion to the event then you fall into depression. Sadness is a normal reaction, but depression is not.

Depression differs from sadness in its intensity, frequency, and duration.

Intensity. While the event would make most people sad, you respond with a much deeper level of sadness. It is too intense. Your sadness moves outside the normal range of response.

Frequency. Your sadness may not be out of proportion, but it is recurrent. You seem to get over it, and then it comes back. This repetitive cycle becomes a pattern in your life.

Duration. Your sadness comes and it stays and stays. The sadness lasts much longer than it does for most other people in similar circumstances.

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. How severe they are, how frequent, and how long they last will vary. It depends on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Here are common symptoms people with depression experience:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

If you feel you might be suffering from Depression, mild or otherwise, contact us now to see if talking to a therapist might hel you.