Sadness vs Clinical Depression: What are the differences between these two conditions?

Sadness is just a feeling like any other emotions. But clinical depression is a condition that needs to be treated. But often people get confused between them. So, Dr Anuneet Sabharwal, MBBS, MD Psychiatrist, founder and director of The Happy Tree, differentiates these two conditions along with their symptoms.
Sadness and Depression Differences Sadness vs Clinical Depression: What are the differences between these two conditions?
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“I am not feeling myself lately”, “I am not in a good mood”, “Oh, I feel so low right now” – these are some common statements we hear from people who are not feeling very well mentally. Often what happens is that they start feeling overwhelmed with all these thoughts and think that they have some serious issue going on.

In simpler words, people often get confused between being sad and depressed. Well luckily, like every problem, even this issue has a solution too. There is a basic difference between just being sad or feeling low and having clinical depression. Let us first understand what is sadness and depression, what are their symptoms, and then Dr Anuneet Sabharwal, MBBS, MD Psychiatrist, founder and director at The Happy Tree, will conclude with the difference between them.

What is the feeling of sadness?

Having a low mood or feeling sad is very humane. Just like being happy, being angry, and being excited, one can feel sad normally concerning their daily life incidents. For example, you can be sad if you had a bad day at work, you fought with your partner, etc.

Even the bigger events like break up, divorce, death in the family, etc. can be a reason for you to feel low. 

You can overcome this sadness by crying, talking to someone, and venting out. But the good part is that this feeling passes with time. You might be feeling very sad today but tomorrow morning, you would be happy about a new project you are getting, a birthday party you have to attend, or a promotion you are about to get.

However, the issue comes when the sadness is prolonged up to 2 weeks and it becomes more than just a phase – it becomes a part of your life. This is exactly when seeking professional help is suggested.

What is depression?

Generally, depression is seen as a big problem and people think that someone suffering from a mental illness is dangerous. As serious as this problem sounds and it is, depression is a mental disorder just like any other physical illness. There is no specific age, profession, or type to it, it can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any point in time. Important symptoms that you need to keep in mind are feelings of worthlessness, feeling sad, feeling demotivated, and not being able to pursue anything because of the lack of interest.

The biggest concern in this situation is that the person suffering from this illness thinks about suicide a lot. They think that their life is not worth living and it would be easier if they end it.

If you are experiencing all these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, you might have a major depressive disorder (MDD).

How do you know if you have MDD? 

1.You experience sadness on the daily basis. You feel that there is no hope to live at all. 

2.You do not have any interest in pursuing the activities you loved earlier. 

3.You have gained or lost a lot of weight.

4.You have a messed-up sleeping schedule or you are experiencing insomnia or oversleeping.

5.You feel tired all the time.

6.You have a lot of guilts and you overthink about anything and everything.

7.You are not able to concentrate on anything.

8.You have been thinking about suicide a lot.

Note: If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, you should seek professional help and let the psychologists and experts guide you in this issue.

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