Change & Grief
Sadness vs. Depression
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
Sadness vs. the "Blues"
Am I depressed, sad,
or just "blue"?
Under the traditional counseling
definition for "Sadness":
Children and Teenagers will often
use the term "sad" when they really mean depressed, so this is something
to be aware of and alerted to.
Sadness is actually a positive state
of being, rather than a negative one.
Sadness pulls people to you, enhancing
your connections (in contrast depression often pushes people away).
Feeling sad is a part of a healthy
adjustment to a loss or disappointment. It is part of the healing process,
allowing for increased awareness and processing of the loss, grief, change
Everyone will feel sad from time
to time depending on life events, just as everyone grieves. The concern
is when this "sadness" becomes depression and the depression becomes dysfunctional.
The concern is when the feelings
of the blues linger on for more than two weeks. In this case, it may be
a Depression. Left untreated, depression can become a serious and life-threatening
Feelings of "The Blues" may be intense
and unsettling, especially when part of the "Holiday Blues" and if those
around are full of holiday cheer.
Short-lived - The Blues only last
a few days to a few weeks around the holiday season (prior to or just after).
Emotions usually subside after the
holiday season and a daily routine is resumed.
Several factors are different
- the symptoms are present nearly every day and persist for most of the
day for at least 2 weeks.
In more mild cases, the level of
functioning may appear to be normal, but it requires markedly increased
effort to just maintain the normal level of activity.
- the symptoms occur together during the same time frame.
- the symptoms cause a level of distress or impairment that interferes
with important parts of daily functioning including:
From Pfizer Inc, copyright 1996.
Seeing Loss as a Chance to
It is difficult in the midst
of a loss, a change, or dissapointment to be able to see these experiences
as learning experiences or a chance to grow (Sometime in experiencing a
loss, I feel that I have learned enough...thank you very much). Often the
sooner this can be realized, the sooner the event reframed, the sooner
the sadness will change into a healing.
To quote Nena O'Nell on how
to view crisis:
of every crisis comes the chance to be reborn, to reconceive ourselves
as individuals, to choose the kind of change that will help us grow and
to fulfill our lives more completely.
If you are feeling like harming yourself or someone else, or are feeling
depressed, helpless or hopeless, Call 911,
your local suicide hot-line,
or Crisis Intervention line,
located in the Yellow Pages, or contact the Samaritans via e-mail at:
Call someone--a friend, or family
member, your clergy or physician. Look in the Yellow pages under Counselors,
Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists, if you feel you may need
immediate professional assistance.
If you or anyone you know seems
to be experiencing depression, consider taking one of the quizzes on the
other depression pages, Self
Assessment Quiz or Wakefield
Questionnaire and contact your health care provider, counselor, clergy
member or social worker and get the help you need.
Last updated October 5, 1999
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