Depression and sadness are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same condition when it comes to mental health.
You may have felt both at some point in your life, but you might wonder, “What is the difference between sadness and depression?” A&E Healthcare Services, Inc. detailed the significant differences between the two to determine whether you or someone you know needs outpatient mental health services in College Park, Maryland.
Major depressive disorder (MDD), often known as clinical depression, is a mood illness characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
On the other hand, sadness is, more often than not, a situational emotion. Depression is considerably more complicated than simply feeling sad. This condition affects your overall well-being and goes beyond simply experiencing negative emotions.
When determining the difference between sadness and depression, look for the following symptoms:
- Appetite changes — either eating more or less.
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
- Energy levels can decline or fluctuate dramatically.
- Guilt, hopelessness, and a sense of worthlessness
- Suicidal or self-harming thoughts
Anxiety is the most prevalent mood condition that develops alongside depression. Anxious people frequently experience emotions of approaching doom.
The good news is that depression is treatable, with 80% to 90% of individuals responding favorably to treatment. If you believe you are experiencing depression, see a mental health professional immediately. Your doctor will conduct a behavioral health diagnosis and offer therapy based on the severity of your symptoms, with medication, counseling, or a combination of the two being the most common.