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zookeeny's avatar

When is sadness depression?

Asked by zookeeny (888points) May 29th, 2010

Been feeling really really utterly down and sad. I have not been out of the house much lately and when I do my anxiety is sky high and I yern to get home asap so much so that I have cancelled appointments and arrangements. Its not that home is all that great, I live alone, but the world just feels too much and I dont know what eles to do other then to stay in and try and contain my anxiety. I have no friends as I moved alot with my family and now I am more settled I feel like a huge wave of sadness and grief has crashed over me. I feel utterly isolated and like a waste of space in this world as all I do is exsist day to day. Other then breathing and sleeping and eating I exsist for nothing. I have a number of skills and talents and potentual in a number of creative and caring fields but I can barely think of anything other then how to wade through days and long dark nights where sadness drowns me. I want to be happy. I find joy in plenty of things but the joy is breif and takes a great deal of energy to sustain whilst holding back my grief and sorrow.

Has anyone any advice on how to move through this? Would a big change or challenge be the answer? I have a superb mask to the real world which makes me appear very happy and creative and capable but I am barely connected to that person. I cant even drop the mask to say and show how desperatly sad I am. The internal hurt is so intense Im stunned and frustrated by it and tired of it.

If this is sadness then what is depression? What can I do to become alive again? How can I stop the sadness?


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34 Answers

zenele's avatar

When you can’t snap out of it within a few hours/24 at most. Seek help.

MissAnthrope's avatar

What you’ve described sounds like depression to me. I’m no doctor, but I do have chronic depression and thus have experienced it many times.

It’s a very difficult thing and I would recommend seeking help via therapy, or at the very least, someone sympathetic to talk to (at least then you can get some of this off your chest and stop holding it inside, which makes it worse). There is no magic answer and when you are depressed, it is very difficult to help yourself or to do the things you should. One thing that I know from experience that is very helpful is exercise. You must make yourself do it, but even 30 minutes of walking a day will help tremendously. It’s like a natural antidepressant. If you are anxious, try walking in the woods or a quiet park where the world can fade away for a time.

I’m sorry you’re going through this.

SpringTime's avatar

I suffered from depression for many years of my life. For me it took medication to lift it enough to get me out of the rut enough to change my life. I no longer take medication but feel the things that finally changed my life so I am no longer depressed was to take yoga (at a very spiritual place), eat alot healthier (I was told that sugar and caffeine make depression worse), exercise, doing things like alot of positve self talk, I also joined a church, take classes, pray more and meditate almost every day. I have been working on this new life style for two and a half years and adding things a little at a time, but I am a different person now. I still get sad from time to time but the I do more of something above to bring me back into balance.

partyparty's avatar

Your symptoms sound as though you are suffering from depression.
Do you work? Do you have any friends you are able to open up to? Perhaps if you shared your feelings with someone close you will have made the first step.
Try to wake up each morning, before getting out of bed, telling yourself just how fortunate you are to be alive, and then think of all the wonderful things you are going to do today. Try to only think positive thoughts (I know this won’t be easy), and every time a negative thought comes in to your head, replace that negativity with a positive.
Perhaps cognitive behavioural therapy would help you to see the world differently. I wish you luck.

Gemini's avatar

I have no experience with lasting depression, but my sister does and it is not something she can control on her own. For her it’s a chemical imbalance and she needs to take medication to help. It would probably be a pretty good idea if you saw a doctor to find out if this is the case with you, because you may not be able to pull completely out of it by yourself. Whether this is or isn’t the case with you I think all the other suggestions of yoga, exercise, positive thinking, etc. would all be great things to help you along. I really feel for you and wish you all the best in finding happiness.

perspicacious's avatar

Unless someone here is a psychiatrist or psychologist you will not get your answer here. Even then, you couldn’t be diagnosed in this manner. See a professional if you think you are clinically depressed. Don’t waste time on QnA sites; make yourself an appointment with a doctor.

Theby's avatar

You sound like you are suffering from depression, maybe even major depression.
Sadness is just that – feeling sad.
Depression is like being in a black hole. Symptoms: feelings of isolation, too much sleep or not enough sleep, no motivation, not wanting contact with friends/family, confusion, memory loss, feelings of hopelessness.

I had major depression for 2 years. I know how you are feeling. You most probably also feel that nothing is going to help. I also felt that way. I ended up going to my GP and telling her how I felt. She prescribed some medication for me which was totally wrong for me. After lots of trials I finally decided to see a psychiatrist and got a referral off my GP to see one. He changed my world! He prescribed the correct medication and kept tabs on me. It took about 2 weeks for me to start feeling normal again.

