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Old 09-15-2012, 02:46 PM
 
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And, are there warning signs to indicate one is slipping into the other?

I have a sad family member. The source of the sadness does not appear to be a temporary thing. I am concerned about him slipping into depression. I've heard sleep becomes difficult with clinical depression, but he's never slept well. He functions in his daily routine, but without joy.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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I am diagnosed with Clinical Depression and I can definitely tell you what is the difference between sadness and depression for me. However, I am not sure if my own personal symptoms are also the symptoms your family member may be experiences. Everyone is different and everyone may experience depression in a different way. I'll do my best to help.

For me, sadness is a feeling just like any other feeling. For example, if something good happens in your life, then you will be happy. However, that happiness will fade sooner or later. If you get a dream job promotion, then chances are you'll be really happy. You'll want to tell everyone about it, you'll want to celebrate, etc. However, two years after you get that job promotion, chances are you won't be wanting to tell everyone, you won't want to celebrate every night, etc. The happiness has faded as time has faded. The same thing goes for sadness. Sadness goes away with time. If something bad happens, you might cry and be sad. But you probably won't be crying two years from now. It goes away.

Depression tends not to go away. Personally, I would not describe depression as a "feeling". Depression is more of a "mood". Depression can come and go, but it always lingers. And it is much more difficult to get rid of depression than sadness. For me, depression is also a physical feeling. It's like a weight is sitting on my chest. Sadness is not like that.

A lack of sleep can cause depression but it can also be a symptom of depression. There are so many different types of symptoms of depression. There are even different types of depression. If you do a google search, you will find hundreds of articles on the symptoms and types of depression.

I hope that you can help your family member. Perhaps you could talk with him about this?
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:29 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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I agree with what TMR said above. Depression is not really a 'feeling,' it's more a mood or a state of being. There are different factors that will determine which type of depression this family member has. For example clinical depression is not the same as Dysthymia/chronic depression (which is what I have). This is the type of depression where it seems like the depressive state is again, not a come and go feeling but instead an integral part of the person's personality, I hope that makes sense. The best example my pdoc gave me was Eeyore from Winnie the pooh, he is likely dysthymic. LOL.


You should ask them personally how they are feeling and how long it's been like that. If your family member has been depressed for several months or even years at a time, he/she could have clinical depression. He/she probably needs to see a psychiatrist for a proper evaluation.

here is a good site on the symptoms and types of depression:

Depression Symptoms, Warning Signs, Types, and Complications
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:17 PM
 
Location: ATL with a side of Chicago
3,622 posts, read 5,208,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR12 View Post
I am diagnosed with Clinical Depression and I can definitely tell you what is the difference between sadness and depression for me. However, I am not sure if my own personal symptoms are also the symptoms your family member may be experiences. Everyone is different and everyone may experience depression in a different way. I'll do my best to help.

For me, sadness is a feeling just like any other feeling. For example, if something good happens in your life, then you will be happy. However, that happiness will fade sooner or later. If you get a dream job promotion, then chances are you'll be really happy. You'll want to tell everyone about it, you'll want to celebrate, etc. However, two years after you get that job promotion, chances are you won't be wanting to tell everyone, you won't want to celebrate every night, etc. The happiness has faded as time has faded. The same thing goes for sadness. Sadness goes away with time. If something bad happens, you might cry and be sad. But you probably won't be crying two years from now. It goes away.

Depression tends not to go away. Personally, I would not describe depression as a "feeling". Depression is more of a "mood". Depression can come and go, but it always lingers. And it is much more difficult to get rid of depression than sadness. For me, depression is also a physical feeling. It's like a weight is sitting on my chest. Sadness is not like that.

A lack of sleep can cause depression but it can also be a symptom of depression. There are so many different types of symptoms of depression. There are even different types of depression. If you do a google search, you will find hundreds of articles on the symptoms and types of depression.

I hope that you can help your family member. Perhaps you could talk with him about this?
Well said. I also have been diagnosed with episodic severe depression. "Depression" is a misnomer, IMO. Far from being sad. Sadness can be overcome with time, with talking, with diversion. It's not bio-chemical.

