Are depression and sadness the same?

Being unhappy is not the same as being depressed. People often confuse and interchangeably use the terms depression and sadness.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone or the other saying- He’s just depressed, he had a break up, or she lost her job, she seems depressed!

But major depressive disorder, a type of depression, is much more complicated. There are specific symptoms that determine whether it’s depression or the sadness we all sometimes experience in life.

Let’s look at the symptoms of depression to understand better.

Symptoms are different for every person. They may be different for children, teens, and seniors.

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Crying easily or for no reason.
  • Feeling guilty or worthless.
  • Feeling restless, irritated, anxious and easily annoyed.
  • Feeling sad, numb, or hopeless.
  • Losing interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy (including sex).
  • Thinking about death or suicide.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Changes in appetite (eating more than usual, or eating less than usual).
  • Feeling extremely tired all the time.
  • Having other aches and pains that don’t get better with treatment.
  • Having trouble paying attention, recalling things, concentrating, and making decisions.
  • Headaches, backaches, or digestive problems.
  • Sleeping too much, or having trouble sleeping.
  • Unintended weight loss or gain.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is advised to visit a doctor.

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