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The relationship between sadness and depression can be blurry

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides, Copy Editor

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The relationship between sadness and depression can be blurry to some people. You might not

see a difference because sadness is a symptom of depression, but there is one. Being sad is a feeling most people naturally have. It is a feeling we are used to. When a person is sad but not depressed that typically means they are not sad for an extensive amount of time. In my opinion, if you feel sad longer than you think is healthy, then you might want to talk to friends or family about how you are feeling. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can seek a professional that has expertise in mental health.

I also want to mention, that I am not excluding anyone who has Bipolar disorder or seasonal depression. I know the feeling of sadness is much different for individuals who have these mental health issues. I am solely speaking about the difference between being sad and depressed as a result to depression, whether someone falls under a subtype of depression or not.

The main difference is when you are depressed, it is unhealthy. There is a chemical imbalance going on, and you have no control over when you feel this way or how long. Please do not tell people you are depressed because you failed your math exam. This is insulting to individuals who have depression. It is not cool to be “depressed” and definitely is not a term you should throw around jokingly.

Everything can make you sad when you are depressed. It is much more intense. You do not need something traumatic to happen in your life to be depressed, it hits you out of nowhere. You could be having an amazing time on vacation, and suddenly you are hit with an overwhelming amount of sadness with no explanation. Even people who seemingly are happy can be dealing with depression. It is not a visible mental illness all the time.

There is a problem with people thinking that being sad and being depressed is the same thing. When you assume someone is just sad then this decreases their chances of seeking help for a serious mental illness they may have, according to Psychology Today. They explain this is a consequence due to the confusion between sadness and depression. Another consequence of this action would result by telling a person who has a mental illness that they need to just, “Get over it” as if it is that easy.

You should never assume someone is not depressed because you believe they are not based on your experiences with sadness. The individual dealing with a mental illness would know more about their mental state than anyone else.

What we need is for everyone to accept that depression is a serious mental illness. I speak on behalf of my own experiences dealing with depression. I have had friends and acquaintances tell me that I can choose to be happy. Saying things like this does not make the person dealing with depression feel better. If anything, we feel misunderstood and alone.

When you’re dealing with depression it feels like no one else could possibly understand what is going on in your head. It is not a choice, if it were, then most would choose to be happy. The distress depression leaves on you is a continuous strain that we wish we did not have. Seeking professional help is the best solution for anyone dealing with a mental illness. If you believe no one truly understands how you feel, a mental health professional would know the most, aside from yourself.

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The relationship between sadness and depression can be blurry