To be or not to be, that is the question.
I take the citation from one of my favourite authors, Shakespeare, to introduce the theme of today; sadness versus depression. In fact they are often associated as they were the same thing but with today’s post we will see how they differ one from the other and why it’s so important to understand that they are two different things.
Starting from sadness we find that the Garzanti dictionary defines it as a mood of someone that is grieved or melancholic, while if we talk about depression we face this definition: great sadness and condition of pathological alteration of the mood. We can immediately understand where it begins the misunderstanding between the conditions. The dictionary, in fact, defines depression as sadness just a little deeper, it isn’t this, it makes us think that the approach towards them is the same.
This way of thinking, in reality, is totally wrong because they are two separate things that should be taken and seen singularly, even if they resemble one the other on the surface. This is because they aren’t simply one deeper than the other.
Sadness is a momentaneous mood that doesn’t involve all the vital sphere of the person that suffers from it. What I’m trying to say is that a sad person it is so only referring to a determinate sphere of his life not referring to his whole life. Moreover, because it’s momentaneous the sad person can easily recover from it based on how much were deeper the events that caused it.
Depression, on the contrary, being a pathological alteration of the mood is characterised by his globality and his resistance. By globality I refer to the fact that there isn’t a single aspect of his own life that is seen as bad and negative, his whole life is seen like this. Resistance instead because it’s not momentaneous like sadness, it’s radicate deeply and recover from it is really difficult, especially by himself without support from specialized technicians.
So we have seen how their difference can be found in the aspects they affect and their resistance even if they come from the same feelings. Talking about depression I nominated his globality aspect. We could say that this is the worst between the two aspects that characterize it. Not being able to have a single aspect of his own life seeing as positive or even simply normal the depressed person thinks to have no value, to not be useful to anybody and moreover he isn’t able to see a little ray of sun that could lead to having a little hope in a better future.
Practically the depressed people aren’t able to see their future or if they see it it’s completely dark and full of failures ready for them, so in their mind grows the idea to leave this world and this reality that makes them suffer so much, even thinking to do a favour to their closest persons because they think they’re leaning on them too much.
We can see now how the help that should be offered changes based if it is sadness or depression. For the depression, in fact, most of the times the closest persons aren’t enough, they need specialists that support them and help them with difficulty to recover from it or at least reduce initially the sense of failure.
Have you ever been depressed? If so, what things helped you?