Sadness is a normal feeling. It is an important feeling. If you disagree, I suggest you go watch the movie, Inside Out. It is the perfect explanation on the importance of sadness in our life. This blogpost will explore normal sadness but with the hopes that the reader will learn when something is “normal, regular” sadness and what is “depression”.
Normal sadness occurs in our lives when something happens, such as loss of a loved one, losing something important to us, not achieving a goal, romantic-type movies and anything else that makes you feel down or blue. There is usually a trigger to sadness, though sometimes it can occur on it’s own. Sadness usually goes away in a short- amount of time or when your focus goes onto something else. Sadness is also relative to your trigger. The loss of a pet will create more sadness than watching a sad movie.
Sometimes, sadness turns into depression. Some of the signs of depression include: having trouble with sleep, changes in appetite, feeling guilty, not being interested in sex, loss of interest in things you normally were interested in, low energy, having trouble concentrating, feeling slow or having suicidal thoughts. If you are having suicidal thoughts, it is important you contact a therapist or go to the hospital immediately.
If you are wondering if you are depressed and should see a therapist, keep track of your feelings and symptoms for one week. If on most days, you find yourself noticing the symptoms above, it’s time to see a therapist, counselor or psychologist. By meeting with a therapist, they can assess you for depression, make an accurate diagnosis and provide you with a treatment plan for your depression.
There are many types of depression, so it’s important that you meet with a therapist to discuss your specific symptoms and diagnosis. Some commons types of depression include: Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Postpartum Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
A wonderful resource for you to use to find a therapist who treats depression is through PsychologyToday. The treatment of choice for depression is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of therapy will teach you how your thought patterns impact your emotions, thus leading to conditions like depression.
You may want to follow-up with your primary care physician, as well, because there can be a number of medical reasons you may be feeling depressed or have trouble sleeping. Being deficient in Vitamin D can lead to depression. You want to be able to rule-out any medical issues, in addition to getting an assessment by a therapist.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP , Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counseling Association, decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Amanda has been a therapist for ten years and has a private practice in Wellington, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and substance abuse in teenagers and young adults. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here.