Some days we all feel anxious and sad. You can also feel anger, guilt, and shame. It’s OKAY.
As normal as a sense of satisfaction, surprise, happiness, and love. To feel something is good because our feelings serve a precise purpose. Emotions motivate us to act in a way that not only helps us survive in the world but also helps us grow.
When we feel something, we do something.
Anxiety is about preparing for future threats and dangers.
But fear is about immediate threats. Fear implies little thought at all. It is automatic because, faced with real danger, it is better to act first and think later.
Sadness is a reaction to a situation that we cannot fix or solve. This incapacity to control or resolve the situation creates an extreme sense of hopelessness or discouragement. Sadness commands us to slow down and retreat. So that we can deal with a loss or think through a failure and learn from it.
So, yes, feelings are good. Emotions help you cope with life’s hard times and learn new ways of reacting if you meet them again.
Emotions are helpful because they allow you to adjust to your situation, at least when your emotional system is flexible.
Depression (what is the difference)
Depression is different from the sadness that we all feel when we experience loss or setbacks in life.
Actually, “depression” is a clinical term for describing intense and persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Depressive Disorder is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. One in 10 adults suffered at least one major depressive episode (Hasin et al. 2017).
When you get depressed, your view of the world changes. The sun shines less brightly, the sky clouds over, people seem cold and distant, and the future looks dark. Your mind may cloud over with recurrent thoughts of worthlessness, self-loathing, and even death. You start to complain of difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
— Well, why try? I’ll just screw up again –
When you feel sad or depressed, you often have thoughts on events that you cannot fix or control, or a situation you think has no hope.
— I’ll never amount to anything –
Or that you’re inadequate in some way.
When you’re feeling anxious, the thoughts are about future threats or dangers.
These are the what-ifs of your anxious mind:
-What if I fail the test and flunk out of college?”–
–What if I say the wrong thing and she thinks I’m weird?–
Then there are the images of the car wreck or your doctor giving you bad news about your health.
Not everyone who’s depressed behaves in the same way. You may speed up or slow down. You may sleep more than ever or complain of a dreadful lack of sleep.
Look, I’m not your physician. And no medical advice here.
But sometimes we don’t understand what’s happening and when things are starting to go wrong. And you have to pull over and check it out. All the items in the quiz are typical of depressed thinking and behavior.
*The components of this test can be caused by other health issues, not only depression. If you have troubling physical problems, you must see your doctor.