Sadness versus Depression
First, let’s have a quick look at the difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is an emotion that’s as typical as happiness, fear or anxiety. When you had a particularly bad day at work, you might go home feeling sad because of the tiredness and stress that you went through for the number of hours that you were in the office. This is perfectly normal sadness. For kids, they might feel sad when they did poorly in a test or if they had a misunderstanding with a friend. Discouragement or feeling down are similar emotions as sadness.
But what about depression? Think of it as sadness – but multiplied many times over and having no reason for the strong emotion at all. If you’re a typically cheerful person at home and your spouse starts to notice that you’re always by yourself and you’d rather sleep than go out – these could be early signs of depression.
As compared to regular sadness, depression involves a stronger feeling of despair, discouragement or even hopelessness. If the feelings have been existing for weeks, months or even longer – it is better to have the condition looked after by a professional. If sadness takes over your daily routines in life, this could be a sign of depression.
The Danger of Having Depression Unrecognized & Untreated
Next, what is the danger of having depression unrecognized or worse, untreated? Men, for example, who generally do not express their feelings, might be depressed and not even know that they are depressed. It can be misinterpreted by the people closest to them as simply having an attitude or being crankier than usual. If the condition is something akin to depression and if left untreated, it can develop to something worse like self-harm or eating disorders.
How Should Depression be Treated?
Being alone all the time, a life-altering event, job loss, death in the family, even changing seasons could be causes of depression. A person who is naturally pessimistic is more in danger of being depressed after suffering from a life-changing event, as compared to someone who is optimistic in nature.
No matter what the reason is behind the depression, it should never be left unrecognized and untreated. If you find yourself being always lethargic, cranky and not finding any reason to get up and go about your day, you might be depressed. Getting a medical check-up and talking to a counsellor is the best first step to take.
Psychologists can help you put your feelings into words so that you can see the brighter side of life and take the long road towards getting treatment for depression. You should help yourself as well, and get the support of immediate family when dealing with something as serious as depression.