When I am severely clinically depressed, I describe it (as I did in another thread here, somewhere) as feeling "numb", "emotionless", "underwater". I can't see past the present, so there's no hope in sight. Life has no color. Sunny days are gray. I have no motivation to do anything I normally would enjoy doing. Getting dressed is a chore. Every little tiny piece of daily minutiae just to continue existing is a chore. Going out is not an option. It's isolating, I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to see anyone. I don't answer my phone. I don't answer my door. I don't eat. I don't care about anything, even though the world revolves around me, and nobody else matters. Nothing matters. I don't want to live. I don't want to die. I just want to lie in my bed and stare at my wall. If I am able to cry, for me that's actually a good thing; a sign that I'm "feeling", again.

That's my personal experience of how my mind works when in a clinically depressed state.

I hope you are able to get help for your family member, whether he/she is clinically depressed, or sad.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:41 PM
 
Location: earth?
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Depression is not a primary state. It is unprocessed grief or rage turned inward.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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I have been diagnosed with "severe clinical depression" This is my understanding of it, my brain is not producing the chemicals it needs to feel happy. There are many chemicals involved in this feeling of being happy or even normal. This is one of the reasons it sometimes takes several different types of medications before they find the one that works. The neurotransmitters may not be picking up the signals, there are several things that could be contributing.

The brain is like a muscle in a way that it has memory, like the person who works out all the time, the more they work out, the easier it is to pump up your muscles. When a woman has a child, normally the second one is easier, the body remembers what to do. When your brain goes into a depressive state, the chemical structure of the brain changes, I am not sure how, but it remembers how to be depressed and each time, it becomes easier for the person to go into the depressive state and they go deeper into the depression.

I don't know that this is true for all people with depression. Sadness will go away. Depression can linger and pull a person deeper and deeper. If you think somebody has depression, rather then is just sad, encourage them to seek help, even if it is just reading about it on line.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: So Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Depression is not a primary state. It is unprocessed grief or rage turned inward.
Clinical depression being a result of rage turned inward is a Freudian view that is not accepted as much today. What do you mean about depression and "a primary state"?
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,233,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA4Now View Post
Clinical depression being a result of rage turned inward is a Freudian view that is not accepted as much today. What do you mean about depression and "a primary state"?
What I mean is that rage and grief are primary feeling states . . .depression is a cover for unprocessed, primary feelings.


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Old 09-17-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: SF CA, USA
4,188 posts, read 4,528,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neemy View Post
Well said. I also have been diagnosed with episodic severe depression. "Depression" is a misnomer, IMO. Far from being sad. Sadness can be overcome with time, with talking, with diversion. It's not bio-chemical.

When I am severely clinically depressed, I describe it (as I did in another thread here, somewhere) as feeling "numb", "emotionless", "underwater". I can't see past the present, so there's no hope in sight. Life has no color. Sunny days are gray. I have no motivation to do anything I normally would enjoy doing. Getting dressed is a chore. Every little tiny piece of daily minutiae just to continue existing is a chore. Going out is not an option. It's isolating, I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to see anyone. I don't answer my phone. I don't answer my door. I don't eat. I don't care about anything, even though the world revolves around me, and nobody else matters. Nothing matters. I don't want to live. I don't want to die. I just want to lie in my bed and stare at my wall. If I am able to cry, for me that's actually a good thing; a sign that I'm "feeling", again.

That's my personal experience of how my mind works when in a clinically depressed state.

I hope you are able to get help for your family member, whether he/she is clinically depressed, or sad.
This is an extremely accurate description of that feeling in my opinion. I have been able to lay in bed for twenty hours or more at a time, unable to move. If, OP, you feel even slightly like this, it could indeed be depression and not just the blues.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:01 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,233,891 times
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Has anyone heard of "spiritual emergence" or read Thomas Moore's chapter on Depression in Care of the Soul? Both are alternate ways of viewing depression, which don't pathologize it. In other words, there is a reason for it . . .and the reason might not be "bad" but a wake-up call.

There are books on spiritual emergence on Amazon if anyone is interested in exploring the subject.
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