7 Differences Between Sadness And Depression That Are Hard To Spot

4. How are your eating habits?

If you experience death or a bad breakup, or maybe you had something traumatic happen to you–it’s hard to eat normally. But, this passes. You move on from the pain and you realize–I’m hungry. When you’re depressed, your appetite changes with your change in neurological imbalances. When you are depressed, you struggle to realize you’re hungry, or that you’re malnourished. Things don’t seem as appealing to you. For example, when you’re sad, your friends may bring your favorite food over to cheer you up (and it does). When you’re depressed, your favorite food looks as bland as sand.

5. Do you still enjoy things in your life?

Sadness may take us away from our hobbies, social life, and other things we enjoyed, but when we push ourselves into these routines, we find ourselves experiencing happiness again. Watching our favorite shows, eating our favorite foods, or seeing our favorite people can make us feel more like ourselves and happy again. Depression, however, is associated with a severe lack of interest in things we once loved and adored. We can watch our favorite show over and over again, but, we can’t seem to find the enjoyment.

6. How do you feel about yourself? 

When you suffer from depression, your outlook on yourself isn’t always great. You don’t feel good about yourself–you feel unworthy, not good enough, as though you’ll never amount to much. There are days when you don’t want to look in the mirror because you’re so ashamed of yourself that you almost feel sick. Depression can often time lead to self-destructive thoughts and self-harm.

7. Have you ever had thoughts of self-harm?

Sadness comes and goes in our life, but when we’re sad about an event or situation, we don’t feel as though we want to die (hopefully). If you have ever had thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or anything having to do with your death, disappearance or inflicting pain on yourself–this is a key sign you are suffering from something much bigger than sadness. If you have ever had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, seek outside help immediately.

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Written by Lex Gabrielle

A writer and teacher from New York City who fully supports messy buns and 3+ cups of coffee a day.