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The Differences Between Clinical Depression and Sadness

According to The Washington Post, depression is often associated with feelings of sadness, but depressive symptoms are also accompanied by physiological symptoms such as insomnia, loss of appetite, low energy, low libido, difficulty with concentration, as well as psychological symptoms such as low self-esteem and lack of confidence. These symptoms can vary depending on the individual.

Depression is a medical condition that often goes undiagnosed. Depression and anxiety symptoms are measured by numerical scoring points collected from a survey given to patients. Patient scores range from mild, moderate, or severe depression. Depending on the diagnosis, different medical interventions can help aid individuals with depression such as cognitive behavioral therapy, initiation of SSRIs, or antidepressants (i.e., Lexapro). Patients can also benefit from talk therapy sessions alone, depending on the severity of their depressive symptoms.

Sadness is characterized as an emotional response to a specific event, so the feeling is triggered by something that is currently happening. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is connected to environmental and genetic factors but is not said to be caused by them. Rather clinical depression is a biological response to environmental and genetic factors that require medical intervention to help treat depressive symptoms depending on the individual’s degree of the condition.

When trying to evaluate whether you are clinically depressed, ask yourself a few questions – how long have you been experiencing depressive symptoms? Are you socially isolating from friends and family? Do you have low self-esteem? Generally, individuals who are clinically depressed express feelings and behaviors of self-doubt and low self-esteem, inhibiting individuals from accomplishing daily activities.

It is important to separate the idea that clinical depression and sadness are the same thing. In doing so we would be able to narrow the degree of confusion or misinformation about mental illnesses.

  • Cassandra Bauza

Source: The Washington Post

**Please do not use the content in this blog to diagnose yourself with clinical depression. Only a mental health professional has the expertise to do that. If you suspect that you may be experiencing clinical depression, please reach out to a certified mental health professional for further guidance.**

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