ARE YOU SAD OR DEPRESSED? HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE THE TWO?
DEC 11, 2018 @5.11 PM
Social media has today become an outlet where most people - regardless of age, express their feelings. I've read of young children to teenagers spill their frustration and towards the end describe themselves as being depressed. So, are adults these days who frequently express themselves as being depressed - with one who repeatedly used the 'D' word as he was suffering from a bout of flu for a matter of three days.
The question is are they merely sad or really suffering from depression? How could one differentiate between the two?
Sad vs depression
Sadness is a human emotion that all people feel at certain times during their lives. It is a natural reaction to situations that cause emotional upset or pain. Although it may be all-encompassing at times, sadness is temporary where one is still able to laugh and be comforted, compared to someone suffering from depression.
What about grief, you may ask?
Dr Michael Ang Jin Kiat, senior lecturer at Faculty of Medicine & Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia clarified that grief due to losing a loved one or broken relationships is not the same as depression.
“You can feel sad no doubt. Sadness is a common human reaction. But, we do not say that just because you are sad you have depression. That is not true. When the person has depression, they must fulfill certain criteria's.
"Psychiatrist would look at a few symptoms prominent in patients who are going through a depressive face. Firstly, the patient would experience a loss of joy. This kind of feeling is persistent; continuous throughout the day for at least two weeks which means that you don’t feel a sense of enjoyment with the things that you use to do.
“Other type of changes include sleep changes where a patient might feel tired, slow in their thinking and reduced in concentration. They might feel guilty, feel that they’re useless, they are taking up other people’s opportunity and some even think of harming themselves because they believe that they’re a burden to the family, a burden to the society and its better off for them not to exist.
Depression not a sign of weakness
Major Depressive Disorder also commonly known as depression is another medical illness which affects the human brain.
Common than schizophrenia, major depressive disorder is rampant among female compared to their male counterparts.
"It could begin with mood swings - a sign of postpartum depression.
However, Dr Michael emphasised that depression is not a sign of weakness.
"It is customary for people to equate weakness and poor resilience to depression when it is not. Due to the stigma attached to it, most people are reluctant to receive treatment as well. However, depression can be treated to make you feel better," he added.
He advised family members to look out for these symptoms and drag the patient to get the treatment they need as in most cases, it is difficult to get them to see a doctor.
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