Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sadness and depression.

I always thought sadness is synonymous with depression. But the stark difference came to light when I experienced both.

Sadness is a reaction brought on by external elements. Like a hurtful comment, a loss of some kind, a death of  loved one. Something which is out of our control. As soon as I realized this I saw how controllable this emotion is. Sadness can be overcome so easily (You might think otherwise if you have never been depressed). We just have to control to what extent we allow ourselves to react to situations.

Depression is a reaction to internal elements. Every mean thing the inner voice tells us. Like "You are not good enough", "You could not even keep your job", "You will never be good enough", "How do you expect anyone to love you, you are an ugly mess". How should this be overcome or controlled ? We are our meanest critic.

People so easily confuse sadness and depression. Recently my co-worker told me that he is in depression. A thing which a depressed person would never admit to a stranger. A root cause analysis soon revealed that he is not happy with his job, an external element. Totally controllable. So is he depressed ? Maybe, because he thinks he cannot find a job which he will like. Or is he just sad ? Because the manager is mean. Can you see the connection ? His manager says a mean thing, which makes him sad and soon he thinks he is not fit for the job and now he is depressed.

So, is depression controllable ? Based on the above connection, up to some extent yes. Also, listing down positive things about me and cutting me some slack has helped me.

I am no expert on this. But realizing this has helped me in some ways. I would like to think, that by writing this I am paying it forward. If it helps one person out there, that is enough for me.

If you would like to add to this please do leave a comment.


  1. Asking for help is something we are not good at. And asking for help is what we desperately need to do. Mental health is so underplayed in India :(

    1. True. It is very difficult to ask help, especially when you know people are just going to say "It is all in your head". :(

    2. I know. Or even worse, they say you are overreacting. I see red when I hear people say that. What the fuck does that even mean?!

      But ask, nonetheless, I have learnt.

  2. Whatever PV said. Plus my own two cents: Being someone who has suffered from depression (with sudden bouts of clarity) for years, a few things I've learned is that sometimes it's a lot more clinical. As in, the docs discovered my depression through a series of blood tests! Whether the depression caused the deficiences, or the deficiencies caused the depression is something I'm not wholly sure of. But the bottomline is, talk to someone, get help, get medication if needed. Just letting it be or "getting your mind off things" (this is the most common and stupid advice I receive) is irresponsible.