You’re probably sad or someone you know is sad that made you click on this subject. Perhaps, you’re just curious to read. In any case, it’s always worthwhile to learn more about these topics. Now, what is sadness in general terms? And are feeling sad and depressed both related to each other?
Sadness is a reactive feeling you get in an upsetting or painful situation. You might have felt your energy going down or your focus getting low whenever you’re upset. Sometimes, it’s hard to word your emotions so you just let them linger and wait for them to go.
Like all other basic emotions that you feel, sadness often comes and goes from time to time. It doesn’t last too long. But if it does last long, then it converts into ‘depression’.
How is Depression different from sadness?
Depression is an emotional state that affects your life and your thought patterns in terms of months or even years. While there is a lot of information online on this topic, you cannot diagnose anyone based on it.
Here are some symptoms of Depression:
- Lethargy or chronic fatigue
- Persistently feeling sad
- Chronic pain that can’t be medically treated like normal
- Isolating oneself
- Sleeping too much or too less (insomnia)
- Excessive hunger and/or fast weight gain or reduced hunger and/or rapid weight loss
- Constant dark thoughts
- Persistent anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts
- Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed
If any of these symptoms occur, it is likely that the person is suffering from depression and they should see an expert for treatment.
Going to see a doctor in such cases is important because you feel that these symptoms would be temporary and can be reduced by manning up. This doesn’t happen in reality and unlike basic emotions, these feelings need assistance to leave.
It is always easier to neglect if someone else is feeling sad and having depression at once. Yet it becomes a whole new scenario when the person suffering is you. Thus, it is necessary to keep this information handy and observe people around you (but never self-diagnose).
To understand what depression feels like, below are some
- “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss
- “That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.” ― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
- Very depressed today. Unable to write a thing. Menacing gods. I feel like an outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals Of Sylvia Plath
- I like roses best. But they bloom in all four seasons. I wonder if people who like roses best have to die four times over again. ― Dazai Osamu, The Setting Sun
What Can Your Sadness Lead To?
That general feeling of ‘nothingness’ or ‘drowning’ can be co-related to many other feelings as well.
Have you felt a weird lump in your throat or chest when you’re upset? Does it feel painful to speak even though you have a lot to say? You sure do. But does it last too long? Most probably it doesn’t but it could wire to other feelings and thoughts.
Frequently, this feeling has secondary connections that almost don’t seem related to it at all.
Did you know that anger is also a secondary emotion and the first one is hurt (or simply sadness)?
Whenever you are unhappy, do you start feeling empty or lonely out of nowhere? It happens so because emotions also have physical and mental consequences that can make you feel this way. So you often might feel irritated, angry, lonely, or empty from the inside because you had been feeling sad and, maybe, depressed in the first place. Then how do you get effective at handling this?
There is a famous statement that states – ‘When you are happy, you smile. Similarly, if you smile for a while, you actually start feeling happy.’
Are Sadness and Anxiety Different from Each Other?
Sadness is an emotion that arises whenever you encounter an upsetting situation. You can feel downhearted because of several reasons such as being disappointed, losing someone close, or missing a great opportunity.
While, anxiety is a type of reaction to anything that causes you fear, nervousness, excitement, etc. It’s a chemical rush inside of you.
Sadness is a negative feeling due to which your mood can go downhill. On the other hand, anxiety can also be a sign of something exciting going to happen and indicate that you’re nervous which makes your heart rate shoot up. In simpler words, both feeling sad and having depression can co-relate but anxiety and sadness don’t always do.
Consequential Differences Between Sadness and Anxiety
To manage something, you first learn about the extent to which its consequences could lead.
Managing your sadness is relatively easier than managing your anxiety. This is because when you’re down: your heart feels heavy, your shoulders are droopy, your body feels weak, and so on.
On the other hand, when you’re anxious: your heart rate rises, stress hormones released now cause your brain to get hyperactive, your muscles start shaking, etc. Regular breathing exercises can help with controlling all of this.
It is true that both sadness and anxiety are different from each other. However, it is possible for you to have been feeling sad and experiencing depression at the same time. In addition, if your anxiety doesn’t go down over time then they develop into anxiety disorders. Only specialists or medical experts can help treat them.
Feelings Sad For No Reason
What do we call it when we feel sad for no reason (or perhaps for too many reasons)?
There is a term for it, known as ‘Hypophrenia’. This actually means mentally retarded in the medical language. But, in vague terms, it means ‘feeling sad without any cause’.
To understand this better: Humans are like leaves in a tree: connected with each other. If one of us is affected, then the others are also affected by that change. And our bodies are just like blackboards of memories. Our bodies remember what happened to us in the past and react again if a similar trigger rises in the present. You may take the idea of Immunity where our cells memorize the first meeting with a microbe and attack them strongly in the next meeting.
After you have encountered a certain danger or upsetting scenario, it’s still vivid in your body. Therefore, when we face the same triggers again we get upset for no reason even though there is a reason.
As you age, you collect many different memories; happy and sad both. The mass of triggers creates a map line on your brain and the body over time. Not all triggers have the same intensity; however, deeply affecting ones can last longer. Most of them make you overthink constantly which is always a lie. YOU ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR FEARS.
Another reason why we may feel down can be because of depression. It can make you cry and isolate yourself for no practical reason.
To get help with all of this, you can go to a doctor. Or you can call on these helplines: 911 (for U.S. citizens) and 999 (for Indian citizens in danger).
Ans. It generally feels like being constantly sorrowful. You may mostly stay in bed, hoping for someone to lift your body for you while you wait for time to pass by. This does nothing good to your health and all this time, your brain is probably lying to you.
If you feel relatable to this in any manner, we suggest you see a psychologist.
Ans. It may be that your body is going through the same reaction it did when you had a very upsetting moment in life. Sometimes, you may not understand the triggers. A doctor can help you learn your triggers better through therapy sessions or journaling would do it too.
Ans. If you feel constantly down and can’t get out of it, you can check the above-cited symptoms to check if your situation is relatable. If any of those do match, the best way to get the treatment is by getting help from an expert in this.