Difference between being depressed and being sad

There are people who don’t know the difference between being depressed and being sad. Then there are the people who think they’re the same thing. A psychologist named Guy Winch said, “Because we associate depression with its primary symptom of pervasive sadness, many of us struggle to tell the difference between these two common psychological states. This is a huge problem.” When you’re depressed you can be sad as well but there are important differences between the two and it’s good to be able to decipher between the two. Depression is a bit more complicated than being sad and according to Winch, “Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation.” Winch speaks about depression as well saying, “Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything.” Winch also says, “Depression colors all aspects of our lives, making everything less enjoyable, less interesting, less important, less lovable, and less worthwhile. Depression saps our energy, motivation, and ability to experience joy, pleasure, excitement, anticipation, satisfaction, connection, and meaning.” As I said earlier on, when you’re depressed you can feel sad, but feeling sad doesn’t always mean you’re depressed. “Another important twist is that people can feel sad, even intensely sad, without depression being involved. When people experience a loss, they usually feel sad, but don’t necessarily feel depressed.” (GoodTherpay) In fact, there are many other things people can feel other than sad when they’re depressed.One of many things people can feel when they are depressed is numb. When depression causes someone to feel numb, “They don’t feel sad, angry, joyful, or really anything at all. They may feel an amorphous misery, but no specific emotion.” (GoodTherpay)  Another equally important thing to look out for when comparing being depressed to being sad is that when someone is sad they can usually do something to make themself  feel better; whereas, with depression, it’s not like that. “When sadness is the factor, the things we enjoy doing can usually brighten our mood, but this is not the case with depression.” (Smith) Smith also says,  “If you are experiencing sadness for any amount of time, often you can give yourself a pep talk and engage in an activity that will make you feel better. If you are suffering from depression, simply snapping out of it is not an option.” So telling someone with depression to “snap out of it” or to “be happy” will only makes the person feel worse! Consequently, these are just some ways you can distinguish the differences between being depressed and being sad. So next time someone makes a joke about being depressed, take a moment to think whether they might be depressed or if it is a cry for help. In another case, they might just be sad and want some comforting. In both of these cases,  the person will be grateful for the help you provide. a comforting thought to know that you helped them to the best of your ability.