Being Sad does not always mean you are Depressed.

Have you ever heard someone tell you that they are feeling depressed? And the first thing you think of is sadness? I do ALL the time, I mean after all I’m a Psychotherapist. Kinda in my Job description right?

Well, Here is a big misnomer. Being Sad does NOT always mean you are depressed.
Being sad is a feeling. Being Depressed is Diagnosis.

So What is depression? Here is what depression is…
Depression may occur at almost any stage of life. A child, teen or a middle or old age person can have it. It can be caused by various ways, which then lead to chemical changes in the brain. And example of these variables can be, biological changes, social isolation, getting older, genetic traits, emotional losses, traumatic experiences,  and dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, are some of the main common triggers for the symptoms of depression.
There are many types of depression, which include major depressive disorder, bipolar depressive disorder, psychotic depressive disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and seasonal disorder. All these are diagnosed through a clinician and are according to the time and length of the symptoms.  
Symptoms vary according to the individual. Five or more of the following symptoms must be present during the same 2-week period.
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping (nearly everyday)
  • A dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss (5% +/- in a month)
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, inappropriate guilt, feels sad and empty
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
  • Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities (loss of pleasure in things)
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (nearly everyday)
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fear of dying)
Possible Situational Times:
  • During The teen years,  children go through hormonal changes… you remember those? where no one could tell you anything?  
  • Prego women…after childbirth. 
  • Women, before, during menopause.
  • Any life altering change.
  • Men during their MENopause… they begin to loose testosterone. (grumpy old men).
  • Grandparents becoming mean after 60 because their hearts don’t work the same. 
  •  Your back is in a lot of pain all or some of the time. 
  • You have cancer or any other type of medical diagnosis; this can be a hard time.   
 So next time you say I am depressed… think about it. Are you self diagnosing yourself or are you FEELING sad? 
I hope this helps.  
Smile (if you want),

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  • Very true. Thank you for clarifying this. Many of the women in my life have “self-diagnosed” themselves, because they are sad….Its all a bit deeper and sometimes not as deep feeling.
    thanks again, it was a great post to read 😉

  • Very helpful signs to look out for and distinguish depression. I guess we can often use the term “depression” loosely and that can be confusing. I watched an episode of a show called Royal Pains that touched on this and the character was going through a difficult time being estranged from her family. Her friends were concerned for her and thought she was going through depression. She told them that she was just sad. Big difference. Though I understand that I do feel the need to point out that sadness can quickly turn into depression. I say this not as an expert but as someone who went through it. When it hit me, it took me by surprise and hit hard. So though there can be absolute differences it is always good to know the other signs that differentiate sadness and depression. Thanks again.

  • Jennifer. You are So correct, sadness can become depression sooner more often than later. I am glad you were able to see it through for yourself. And ROYAL PAINS! I love this show. I’m watching it with you chica!

    Tita, Thanks your for your comment. You too are insightful 🙂

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