Life can be hard, there’s no doubts about it. With life comes plenty of ups and downs; the downs sometimes knocking their feet from under a person and hitting them hard. Divorce, family illness, bullying, stress… these events are all catalyst to spur depression in an individual. However, what is being steadily forgotten by the world is that there is a very clear line between having clinical depression and just feeling sad over something. Therapia, an addiction healing center, has an article on their website that examines the difference between sadness and depression since depression is a co-occurring disorder that is often attached to addiction. The website describes sadness as, “If you’re feeling sad, but you don’t really have a reason, or if you feel disproportionately sad over something upsetting, you may be experiencing depression. Sadness can usually be attached to a specific cause, and only lasts for a couple of weeks at most.” Sadness still allows you to express your emotions and you can usually trace the origin while depression robs some of its victims of expression of their emotions and is nearly impossible to pin down.
I have quite the experience with this topic; seeing that I have wrote about it before in my article The Normalization of Depression. However, this takes it to a much more serious level, especially if someone is not treated correctly for what they have. I have seen kids at my school, who I am genuinely worried for and I swear that they might have depression, try and burden themselves with so much and shrug off any potential signs of depression as just momentary emotional weakness. Then there are people who are completely fine, in terms of mental health, but are more on the melodramatic side of things.
The moment they feel sad or are going through something semi-challenging, they throw around the “depressed” label for sympathy or attention. In my opinion, both sides of this spectrum are dangerous and have impacts for depressed people like me everywhere. People now assume when I say that I suffer from depression that I either mean that I am temporarily sad or I am using the disorder to get depression; despite what I know in my heart. They cannot see the mornings where I wake up and want to go back to sleep because I don’t feel like engaging in life or the nights where I cry myself to sleep and I can’t figure out why or the times where I feel numb inside and nothing seems to matter.
Depression is a serious issue, one not to be thrown around lightly. Yet, it continues to persist in my life and the lives of those I meet. My advice for anyone reading who is struggling to decipher what side of the line they stand on is to seek help. You and those around may not always be the best judge of what your mental state is. Seeking out the proper mental health professionals is one giant step towards figuring out the problem. Those who are depressed, I would recommend you be open about you illness and not be afraid to be seen as “weak”. I urge you to continue to push on and do the things you love; not letting depression keep you from living your life to the best of your abilities. Medication is another option, however, that is your personal choice (with the advice or suggestion from a medical professional) to make. For those of you who are maybe going through a rough patch and are sad, talking about what is getting you down would be my best suggestion.
Letting all of your stresses and problems into the open and letting someone you trust in to help you overcome these issues will go long way to helping you through your current sadness. The line between these two worlds, known as sadness and depression can get a little blurry sometimes. People take it upon themselves to decide when they might not be the best fit to do so. But seeking help and clearing up the difference between these two worlds is worth it.