Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Monday
May312010

Is It Depression or Sadness? 

Although depression is often thought of as being an extreme state of sadness, there is a significant difference between clinical depression and sadness.  Sadness is a natural reaction to a painful circumstance.  We all experience sadness.  When a person suffers a loss, they need time to adapt and sadness is part of the mourning process.  Sadness is horrible to feel but it’s a crucial part of the healing.

Depression however is an illness with many more symptoms than an unhappy mood.  Sadness is a transient feeling that passes as a person comes to terms with their difficulty.  However depression can linger for weeks, months, even years. 

The symptoms of depression include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or most, daily activities. 
  • Changes in appetite and/or sleep.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.
  • Loss of energy
  • Recurrent thoughts about death or suicide 

 

According to the World Health Organization one in each four women and one in each eight men will have, at least, one depressive episode in their entire life.