Depression and sadness are often viewed as the same thing. Part of the confusion is that the most recognizable symptom of depression is sadness. Sadness is a very painful emotion and although at times it can be very excruciating, it is a normal response to difficult life events. When we think of sadness as the same as depression we minimize the illness. We often don’t realize that depression creates many other debilitating symptoms. Sadness is a small part of depression, and many individuals with depression may not even experience sadness. Instead, they may experience loss of appetite, sleeplessness or hypersomnia, lack of energy, isolation, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, diminished interest in or enjoyment of activities, and poor concentration or indecisiveness. Depression is diagnosed after an individual has had multiple symptoms for at least 2 weeks. The major difference between depression and sadness is that depression is a serious mental illness. If you or someone you may know is struggling with depression seek help immediately, do not wait until it gets worse. Depression is a treatable and temporary condition, you can get well and feel happy again.
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