Depressed or just sad?

Romantic heartbreaks, death of loved ones, illnesses, accidents and many more unfortunate events are inevitable as long as one lives, and so is sadness. Sadness is the normal reaction to these constant pains of life.

A sad person will have disturbed sleep, lack of appetite, and ruminations on sad thoughts and feelings, but a depressed person will also experience these symptoms. So what really is the difference between sadness and depression?
Unlike sadness, depression tends to last longer. And in addition to these symptoms, depressed person experience the inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia), hopelessness, and the inability to feel a mood uplift in response to something positive( loss of mood reactivity), which doesn’t happen in normal sadness.

Are you depressed or just sad?

So how do you know if you are depressed? Here are some of the symptoms of depression;

1. Depressed mood most of the day
For Children and adolescents, look out for an irritable mood
2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities ( previously enjoyable activities become boring)
3. Over eating or under eating or weight loss or gain when not dieting

4. Lack of sleep or excessive sleeping
5. Restlessness or being slowed down observable by others
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive inappropriate guilt
(Reduced selfesteem.)
8. Reduced ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
9. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation, a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Other persons will not experience the classical symptoms of depression. They will instead experience multiple pains and body discomfort. These are people who move from doctor to doctor and have been treated for all manner of illnesses, but with no improvement.
Here are some of the symptoms they present with,
– frequent headaches
-pressure/fullness in head, – GI fullness/gas, noise, nausea
– low libido
-low back pain
Who gets depressed?
No person is immune to depression. Anyone can be depressed, but some people are more predisposed than others.
Here are those who are likelier to be depressed:
– Women more than men
Some careers- doctors, nurses, military personnel
-the unemployed
The youth, the old
Depressed so?
Depression is a disease like any other. It is treatable.
The first step towards healing is to accept that you are indeed depressed, and that you need help.
So once you suspect that you are depressed, see your psychiatrist asap.
A psychiatrist will know how to help. If you don’t have a psychiatrist, see any doctor who will then link you up with a psychiatrist.
Be a different African. Refuse to accept sadness as a part of life. Its not normal