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Is it just sadness or has it become depression: how to identify it?

Is it just sadness or has it become depression: how to identify it?

Is it just sadness or has it become depression: how to identify it?

Psychiatrist Teaches How to Understand When Feeling Has Become a Depressive Disorder

Distinguishing between common moments of sadness and the manifestation of a depressive disorder can be a challenge in the life of those going through a difficult phase. Recognizing the distinctive signs between these states is essential for individual understanding and also for seeking appropriate support and treatment.

In an interview with Earth youpsychiatrist Cynthia Braga explains the main differences between sadness and depression and how to identify them.

The specialist says that sadness is a fundamental feeling, which can be accompanied by some symptoms, including crying and despair. It can manifest itself in the face of daily difficulties, pain or bad news.

“However, like all emotions, it passes. It may take a while, but it will pass. The person can still feel interest and pleasure in other things,” says the doctor.

Depression is characterized by many other symptoms besides sadness, such as lack of willpower, energy or pleasure and it remains. It lasts for weeks, months and even years. It usually starts with few symptoms, which gradually increase and become part of most of the depressed person’s days.

“Lack of pleasure is the face of depression – a gray, dull, tasteless, meaningless way of looking at life – different from what it was before,” he explains.

As for risk factors that increase the likelihood of someone developing depression after a period of sadness, the psychiatrist says that pain and chronic stress can be triggers for depression.

Failure to process events, insufficient attention to oneself to understand that a certain situation is the cause of illness, lack of psychotherapeutic support, lack of self-care, lack of social, economic and cultural conditions, are also factors that can lead to this illness.

“There is a genetic component to the manifestation of anxiety disorders, but epigenetics – environmental factors that modify gene expression – are usually predominant,” adds the professional.

Among the self-care strategies that can help a person identify and deal with feelings of sadness before they develop into depression, the psychiatrist emphasizes that self-awareness is key.

Asking yourself: “Am I sad for a specific reason or do I lack enjoyment in life in general?” “Am I tired or do I lack energy for activities that interest me?” “Am I stuck at home watching series because I enjoy them or because I want to isolate myself from the world?” can help with the diagnosis.

Anxiety, Irritability and Depression: The Impact of Noise on Mental Health
Anxiety, Irritability and Depression: The Impact of Noise on Mental Health

“Psychotherapeutic support helps a lot in this process. In addition, self-care is essential. We generally put our primary needs last: this is very dangerous,” she warns.

The doctor emphasizes that attention to physical health is one of the first steps towards mental health stability. Cíntia says that it is important to pay attention to nutrition, hydration and regular physical activity, which, in cases of mild depression – which in psychiatry already entail great psychological suffering – is superior to drugs in treating the symptoms.

“If you still feel that it hasn’t been enough, maybe it’s time to seek psychotherapeutic help. With a little work, most people can improve with these steps. But if the symptoms still persist, it’s time for pharmacological intervention,” explains the psychiatrist.

So, when you notice different behaviors, try to understand, try to welcome what emerges, encourage healthy habits and, if possible, guide the person to seek a professional evaluation.

Source: Terra

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