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When “Sadness” Crosses the Line

Everyone feels sad some of the time. We feel sad during times of loss, grief, fear, sickness and even in times of significant change, when sadness is the least expected feeling, such as major life changes including graduations, weddings, retirements, and the like.

But, when sadness crosses the line and becomes overwhelming, making it difficult if not impossible to get through the everyday activities of daily life, it’s time to think about the possibility that something more complicated is going on. Depression. What? No. Not me. Not my child. Not my family member. Not my spouse, partner, lover. But, maybe…maybe I should think again. When DOES sadness cross the line? When should I be concerned? And when should I get help?

Sadness is a natural experience in response to the natural order of life. Things happen. It’s not all good. We wish it were, and we rail against the preposterous outcome of the natural order that something makes us sad, but it does. And, we are, after all, human. Nothing wrong with that! We’re human and part of being human is to feel sad. Period.

BUT. When sadness begins to creep into our lives in such a way as to interfere with the quality of our everyday lives and the effective carrying out of daily life responsibilities in such a way that we become despondent…lose interest in things that would ordinarily bring us happiness, joy or comfort, we should begin to wonder. What is going on, and has my sadness crossed the line into…Depression?

This is where a professional can be helpful in redefining our natural response of “No” with an explanation of why “Yes”; the sadness has crossed the line and become a treatable condition we’ve all heard about called Major Depression, depression, clinical depression, mood disorder, Bipolar depression and similar terms. These terms are known to a reputable therapist as conditions, that once properly diagnosed, are both treatable and from which recovery can be experienced.

If you or your loved one is experiencing any combination of the following that has come to a point in your observation, feels like it’s beyond the norm, call my office for a diagnostic evaluation and treatment plan to recovery:

From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition – DSM 5:

– Depressed mood most of the day
– Loss of interest
– Significant weight loss or gain
– Sleep disturbance
– Agitation or “slowed down” that goes beyond verbalizing “feeling” slowed down
– Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
– Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
– Diminished ability to think
– Recurrent thoughts of death