Sometimes itâ€™s difficult to tell if you are sad or depressed. Understanding the difference and getting help if you need it is essential to your health and well-being.
You are human. That means that you are entitled to have a reaction to the world around youâ€”happy, excited, angry or sad. These are only a few of the emotions that humans have on a regular basis. But depression is much more than an emotional response to a setback or disappointment.
Depression is different. Drug commercials refer to their target market as those â€œliving with depression.â€ But anyone who has experienced it knows that if you are truly depressed, you arenâ€™t really living at all. You feel lifeless, uninterested, hopeless and detached from the world around you. Although the intensity of an individualâ€™s experience is unique, depression interferes with many aspects of your lifeâ€”sleep, appetite, negative thoughts, temper, concentration.
Many of these are also affected by normal reactions of sadness, but if your day-to-day activities are being affected by how you are feeling, and it doesnâ€™t seem to go away, you need to admit that you must get help.
Depression can also cause physical symptoms. Those who are depressed may be prone to more headaches, backaches, stomach pains and muscle cramping. There is no true explanation as to why this happens, but these could be caused by some of the other symptoms you are experiencingâ€” loss of appetite may cause headaches; sleeping too much may result in muscle cramps from lack of movement.
Remember, depression can affect everything and everyone in your life; but you are the one who has to get help. Donâ€™t wait if you think you may be depressed; call your doctor.