Feeling low? You’re not alone! 2020 hasn’t been the greatest year for lots of people. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and consequent global lockdown, so many dreams, plans and goals have been put on hold. Life is very uncertain right now, and it’s only natural to feel a little down in the dumps.
But are you just sad, or are you actually depressed? It’s important to know the difference if you want to work through your emotions and get the help you need. In this article, we break down the differences between sadness vs depression so that you can find solutions for your feelings in a world that’s been turned upside down by Covid-19.
Sadness vs depression?
In a nutshell, sadness is an emotion that usually has a trigger, and it normally passes with time. Depression, however, is a mental health condition that may require more in-depth action such as therapy or medication. Sadness can be a symptom of depression. Depression doesn’t generally go away on its own without seeking help.
What is sadness?
It’s very normal to feel sad from time to time. All humans will experience sadness at some time in their life. Most of the time, sadness is triggered by negative life events that cause stress or disappointment. So being in lockdown and unable to take part in activities you enjoy can definitely cause sadness!
When you are sad, it’s likely that your emotions can be relieved by crying, venting to a friend, practising self-care, or talking through your frustrations. If you are sad rather than depressed, you will find that the feeling eases as time goes by and you begin to feel better.
Symptoms of depression
True depression is far worse than sadness, although sadness is a symptom of depression. Depression is a mental health disorder that can be the result of trauma, extreme stress, or a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is very overwhelming and can affect your behaviour, attitude and ability to cope with life.
If you’ve been feeling down for more than 2 weeks without any clear triggers, you should visit your doctor and open up about how you are feeling, as you might be depressed.
How do you know if you’re depressed? Symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling sad for no obvious reason
- Feeling discouraged, despondent and hopeless
- Being unmotivated
- Losing interest in activities that you enjoy
- In severe cases, thoughts of death or suicide
Treatment for depression varies from person to person. Regular appointments with a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist are very beneficial to help unpack your emotions. Used correctly, medication can rectify a chemical imbalance if that is the cause of your depression.
In years gone by, there was a stigma attached to mental health, but this is no longer the case. Mental health awareness has resulted in a society that is now much more supportive of disorders like depression and anxiety. There is no shame in reaching out for help.