Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sadness. Depression: They're Not the Same

Most of us use the terms "sadness" and "depression" interchangeably, but they aren't the same.

Sadness is part of the human experience.  If you've lost a spouse, of course you grieve.  You miss the most important person in your life, the shared experiences, the private jokes, the person you shared your innermost thoughts and feelings with.  Part of grieving is allowing yourself to feel sad.  You don't have to keep a stiff upper lip.  Part of your life--the most important part--has ended and you're faced, not just with loss but with a new reality.  The members of my widows' group are sad, but after we share our sadness and comfort each other, many of us go to lunch, enjoy the meal and laugh at each other's jokes.  And that's okay, too.  Even when you're sad, even when you go home and cry at night, you can still find pleasures in life.  In fact, you can realize how precious life is.

Depression can be a result of prolonged sadness that doesn't go away.  It can be a dark cloud hanging over you so that you can't enjoy anything.  It can affect your sleep, your eating habits, your energy level, your ability to engage with those around you..  You can feel hopeless and see no end to grief.
Depression needs intervention and if you're depressed, you shouldn't be reluctant to seek professional help.

Here's a quote from Dr. Robert B. Thompson:  "Sadness requires acknowledgement, assimilation and sharing hope with others as it carries you into a  new life,  Sadness ultimately becomes a thread in the tapestry of your life that provides color and meaning, while depression blocks your spiritual progression."


Louise Gallagher said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful words and thoughts Thelma. Love that quote!


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