Depression is a mood disorder where a person persistently feels sadness and loss of interest. Also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it can affect your feelings, thoughts and behaviour leading to emotional and physical issues. It may also affect your everyday activities and you may feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.
Depression can occur once in your lifetime or some may experience multiple episodes. During these episodes, these symptoms may occur most of the day, almost every day:
- Feeling sad, tearful, empty or hopeless
- Outbursts of anger, irritability or frustration over small matters
- Losing interest or pleasure in your hobbies, sports or even sex
- Irregular sleep patterns – insomnia or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired and lacking energy where even small tasks take a lot of effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
- Feeling anxious, agitated or restless
- Feeling worthless, having trouble concentrating, making decisions or remembering things
- Frequent or recurring thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Physical issues that are unexplainable like headaches or back pain
The Difference Between Sadness & Depression
The difference between depression and sadness is that depression is a longer-term mental illness that can impact your everyday life. Sadness is a human emotion that is a reaction to situations that cause emotional upset or pain. Much like other emotions, sadness will fade over time.
Depression is not a weakness and may require long-term treatment in the form of medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.
If you have depression or suspect you may have depression, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health provider as soon as you can to get the help you need.