Are you feeling sad for no apparent reason? Having heightened emotions can come down to environmental factors, lifestyle choices, hormones, or underlying mental health conditions like depression or adjustment disorders. Is it normal to be depressed without even knowing it? You may be unaware that you’re feeling sad or not your usual self, but it may already be depression.
The truth is, it is difficult to recognize the presence of depression, as for some, it may simply appear as sadness or common grief. After all, depression is not just a feeling that passes; it is a serious clinical diagnosis that needs to be addressed. Sadness is a symptom of depression and maybe a gradual occurrence.
Is It Normal To Feel Sad And Not Know Why?
It is normal to feel sad and now know why. There may be deep-rooted memories from your childhood or painful emotions you’ve been suppressing that start to lurk in your thoughts. There are many reasons why you can feel sad; it can be a loss, significant life change, heartbreak, financial struggles, or worrying about health.
Other people may not be satisfied with their life, the reason why they feel sad. But when a person feels sad for more than two weeks, and it’s starting to affect their daily life, it may be depression.
Is Sadness And Depression The Same?
Though sadness and depression are interchangeably used, they are not the same. Sadness is a symptom of depression, while depression is a mental health condition. Sadness happens after a negative experience and may last for a few hours to days and may go away on its own. While depression may last for two weeks or more and can cause general distress.
Sadness is a brief emotion, is subjective, a specific reaction, and a temporary change in mood. At the same time, depression is a persistent mental illness that changes your life that needs a mental health professional’s diagnosis. Depression can affect relationships at home, work, or school. If you’re feeling sad for a long time, it may be depression.
You May Be Depressed You Just Don’t Know It
There are many reasons why you may feel sad and just don’t know it. You may be unaware of the symptoms, in denial, or you may have mistaken the symptoms for something else. Others may be aware of the symptoms but just don’t realize it’s happening.
Reasons Why Don’t Realize That You’re Depressed
- You’ve been depressed for some time now, and it seems like these feelings are normal to you. This is especially true for people who have been depressed since childhood.
- Not everyone with depression may have sad emotions. Some may just feel tired, experience loss of interest in activities, low energy, and poor concentration.
- The symptoms of depression may develop slowly, and you may not recognize them.
- You’re dismissive about what you feel because you don’t want to admit you’re depressed, as you may perceive it as a sign of weakness.
Different Types Of Depression
Do you think that you’re experiencing depression? Talk to a mental health professional right away. The DSM-V Psychological Diagnostic manual recognizes there are nine categories of depression: persistent depressive disorder, major depression, seasonal depression, manic depression (or bipolar disorder), depressive psychosis, perinatal depression, situational depression, atypical depression, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
The different kinds of depression mentioned above differ in their causes, symptoms, and treatment approach. Depression affects everyone differently; some may experience more symptoms while some may don’t. It is important to talk to a mental health professional right away if your feelings of sadness start to affect your everyday life.
Symptoms Of Depression To Look Out For
Aside from sadness, what are the common symptoms of depression? If you’ve been feeling these following symptoms for at least two weeks, seek support right away.
Symptoms of Depression:
- Anger, irritability, anxiety, agitation, and heightened emotions
- Lack of physical energy or fatigue
- Changes in eating patterns, loss of appetite (as evidenced by body changes like weight gain or weight loss)
- Sleep problems (insomnia or oversleeping)
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, loneliness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
- Excessive guilt
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies enjoyed before
- Unexplained body aches
- Trouble concentrating at work or school
- Poor memory, thinking, and decision-making
- Slowed speech and physical movements
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Tips In Taking Care Of Your Mental Health When You Feel Sad
Psychiatrists and mental health experts have established a treatment approach to manage depression. However, aside from therapy or counseling, you should also learn how to take care of your mental health. These tips are not just for people suffering from depression, but for anyone who feels sad, those who are suffering anxiety and on the verge of a mental health decline.
You may feel sad at times for no reason because of the unpleasant things in your life. But do you have to dwell in these negative feelings? No! Here are some tips on how to quickly lift your mood, how to become more positive, and most importantly learn self-love.
Go for a Quick Walk
If you want to improve your mood or boost your energy quickly, go for a quick walk. You can walk with a friend or a loved one around the block. You can even walk outdoors with great scenery to clear your mind of any stress. That’s why some people like to walk going to work or going home because they find it peaceful.
Walking can be a more calming activity if you do it mindfully. Simply slow down your pace, concentrate on your breathing, and focus on each step you take. Of course, your mind may wander off at times, and that’s okay; just focus back on your footsteps.
Talk To a Friend or Family Member
Talking to a loved one or a family member can help you sort out your emotions. Even they don’t give advice; it’s just nice to talk to someone if you feel sad. Sometimes, if you feel depressive symptoms, it’s nice just to verbalize what you feel. Your friends and family can offer you support when you need it. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing that you’re not alone, and you can talk to someone if you’re feeling down.
Make A List Of The Things You’re Grateful For
Making a list of the things you’re grateful for is a powerful tool to help you put things into perspective. At times, we get overwhelmed by the bad things around us that we tend to forget the blessings we have to be grateful for. Making a gratitude list will remind you that you’re doing right in your life, and there many reasons to be happy.
Be thankful for what you have because other people are the blessings you miss out to recognize. Be grateful for the roof over your head, the gift of family, good health, and having a job. You have things to be thankful for and do not take things for granted.
Give Yourself A Break
Do not overwork yourself and give yourself a break. Sometimes not knowing how to have fun is the reason why a person can feel sad. Have fun with a friend, go out, go on nature trips, relax, go on a massage and pamper yourself.
Life is stressful as it is, with commitments, responsibilities, and pressure. But do you have to live a stressful life? No! Let your hair down, don’t spend the whole day thinking about your problems, have fun with a friend and enjoy life. We only live once. Do you really want to spend most of your days sulking? Life is beautiful, and so are you!
Appreciate The Little Things In Life
You’d be astonished to know how something as not worrying too much can make a big difference in your life. You’d be amazed at how little things in life can make you happy. A little sunlight, playing with your pet, smelling the fresh air, star gazing, or listening to birds sings can make you instantly happy. These are all free but are all proven effective in combatting sadness.
You have more things to explore in life, and instead of focusing on the destination, enjoy the process. Enjoy the little moments in your life that lead you to bigger and better experiences. All the simple things that happen in your life can free you of your worries.
Talk To A Counselor
If you’re getting sad for no reason, seek support and talk to a counselor right away. Do not trouble yourself with your overwhelming emotions, and a therapist can help you deal with them. Talk therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is proven to help with feelings of depression and sadness.
If you want to feel better and avoid depression, talk to a counselor at Kentucky Counseling Center right away. You can schedule an appointment at KCC Direct Services for online counseling. Stop being sad now and know the reason why you’re sad.