I feel very strongly about this topic and this is why I wanted to discuss it in this post. I feel people often get very confused about the whole situation of “Oh I am so sad… I think I must be depressed”. I am no psychologist or an expert by any means but I do think that there is a distinct difference between experiencing the emotion of sadness and being diagnosed with depression which is a clinical condition.
I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like having such strong negative emotions that take over your life, and finding yourself being in deep melancholy at any given time. I do feel for the people that have to go through this! Being depressed is a serious condition and if that really is the case for you, then I urge you to get help and fight through this. Depression is a treatable illness and it is something you can overcome with the proper support.
With all that said, I think the most important part is for people to be able to tell the difference between being sad and being depressed. Since depression is a condition, I do not think it’s right for people to describe themselves as being depressed when they are really just sad.
The reason I got the idea to write this post is because I experienced this very recently myself (aka just being sad / feeling ‘low’). There wasn’t anything in particular that made me sad but life has just been stressful lately (luckily things are finally working out 😉 ) and in combination with being homesick… I wasn’t feeling my best and I found myself being sad. Did that mean I was depressed? No.
Yes, you do feel sad when you are depressed BUT it doesn’t mean that you are depressed when you are feeling sad. Depression has so many other symptoms that accompany sadness like luck of motivation, low self-esteem, having anxiety and feeling worried, and more (including physical symptoms as well). Now being sad… it is just you experiencing a human emotion and there is nothing worrying about that. IF this emotion starts taking over your life and you start notice other symptoms come up, then you better go see your doctor. But if for whatever reason, you are feeling sad, then know that it is totally normal and you do not have anything to worry about.
Figure out what it is that made you sad and address it. If you feel like you need to speak to someone about it or go to therapy, then do it. But, do not label yourself as depressed because you are not. I feel like ever since people started to come out and talk about mental illnesses or being diagnosed with depression, all of a sudden anyone that experienced a negative emotion thought “ugh I think I’m depressed”. Erm, not necessarily. You are a human and you WILL experience negative emotions and you WILL get over them. Depression is a mental disorder and I do not think it’s right to compare a serious condition with sadness, which is just a basic human emotion (which we all experience multiple times through our lifetime and do not need medication to recover from it)!