Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.
Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling empty
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Irritability or restlessness
- Aches and pains without clear physical causes
- Thoughts of death or suicide
To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.
Role Of Diet In The Treatment Of Depression
Food also plays an important role in influencing how a person behaves and thinks. Food is a major determinant when it comes to improving your mood.
There is no such predefined diet for depression, but some food items can prove to be a helping factor in reducing depression.
Consuming a healthy diet can surely aid the overall treatment process and improve mental wellbeing.
Some of the essential nutrients which help in reducing depression are given below-:
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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Will I Ever Be Happy
The answer to this question is Yes. You can be happy again.
Therapy, especially Positive Existential Therapy , is useful. It will help you work through the causes of your depression and change the way you think about them. For severe and debilitating depression, medication might even be needed.
But overcoming sadness and living a happy life again requires action on your part as well. Here are eight things you can do right away to overcome the sadness in your life.
Are Feeling Lonely And Depressed Linked
Loneliness and mental health are closely linked. When a person is lonely and doesnt take steps to address it, it can increase the likelihood of them experiencing depression and other mental health problems.
If you’ve been feeling lonely and isolated, know that it is something you can work to minimise. With some of the tips outlined in this piece, you can break the cycle of loneliness and depression and prevent these feelings from worsening overtime.
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Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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I Was One Of The Walking Depressed Some Of My Clients Are Too
We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.
On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.
But were doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.
Our depression may not be completely disabling, but its real.
Alternate Between Easy Medium And Hard Tasks
Another element of good mood hygiene is that you shouldnt do all easy tasks or all very hard tasks for long stretches. Where does this recommendation come from? Partly it comes from observations of how kids learn best, and people with developmental disabilities. For these groups, negative feelings often manifest as behavioral outbursts. We see that behavior and happiness improve when people are not being under- or over-challenged constantly.
You dont need to take my word for this, you can easily observe for yourself how you feel if you are constantly challenged to the edge of your capacities versus if you intersperse this with familiar activities you feel confident with, but that still feel meaningful and productive .
When youre scheduling your three activities per day that will provide a sense of accomplishment, aim for one hard, one easy, and one medium.
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Stop Trying To Fight The Bad Mood
Give yourself permission and grace to feel bad for a defined amount of time. This is not a pity party, but rather an honest acknowledgement that you are stressed, you do feel down, you are not as happy as you would like. Often by not fighting the mood, we find that the bad mood is very temporary. Joshua Klapow.
Making A Support Plan
If your child is experiencing depression and needs ongoing support, it can be helpful to create a support plan together with the professionals around your child so that you know exactly what help is available and how your child can access it. This could include things like:
- agreements with their GP, or their key worker if they are being treated by CAMHS, about when they will next check-in
- whether any referrals can be made to other services, and a list of the services available locally that might be able to support them
- what your childs school can offer including a staff member who they can speak to when theyre struggling.
- people your child trusts and can talk to when they need to, including family and friends.
You can find out more about speaking to GPs, finding a counsellor or therapist, accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services , getting help from your childs school and finding local services on our guide to getting help.
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Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
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How To Make Yourself Happy Again: Get A Good Nights Sleep
When we are feeling sad, its hard to sleep. But sleep is necessary for your our brains to function, and its also a major contributor to our moods.
This information can be frustrating to learn because when youre sad, its hard to sleep. Insomnia is an all-too-common symptom of depression.
There are a couple solutions you can try. First, exercise promotes better sleep, so, theres another reason to get active. Second, a consistent nightly routine will send a message to your body that its time to go to bed.
If you find yourself lying awake, though, dont get upset! Thats not relaxing at all. Do something peaceful until you feel tired. It will get better.
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Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones .
Dont skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.
Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
What You Eat And Drink Can Also Affect How You Feel
Theres no magic diet that will treat depression. But what you put into your body can have a real and significant impact on the way you feel.
Eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, and grains may be a great place to start. Try to limit stimulants like caffeine, coffee, and soda, and depressants like alcohol.
Some people also and have more energy when they avoid sugar, preservatives, and processed foods.
If you have the means, consider meeting with a doctor or registered dietitian for guidance.
How To Lose Weight In Winters
It is not easy to lose weight in winters. The cold weather and the temptation of comfort food make it difficult to stick to a diet. Weight loss is a challenge at the best of times, but it can be even harder when the weather is cold and the days are short. However, with a little bit of planning and effort, you can lose weight in winters.
The first step is to make sure that you are eating healthy foods. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, and focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods.
The next step is to make sure that you are exercising regularly. Even a moderate amount of exercise can help you to maintain your weight in winter.
Finally, make sure that you are staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas, and avoid drinking sugary drinks. These tips will help you to lose weight in winters.
Here are a few tips to help you stay on track during the winter months:
Mindfully Enjoy A Cup Of Calming Tea
Even when the packaging says its a tea to calm your mind, you dont feel so relaxed after drinking it. So are you being lied to? Not really.
Take your cup of tea. Sit somewhere you wont be disturbed for a few minutes. Feel the warmth of the tea, observe the colour it has. Maybe you made it dark or mild. Close your eyes. Take the aroma in as you breathe. And take your first sip.
When youre trying to feel good things, do it mindfully.
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Pilgrimage Of Desire: A Path Out Of Walking Depression
My lifes work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.
One of the ways I do that is by sharing my own story of depression and recovery in a memoir called Pilgrimage of Desire. The book is interspersed with coaching questions and exercises, which help readers take their own steps toward happiness.
As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.
Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.
I found the path out of depression by following my desiresto write, to travel, to become a mother and a creativity coach. Eventually I left ordinary life behind. My husband quit his job and we sold our house and headed out on a trip around the world with our kids, aged five and three. I thought Id found my happy ending, but there was more to the story
Do these signs ring true for you? Have you ever been depressed and kept on walking?
I invite you to share your own experiences in the comments. When you do, please be kind to yourself and others. Kindness is the watchword. To keep this space safe and helpful, I remove comments that are unkind or invalidate other peoples experience of depression.
UPDATE: A video for those who responded to this article when it was first posted in March 2012.
Listen And Provide Emotional Support
Try not to ask too many questions, come up with quick solutions or gloss over their sadness. Empathise with how theyre feeling and remember theyve taken a risk in opening up to you let them know they can talk to you as often and for as long as they need to.
Try not take it personally if youre on the receiving end of anger, frustration and sadness, as its often a sign of how much your child trusts you when they can express these feelings with you. However, it is completely understandable if this sometimes becomes too much for you to manage as a parent – and if that happens, it’s a good idea to seek professional help and advice.
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Write A Daily Gratitude List
When youre feeling lonely and depressed, you may find that you focus more on the negatives in life, which can leave you feeling even worse. One thing that you can do to change this is to write out a daily gratitude list, where you put down five things that youre grateful for or happy about each day.
Giving yourself the time to focus on these positives will help you to become more aware of the good things you have and overtime, can help you to pay more attention to these positives as you go about your daily life.
Try Setting Up A Routine For Yourself
This routine doesnt have to be complicated or even require you to do a lot in one day if you dont feel up to it.
But, by making a small to-do list of things to do everyday, even if you dont enjoy those activities as much as you used to, can make it easier for you to do a few things every day including some self-care.
Making things as predictable as possible means you dont have to make decisions, says Anusree Gupta, LPC, a licensed professional counselor and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing -certified therapist at Hope Heals Therapy in Texas.
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