Are You Depressed or Just Sad?

Written by Mona Hadi Naeem
6 · 04 · 17
Sad or Depressed_ Depression and Sadness is Bad

Have you been feeling low lately? Did you lose a job? Are you suffering from the loss of someone special? Did someone say something mean to you? If your answer was yes to any of these questions, then you are just sad and not depressed. Sadness is a human emotion, triggered usually due to a hurtful situation. Sometimes, you might even feel gloomy when you’re extremely angry or tired. Sadness is not constant and usually lasts for a few days or weeks.

How to Be There for a Sad Friend

If you’re not sad and are completely content, then look at your friends. Do you notice someone whose behavior has changed recently? It may be someone who has started avoiding gatherings or social media. It may be someone who used to be so funny and upbeat but now gets angry with the smallest of things. Chances are high that this person may be sad. As their friend, there is a certain responsibility on your shoulders to cheer them up. If you have no idea how to do this, then fear no more!

Step # 1: Talk

A miserable person’s emotions are usually ready to burst out, so be calm and comforting while talking to them. Do not complain about their changed behavior. Ask them what’s bothering them, if they do not want to talk about it, let them know you are there for them. Do not be pushy by asking them “What’s wrong?” repeatedly. Respect their space.

At times, they might not want special attention and when asked about the issue, they may change the topic. At such an occasion, talk to them like you normally would. This might help get their mind off things.

Step#2: Advice – “to Give or Not to Give”

When your friend finally blurts out the problem, politely ask them if they want your suggestion, advice, or opinion. If they say no, try to raise their morale by appreciating their qualities and any small effort. Do not pity them; make them realize their strength and make them see what they have overcome in the past. They have been sad in the past and gotten over it.

However if they say yes and ask for your thoughts, try to be as supportive as possible. Some of the unhelpful phrases are:

  • “This is not such a big deal, you’re upset for no reason”
  • “Other people have it worse”
  • “You’re seeking attention”
  • “You’re not thankful for all that you have”
  • “I knew this would happen”Try to understand their situation by putting yourself in their shoes. Sometimes if you do not know what to say, it is better to stay silent than to say something useless.

Step#3: Party When Sad

At times mere words are not enough to comfort or cheer someone up. When such is the case, it is time to pick up your phone and call that friend. Cheer him/her up by joking, talking about crazy stuff and the good memories. If it were possible for you to go visit them then that would be even better!

Depression; when it’s Not Just the Blues

If you’re unable to identify the reason, you’re down and recently nothing has happened to cause it. You may be depressed. Depression negatively affects a person’s ability to think, act, and feel. Below are some of the common symptoms of depression:

  • A feeling of sadness or irritability most of the time
  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping
  • Feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss (without dieting/overeating)
  • Unable to perform the daily activities due to lack of energy
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in your favorite activities
  • Persistent thoughts of suicide

If you or someone you know has more than two or three signs listed above, it is important to consult a doctor or talk with a professional. You should not take depression lightly because it is a common illness, which takes thousands of lives every year. It’s just like cancer. Help fight depression. Play your part; by being a little kinder to everyone, you meet. You may not know the silent battles they’re fighting, or how sad they may be.

Every person’s healing process is different. What takes someone a month to get over, may take another year. Do not get mad at anyone for not being okay. Try to be patient and give them time. They’ll be worth the wait!

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Mona Hadi Naeem