You need to see a specialist about your problem, not just a GP. The specialist will assess you and give you his/her diagnosis and tell you how he is able to help you. Please don’t delay seeking help as your condition could worsen.

partyparty's avatar

@Theby So glad things worked out for you. Good advice.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Theby Has it exactly right. Your symptoms sound a lot like mine. I’ve been on medication for this for the past 6 months, since about a week after my wife died. You should also know that it often takes several tries to get the medication and dosage correct.

Get professional help fast. This can be a life-threatening situation. If not for the medications, I’d likely have killed myself several months ago.

dealrrr's avatar

you need to cry in front of someone really bad, and alot. crying helps to identify sources of pain so you can put it in perspective. also find a medication that mellows you out, wellbutrin worked great for me and helped me quit smoking too, but it’s different for everybody.

nicobanks's avatar

When is sadness depression?

“I yearn to get home ASAP so much so that I have cancelled appointments and arrangements”

That’s when.

Depression, addiction, these are relative terms, meaning they are defined relative to each person. Drinking alcohol only becomes alcoholism when it prevents you from having a healthy and productive life. Sadness is the same, and it sounds to me like that is what you’re experiencing right now. Whether you’re ‘certifiable depressed’ or not, you clearly have a problem.

I don’t think a big change or challenge would help. Some people talk like this kind of thing can ‘shock your system, shock you out of it,’ but I don’t know about that. I think you’d more likely just be running from your problems, trying to hide from them, and eventually they would surface again.

Sort of along those lines, though, is if there’s somewhere you can take a ‘vacation’ – if there’s a cottage you can go to, for instance, that can help. Escape temporarily from your problems and allow some peace to seep into your psyche and a different perspective into your mind.

Otherwise, I think you should approach this issue directly and I think you need a professional objective perspective to do that. I think you should try talk therapy and go from there.

It can be hard to find a therapist, and then it can be hard to find a good therapist or one you get along with. Try not to be discouraged. You say you can’t think of anything other than wading through the days and nights, but maybe you can hold this up as a beacon: the one thing to try to do. Go to your doctor, or if you don’t have one go to a clinic, and tell them how you feel and ask about your options. You might try looking for a clinic that caters to you in a personal way: like, if you’re a young woman, look for a clinic for young women, because you might receive more compassionate care at such a place. If money is an issue, be up front about that: there still may be options out there.

Good luck.

MissA's avatar

I agree that you need to seek help…even if it’s just seeing your regular physician. They can point you in a direction.

If you like a more natural approach, see a homeopath or aroma therapist…they can work wonders too.

You expressed yourself very well and by virtue of that alone, you will be able to accurately describe what’s been going on in the inside, so that someone may help you.

My best as you venture out to save your world. Good thoughts your way.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

You have been given the excellent advice to seek professional help. If you want to know more about depression and its treatment see this website .

bea2345's avatar

It does sound as if you need professional help. It will do no harm to speak to a qualified person, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. And do it now. If there is one disease that causes people to waste their lives, it is depression.

anartist's avatar

You are depressed. You may even have clinically defined Major Depression. If it continues this long and includes lack of reason for existing.

You really need the help of a psychiatrist, if for no other reason than because anti-depressants can diminish enough of the severity to allow you to try to regain purpose and function in your life. It may be baby steps at first but any steps are good. Exercise is also good for lifting your spirits and also general well-being.

Don’t try to conquer the world by trying to do something “big.” If you are not up to it now and you fail, you will be more depressed.

How old are you? Do you have a job or family support [emotional and/or financial?]

LostInParadise's avatar

What you have is definitely depression. I know about depression firsthand, because I have what is considered “mild” depression, which is still something I would not wish on anyone. About two years ago I was out of work and was feeling very much the way you describe. Just making it through the day seemed like a major accomplishment. Definitely seek help and, as was suggested by @anartist , take baby steps. Make plans to do something outside of the house. Take a walk or go to a book store. Just do something. I also find that meditation helps. You might want to give it a try.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I urge you to contact your family physician. Depression is a medical problem that can be effectively treated.

anartist's avatar

@zookeeny Please let us know— have you seen a doctor????

