A feeling of sadness typically involves feelings of despair, loss, defeat, anger, or sorrow. Experiencing sadness can make people outspoken and highly sensitive to any situation. But what is worse than this is the side effects of sadness on mental health.
Now don’t feel too bad about yourself when you feel sad. It is a natural emotion that each and every one of us has whenever we experience a traumatic event in our lives. Simply put, it is our natural reaction and also a way to help us grieve or cope when we see ourselves at the lowest point.
In this blog, we aim to help you learn the life factors that contribute to sadness and several ways how to avoid it.
Sadness vs. Depression
Before we get into the various effects of sadness, let us first answer the most common question that everyone has: “Are sadness and depression the same?”
These two terms are often interchanged by many people due to their overlapping similarities. However, there is actually a huge difference between these two.
Essentially, sadness is more of an emotion that will eventually pass by as we get over it. Sadness is a normal emotion that we all feel at times. It’s usually short-lived and passes relatively quickly.
Meanwhile, depression is a type of mental health issue that requires professional help to be solved. In fact, 5% of the total adult population around is affected by depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can have a significant effect on every aspect of a person’s life. It can affect a person’s everyday performance; while in some cases, it goes unnoticed.
So what exactly is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that can cause a person to feel sad, discouraged, and hopeless. It can interfere with a person’s ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy activities that were once pleasurable. Depression is different from normal sadness in that it can last for weeks or months, and it can prevent a person from functioning normally.
There are many different types of depression, and it is important to understand what type of depression you or a loved one may be experiencing in order to get the most effective treatment. Among its types are the following:
- Major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression, and it is characterized by a loss of interest in activities, fatigue, changes in appetite or weight, sleep problems, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Dysthymia is a type of depression that can be described as chronic low-grade depression. It is not as severe as major depression, but it can last for a much longer period of time, often for years. People with dysthymia may have trouble functioning in their daily lives and may feel hopeless about their future.
- Postpartum depression is a type of depression that occurs in women after giving birth. Symptoms may include feeling hopeless, anxious, or empty; feeling guilty, overwhelmed, or irritable; having trouble bonding with your baby; losing interest in activities you once enjoyed; and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
- Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that manifests during the fall and winter months. Its symptoms may include feeling depressed most of the day, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, having low energy, difficulty sleeping, and changes in appetite.
- Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem that is associated with extreme mood swings. These mood swings can range from periods of extreme elation, known as mania, to periods of deep depression. Bipolar disorder can cause a great deal of disruption in a person’s life and can be very difficult to manage.
There are many effective treatments for depression, including medication, therapy, and self-care. However, it is best for people with depression to seek professional help.
Symptoms of depression
In this part, we will go through the different signs of depression and its risk factors. Now that you know what depression is and its various types, it is also important for you to learn about its signs indicating that a person s suffering from it.
Depression is a mental illness that can have a number of different symptoms. These can include the following:
- Feeling very sad or low
- Losing interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Struggling to concentrate
- Feeling tired all the time
- Having no appetite or motivation
- Sleeping too much
The signs and symptoms of depression may also manifest physical effects such as headaches and stomach aches. It is important to remember that everyone experiences these symptoms differently, and not everyone who has depression will have all of these symptoms. If you notice any of these depression symptoms, it is essential to talk to your doctor or mental health professional to receive proper assessment and medication.
Different effects of sadness on our health
Now that we have cleared the difference between depression from sadness, it is time for you to know how sadness affects our overall health and well-being.
Sadness is temporary and it is different from depression which is characterized by an extreme low in a person’s mood and ability to function normally. Sadness can be triggered by many factors like the loss of a loved one, a job, financial losses and family and relationship problems. All of these can lead to feelings of sadness but this should go away as you learn to move on and continue with your life.
But some people, slowly start to drown in sadness. And without them noticing, it has affected the way they live their life normally. Listed below are some of the effects of sadness:
1. Sadness affects your body
When you are sad, you are emotionally spent. You are confused, your mind becomes cloudy, you become withdrawn and your blood pressure and heart rate rise.
Sadness can lead to other forms of discomfort. Its negative effects on your overall health include constipation, diarrhea chest pain, dry mouth, back pain, fatigue, headache, high blood pressure, and heart palpitation.
2. Sadness affects your appetite
Another negative effect of sadness is its ability to remove your appetite or raise it to abnormal levels. Lots of sad people have become either anorexic or bulimic. These are eating disorders that have emotional origins, particularly sadness or unhappiness. Although these disorders have emotional origins, they have a direct impact on your physical health.
3. Sadness affects your sex drive
When you are sad, your focus is directed to your feeling of loss or helplessness. It makes you lose interest in many things, including sex. Prolonged sadness can actually lead to more serious problems which can affect your marriage or family.
4. Prolonged sadness can lead to anxiety
Anxiety disorders are a type of mental disorder that causes excessive fear, worry, and stress. These disorders can interfere with daily activities and make it difficult to function.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. Symptoms may include feeling tense or nervous, having difficulty sleeping, sweating, or having a pounding heart. Treatment for anxiety disorders often includes therapy, medication, or both.
If you allow sadness to dominate your other emotions for long periods, it can grow worse which may lead to anxiety. Anxiety attacks are not uncommon in extremely sad people.
Step-by-step Guide to Alleviating Sadness
Sadness is a difficult emotion to combat. Sometimes, the only way to get over it is to push it away and ignore it. However, ignoring this emotion is a very unhealthy way to solve it.
Instead, you should acknowledge the emotion and grow from it. There are a number of things you can do to alleviate sadness. Among these includes the following steps.
Step 1: Try to identify the source of your sadness. If it is due to a specific event or situation, see if there is anything you can do to change it. If not, try to accept it and move on.
Step 2: Spend time with loved ones and close friends. Talking to them about your feelings can help make them more bearable.
Step 3: Stay active and engaged in hobbies and activities you enjoy. This will help take your mind off of whatever is making you sad.
Step 4: be patient with yourself and give yourself time to heal.
One of the best things to do to reduce your feeling of sadness is to talk to your doctor or a mental health care provider about it before it can cause damage to your health. They are professionals who can find ways to make you feel better either through exercise or medication.
You have the right to be happy.
Sadness can easily affect each of us mentally. It can affect the way we perform our everyday work and how we enjoy our lives. Despite this, even if we find ourselves in the midst of sadness, we should always make it a point to set ourselves free.
Never feel guilty about trying to find happiness. Always remember that you are entitled to it no matter who or what you are as a person.
So, if you want to be happy, go ahead and be happy! Pursue happiness with all of your heart and soul. Find happiness in whatever way works for you. Be proud and rejoice in your happiness!
Don’t let sadness pull you down. Find this resource helpful? You can check out our mind boosters blog posts for more natural ways to elevate your emotional well-being.