Is depression just a state of sadness?

People who suffer from depression do feel sad a lot, but does that mean that depression and sadness are one and the same thing?

Sadness is a normal emotional response to certain events in our lives. For example failing an exam, losing a loved one, or losing money. As these events pass or things improve for us, the sadness also passes.

In contrast, however, is depression which is not just a temporary state of mind but a medical condition that controls the state of mind irrespective of the events that are happening in or around us. 

People with depression feel sad, but in addition, they often lack any energy or drive to do anything, even the things they previously enjoyed doing. They suffer from a lack of sleep or too much sleep. They, unfortunately, also experience thoughts of not wanting to be alive and this sometimes is strong enough to cause them to attempt taking their lives.

These thoughts and emotions can be very debilitating such that a person with depression could end up neglecting themselves and the people they love.

What should I do if I think I or someone I know has depression?

The best action to take when someone is depressed is to seek medical advice. Often, depressed people do not recognize the fact that they are depressed. This is where friends or family members could help them in seeking appropriate help.

Can depression be treated?

Depression can be treated either with psychological therapy, also known as, talking therapy or with medications known as antidepressants. People with depression may need to undergo either or both of those treatments on a long-term basis in order to prevent their symptoms from recurring.

In severe cases or where the individual is deemed unsafe to be on their own, they may be offered admission into the hospital for care and support.

The bottom line is that people with depression can be sad a lot of the time, however, depression is more than just a state of sadness, it is a mental health problem that often requires treatment like every other kind of physical health problem.

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