Differences Between Sadness and Depression

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

As human beings, we all experience sadness once in a while when life gets difficult. More often than not, after a period of grieving, you will get back to normal. However, in some cases, the sadness may stay a little bit too long, disrupting your normal life. You cannot work or sleep. And suddenly, you feel worthless. That may be the warning signs of depression.

Symptoms of depression

The most common signs of depression are:

– Bad mood

– Emptiness

– Loss of interest in what you once loved

– Abnormality in weight gain or loss

– Sleeping problems: either lack of sleep or excessive sleeping

– Irritation

– Fatigue or tiredness

– Unexplainable guilt

– Cognitive problems: lack of concentration or indecisiveness

– Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts

Risk factors of depression

Depression can happen to anyone. It affects people of all age groups, genders, and ethnicity. Nevertheless, certain conditions can make you more prone to depression, such as:

– Childhood trauma

– Low self-esteem

– A family history of depression or other mental disorders

– A history of substance abuse

– Social exclusion

– Difficulties in adjusting to a new situation

– Lack of a supporting system

Besides, there are some medications that might induce depression:

– Beta-blockers


– Hormonal medications

– Statins

When to seek help?

If sadness stays with you for more than a couple of weeks, you need to talk to your doctor, especially when there is a present of suicidal thoughts. In case your feelings are interfering with your life, try to talk to someone you trust. It could be a family member, a friend, or a therapist. Sharing is the key to recovery when it comes to depression.

How is depression treated?

Lifestyle changes

– Connect with others by joining a class or a club

– Spend time doing what you love

– Exercise or play sports

– If you like pets, consider adopting one

– Avoid self-medicate with drugs or alcohol

– Keep a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep

– If you cannot sleep, meditation may help

Additionally, you should enlist the help of a professional. Psychological counseling has been known as an effective treatment option for depression. You may also need medications. What antidepressants you need depends on your condition, family and medical history, and lifestyle. Keep in mind that antidepressants might not work for everyone. There have been cases in which medications make depression worse. So, it is important to tell your doctor immediately when you feel like your medication is not working or is worsening your depression.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: February 6, 2017 | Last Modified: December 6, 2019

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