Sadness and depression are normally confused together. Sadness is a normal emotion that we all normally experience. This could happen in a day that things did not go well as expected. For instance, having an issue with a co-worker, a conflict between a child and a parent, and receiving unpleasant news. All these examples could probably lead to feelings of sadness. However, this feeling can go away within a short period of time. On the contrary, clinical depression is a mood disorder that is intense, pervasive, more consuming, and affects your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and even your ability to interact with others.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Depression makes you feel a sense of emptiness, meaning there is nothing that can make you feel happy. You feel the world is against you and there is nothing for you to look forward to. You feel you have low energy to look forward in life, loss of interest in daily activities and pleasurable activities that you used to enjoy. These could be signs that you are struggling with clinical depression. Additional symptoms are;
- Disturbance in your sleep pattern, that is either sleeping too much or too little.
- Significant weight gain or weight loss.
- A deep sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
- Crying without a cause.
- Chronic feeling of fatigue. Feeling tired most of the time including early mornings.
- loss of sexual desire.
- Slowed movement and speech.
- Feeling of worthlessness, guilt, and low self-esteem.
- Suicidal ideations, That is wanting to harm yourself or another person.
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating.
All these pointers are symptoms of depression. In addition, there could be an increase in irritability, psychosomatic symptoms like migraine headaches, stomach aches which will be lasting. Another important thing to note about depression is that it affects how you function, for instance, your interaction with family, friends, and co-workers and even how you feel about yourself.
IMPORTANT SIGNS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR.
However, there are other signs that you need to watch out for in addition to any five or more symptoms as listed above, to confirm if you are clinically depressed. These include;
- Feeling depressed most times of the day for a period of two weeks or more.
- Loss of interest in most activities that you used to enjoy doing, for example, bathing, brushing of teeth, visiting friends and relatives, etc. You could be performing these activities, but are being done not with ease.
SOME CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
There are diverse causes or triggers of depression. Some of these are the loss of job, divorce, life-threatening diseases like cancer and stroke, trauma, and sometimes it can be genetic. An important thing to remember is, whether it is sadness or depression, it can be separated by the duration of your symptoms, the pervasiveness of your symptoms, the intensity of your symptoms and, the frequency of your symptoms.
If you think you relate to these symptoms that have been mention, speak to your General Practitioner or mental health professional who can help make a diagnosis. Depression is treatable and, can be treated with either psychotherapy or both psychotherapy and medication depending on its severity.