Depression and Anxiety

Feeling Blue: Surprising Facts Behind Sadness

People suffering from sadness and depression experience symptoms like lack of sleep, appetite, and increased anger. Call The Forge today to learn more

Feeling Blue: Surprising Facts Behind Sadness

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 4, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Sadness is a term that defines emotional trauma during which an individual has the feeling of disadvantage, helplessness, sorrow, and grief. These feelings, in turn, lead to several changes in their emotional and behavioral patterns. These changes include laziness, a sense of withdrawal, and a lack of expressiveness.

Researchers at the University of Texas found that when an individual feels sorrow, the levels of stress-related opioids in their brain become altered. Additionally, the levels of inflammatory proteins increase in the blood. As a direct result of these changes, an individual develops a higher probability of being exposed to comorbid diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and various others.

What Are the Reasons Why I Feel Sad?

Feeling sad is a very natural phenomenon in humans. There can be several reasons for which an individual feels sad in their day-to-day life. It can be an outcome of disease, a problematic situation, degradation of relationships with close ones, disappointments, stress, and many more.

No matter how ordinary and natural sadness is, it can lead to a depressive situation if left alone and not dealt with over an extended period of time.

What Happens When We Feel Sad?

According to Prossin, the study’s primary scientist, when a person is stressed, brain chemicals called opioids are released to minimize the impact of stress. However, suppose this stress response system is disrupted. In this case, opioid neurotransmitters may actually harm the body, changing the immune system’s response to stress and potentially raising the risk of various medical conditions.

Prossin and colleagues previously discovered that depressed patients have higher levels of an inflammatory cytokine called interleukin-18 (IL-18), which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.

Are Sadness and Depression the Same?

Sadness is a very natural emotion that is a part of day-to-day life. Certain complex life events can lead to sadness. It might be the loss of a loved one, substantial monetary loss, a breakup with a significant other, termination of a friendship, or any other sort of disappointing event. Some typical ways to help lessen or lighten the impact of sorrow include crying, sharing feelings with close ones, exercising, and more.

On the contrary, depression is not a natural phenomenon. It begins when the sorrow becomes a persistent emotion and doesn’t seem to end even after a long period of time. Depression, unlike sadness, is a critical medical problem as it affects a person’s ability to think, feel and act. It is a situation where an individual does not experience feelings of joy, happiness, and pleasure. Depression is characterized by symptoms such as loss of sleep, appetite, and lack of focus. An individual suffering from depression may experience noticeable energy loss and extreme feelings of hopelessness.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 19.7% of adults aged 16 and over in the UK had anxiety or depressive symptoms in 2014, up 1.5 percent from 2013. Females (22.5 percent) had a higher percentage than males (16.8 percent).

What Are the Symptoms That Arise Due to Sadness?

There are several symptoms that a person who is experiencing sadness might experience. Some of them include:

  • Acting overly emotional without seemingly adequate reasons

  • Finding it challenging to complete tasks that are a part of their regular daily routine

  • Lack of sleep

  • Increased or reduced appetite

  • Frequent anger and frustration

  • No longer enjoying the acquaintance of their friends and family

How to Identify if I’m Experiencing Depression?

Initially, it’s difficult to identify depression because it usually mimics temporary sadness in its early stages. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may, in fact, be depressed:

  • You’ve been sad for a long time, and the situation has become customary to you.

  • You feel worthless, guilty, and empty inside.

  • You feel mysterious aches and pains without any injury or specific reason.

  • It has become difficult for you to memorize things, concentrate on your work and make decisions.

  • You have lost interest in the activities that you enjoyed the most.

  • You’re experiencing slowed physical movements, speech, and thoughts.

  • You often experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

If you face any of the situations mentioned above, we highly recommend reaching out to a counselor and receiving help from them. You can also get help from our team of experts at The Edge Treatment Centre.

How are Sadness and Depression Different From Each Other? 

This question often comes into the mind of individuals when they come to know that sadness and depression are not the same. Here are the top 5 differences which separate the state of sorrow from the state of depression:

  • Sadness is a specific reaction to a painful or unpleasant situation, i.e., it happens for some reason. In contrast, depression is an abnormal state that might strike for no apparent reason.

  • Sadness changes your mood temporarily as you feel unpleasant and fall back to sad thoughts, but depression changes your life completely. You might find it hard to sleep for several days, and you feel angry, irritated and do not enjoy anything. You also feel low and create distance from your loved ones which affects your life dramatically.

  • Sadness is not persistent. You feel sad for a while, and then you become happy again. But, on the other hand, depression is a state which changes your behavior, emotions, and perspective towards life; it is persistent in its very nature.

Prolonged Sadness Can Be A Gateway Into Substance Abuse

There are a number of different treatment options available for the treatment of depression, including medication, psychotherapy, and counseling sessions. This depression arises when a person does not give attention to their mental health or the early symptoms of the issues.

Sadness, which seems to be a simple thing, can turn into something very dangerous; therefore, seeking help from professionals is essential. The Forge Recovery Center provides assistance for individuals suffering from substance abuse and mental health problems, including mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Our treatment plans for the individuals are based upon diagnosis and the severity of symptoms. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression or any sort of mental health issue, please feel free to contact our team of experts who specialize in this field. Moreover, you can also reach out to our facility to find out more information about our services.

Newsletter banner

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest news, resources, and updates from The Forge Recovery Center.