Sadness is a part of life. Everyone feels sad now and then. Typically, sadness is what you feel after you go through a sad event, or you are hurt or disappointed by something or somebody. Sadness may last for days or weeks, but sadness and depression are not the same thing.

The Difference Between Sadness and Depression

Sadness is an emotion, but teenage depression is a severe mental disorder. A person who is depressed has Òlow moodsÓ that last for two or more weeks. Low moods can include anger, irritability and listlessness, as well as sadness.

Another key difference between sadness and depression is that sadness is not usually severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. Depression, on the other hand, prevents you from functioning normally and doing the things you were once routinely able to do.

Symptoms of Teen Depression

Knowing the symptoms of teen depression can help you determine whether you are experiencing sadness or depression. Consider the following questions:

  • Do you cry often, and sometimes for no reason at all?
  • Do you feel anxious or restless?
  • Do you feel like you donÕt have the energy to do the things you used to enjoy?
  • Do you feel that you are worthless or a failure?
  • Do you get extremely angry or hurt when other people criticize you?
  • Do you often feel irritable and angry?
  • Do you often feel tired, even during the day?
  • Have you been thinking about death and suicide?
  • Have you lost interest in spending time with family and friends?
  • Have you lost interest in the activities you once enjoyed?

These symptoms are not normal and could be signs of teen depression. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, you should speak to someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher or school counselor.

When Should You Get Help?

Another difference between sadness and depression is that sadness eventually goes away, while depression often gets worse. If you experience these symptoms for longer than two weeks, speak to your doctor.

Your doctor can recommend counseling or prescribe medication. Seek treatment for depression as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner you will begin to feel better.

If You Have Teen Depression, YouÕre Not Alone

According to the American Psychological Association, approximately one in five teens struggles with depression. Depression isnÕt something to hide or be ashamed of. It is a serious medical disorder that requires medical attention and treatment, just like any other illness.

Resources

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Major depression: Symptoms. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=symptoms.

Melin, G. J. (2009). Blog: When to seek help for teen depression. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/teen-depression/MY00749.

Melin, G. J. (2008). Depression in teens: Watch for signs. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression-in-teens/MY00310.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Staff. (n.d.). Depression symptoms, causes and diagnosis. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from the National Alliance on Mental Illness website: www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/Depression/ Depression_Symptoms,_Causes_and_Diagnosis.htm.

Schwartz, A. (n.d.). Teenage depression and consequences. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from the MentalHelp.net website: www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=30656&cn=4.

The Nemours Foundation Staff. (n.d.). Depression. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from the TeensHealth¨ website: kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/depression.html.

 Posted on : June 26, 2014