Picture this: You are sitting in your room, your head dug inside the laptop screen, and you’re trying to work but don’t feel like it. You keep thinking: “Something is not right. I am not feeling good. Is it because of what my boss told me last week? Is it because my girlfriend went out with her friends & didn’t even invite me? Is it because of what my mom told me last evening? What is it?” The answer, sometimes, is nothing! But do not fret because we will tell you exactly why you feel the way you are.
Difference Between Depression and Feeling Low
A lot of times when you are feeling low, your response could casually be, “I am depressed”, not realizing Depression is a mental health condition which negatively affects how you feel, the way you think & how you act. You might say that this is precisely how you feel when feeling low. However, the symptoms of Depression do not end with these three symptoms. Depending on mild to severe, category depression could result in:
1. Feeling sad
2. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
3. Changes in appetite — weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting
4. Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
5. Loss of energy or increased fatigue
6. Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, hand wringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be noticed by others)
7. Feeling worthless or guilty
8. Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
9. Thoughts of death or suicide
If these symptoms have lasted for two weeks or more, then there is a probability that you are suffering from Depression, like 25% of the global population. To opt for depression counselling, start by finding a counsellor near you.
Difference Between Grief and Depression
If you are feeling low without any of the above symptoms, then it could be just sadness or grief and not Depression that you may be experiencing. As we all know, suffering could result from losing a person, a job, a relationship or a similar experience that instils a feeling of loss. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of Depression. Both grief and Depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities, and they are also different in important ways:
Grief vs Depression: The Difference Between Grief and Depression
|In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often mixed with positive memories of the deceased.||In Depression, mood and interest (pleasure) are decreased for more than two weeks.|
|In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained.||In Depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.|
|In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about “joining” the deceased loved one.||In Depression, thoughts are focused on ending one’s life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain.|
Can Grief and Depression Co-Exist?
Grief and Depression can co-exist for some people. Death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to Depression. When grief and Depression co-occur, the suffering is more severe and lasts longer than grief without Depression.
How to Find Out If You Are Sad
But what if your symptoms do not match that of Depression or grief? Well, in that case, all you are experiencing is sadness. Sadness is usually an emotional reaction to Something that may have happened in your current or past scenario. Sometimes unresolved emotions or events can also lead to feeling low.
Here is how you can figure out if it’s just sad that you are experiencing:
1. Sadness is brief as compared to Depression or sometimes even grief
2. Sadness is specific, unlike Depression which could seem vague. Sadness could be a result of deep-rooted past experiences or a recent event that triggers the feeling
3. Unlike Depression, sadness is subjective.
4. Sadness has short-term effects
5. It could also be a result of grief.
Tips to Deal with Depression, Sadness or Grief
Irrespective of whether you are suffering from Depression, grief or sadness, here are some tips that could make you feel better:
1. Talk to someone; it could be a friend, colleague, or even our own Stella. Express how you feel and remember it’s okay not to feel okay.
2. Be kind to yourself, do not beat yourself down for feeling low; instead, take care of yourself. Take time to reflect on what is making you feel the way you are feeling. Do what gives you joy, even if it means taking a break from your work.
3. Focus on your physical health; it is scientifically proven that exercise releases a hormone called Dopamine, which makes us feel good. It is a never-ending cycle with exercising; it makes you happy with the release of the hormone, you feel fitter & more comfortable, you do it again because you feel satisfied with the small goals you accomplish, and the cycle continues.
4. Set goals for yourself, and start setting small ones. You can get a friend engaged with this too. Goal setting gives you purpose and keeps you focused, making you happy when you achieve it.
5. Ask for help, especially if you feel like talking to someone to clear your head. If you think there is more to your sadness, do not shy away from reaching out to an expert.
Remember – excellent emotional health is the key to a good life.
It is always advisable to reflect on your life & yourself with the help of a therapist. But, if you want to help deep dive into the root cause of your sadness, download our all-in-one mental health app and talk to our AI expert Stella for further guidance. If you found this helpful, we are sure you wouldn’t mind trying out our guided meditation to relieve stress.