Theby's avatar

Hey @zookeeny Please let us know how you are? We worry about you and just want to know you are okay or if you need more support from us like one on one chatting.

stardust's avatar

I too am wondering how you’re doing @zookeeny

IsthmusCrypticus's avatar

Hey there zookeeny. I cant speak to you as a professional on mental illnesses, nor can i speak to you as someone who has the right to diagnose you as having depression. I can only speak to you as someone who has lived with it for many many years and continues to do so. By the books, legitimate depression is something that is enduring and emotionally straining – i think from memory the threshold for diagnosis is a beyond a month of having enduring feelings like this.
However, in your position i would consult someone who practices in mental health for their opinion on your situation; to discuss with them what it is your feeling. Not only will they provide you with a more formal answer to what it is your feeling, but they will also provide you with the opportunity to express your inner self – everything it is your feeling with security and confidentiality.
They can help you bring clarity to your thoughts; to help clear away the confusion and calamity that may be embedded in with your thoughts, helping you to begin to understand your feelings, why you experience such intense anxiety and help you to find pathways to a greater understanding of the context of your feelings.
While i wish i could provide you with a pathway which i walked down to explore my own thoughts and bring some sense of inner peace, the fact of the matter is these are answers which we find within ourselves, and only work for ourselves. The nature of psychiatric services is to provide a client a secure environment where they can identify and use personalized solutions to their situations – if it is not personal and meaningful, then their is the risk that it will be only a band aid fix and not explore the heart of the problems you may be living with. So – long story short – see someone who can help you understand why your feeling this way first.
But, on a more social front – already ive come to realize that this site is filled with members who will gladly listen to your story and contribute in anyway they can to help relieve some of the emotional pressure you may feel. So while a practitioner is the first point of call i believe you should make, many people here will also take the time to listen to you.
We may in reality be electrical impulses and lights on your computer screen, but behind those impulses are human beings who have also endured tough times – people who can relate to where your coming from and what your feeling. We will gladly listen and chat with you, even if its just to take your mind of things. Whenever you need to talk or just vent, there will be someone here who will listen.

zookeeny's avatar

Hi, thanks for your responses. Things havent gotten much better. I am possibly going into hospital. I am seeing a doctor. Thank you so much for your kind words.

anartist's avatar

Oh you’re back!!!!!
I am glad you found a doctor and I hope you like him.

Luffle's avatar

Doctors can only help so much. I don’t really like the warning labels on depression medication although I’m sure they help some people.

I think most of the time depression can be controlled by the person. I don’t know you but I am familiar with suffering from depression. You have to find out what’s making you feel so unhappy. Sometimes people can feel lonely even with they are with other people.

I recommend going outside even if you don’t feel like it or finding someone to talk to even if it’s for a couple of minutes a day. Being trapped inside your house will only increase feelings on loneliness.

Find some things that you like to do and try to make an effort to do them even if it’s hard. You don’t have to pretend you like things when you don’t or put on a mask when dealing with others. Being comfortable with yourself is important.

Scarlett's avatar

When it controls your life and you can’t funtion properly…....

Jellybean9's avatar

When sadness starts to invade our thoughts and making thinking almost impossible to the point of not bring able to think lmpossilble,causing irrational thinking to the point of possible suicide.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

It is not sadness or depression my friend. It is loneliness, go join a club that sparks your interest and make some friends.

SABOTEUR's avatar is 24/7 all positive talk radio with seasoned hosts designed to help people have a happy, healthy life.

raven860's avatar

That sucks but maybe you can be his new bud. I am not sure, but he might be mature enough that you both would have topics you genuinely have in common. I mean instead of labeling things as Father-son activities label and live it as bud activities.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

When it sticks like glue to every portion of your being… and doing the things that you normally do to function or make you feel better do not work.

IzzyAndHerBeans's avatar

We can all get addicted to a certain kind of sadness. When you become addicted to that type of sadness, you fall into depression.

likipie's avatar

Sadness becomes depression when it becomes everything. We can suffer from temporary periods of sever sadness but they can’t really be considered a mental illness. But when it lasts longer than it should (depending on what causes it) and/or you can’t find a cause for the sadness, you should get it checked out.

sujenk7422's avatar

Feelings and emotions are essential parts of human existence; they represent our evaluation of the events in our lives. In a very real sense, feelings and emotions are what human life is all about. The emotional state of most of us reflects what is happening to us: Our feelings are tied to events in the real world, and they are usually the result of reasonable assessments of the importance these events have for our lives. But for some people, affect becomes divorced from reality. For example, depression that accompanies the loss of a loved one is normal, but depression that becomes a way of life – and will not respond to the sympathetic efforts of friends and relatives or even to psychotherapy – is pathological. Severely depressed people usually feel extremely unworthy and have strong feelings of guilt. The affective disorders are dangerous; a person who suffers from a major affective disorder runs a considerable risk of death by suicide. Depressed people have very little energy, and they move and talk slowly, sometimes becoming almost torpid. At other times, they may pace around restlessly and aimlessly. They may cry a lot, and are unable to experience pleasure; they lose their appetite for food and sex. Their sleep is disturbed; they usually have difficulty falling asleep and awaken early and find it difficult to get to sleep again. Even their body functions become depressed; they become constipated, and secretion of saliva decreases. Seek professional help, engage in physical activities (releases serotonin in the brain that combats depression), find your joy by whatever means open to you.

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