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    This has been trending on twitter the last few days but as this article explains, it's really highlighting how casually words like this can be used, and also that a lot of people don't really know the difference between sadness and depression.

    Whether you have depression or not, what do you think of this trend? Have you been part of it and would it make you think about your word choice next time? Are there any other similar things that people use that you don't like?

    Perhaps the most important thing with things like this is using them to educate people. How would you explain the difference between sadness and depression?

    Feel free to use this as a place to rant or to ask questions if there's something you would actually like to know about depression, or other mental illness!
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    For me, my dysthymia is just an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. It fills me up all over. It's paralysing and scary. I can get sad, but the sadness feels like an emotion. The emptiness doesn't.

    I don't know if that makes any sense. Probably doesn't...
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    (Original post by Airmed)
    For me, my dysthymia is just an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. It fills me up all over. It's paralysing and scary. I can get sad, but the sadness feels like an emotion. The emptiness doesn't.

    I don't know if that makes any sense. Probably doesn't...
    Emptiness can be a huge feature :/ getting to the point of thinking absolutely anything could happen and it would barely even register, and at the same time not even being able to care that you feel that way. But yeah, I definitely agree that emotions feel different- it does make sense!
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    I would say that depression is the clinical/psychiatric disorder, and sadness is just that - the feeling of being a bit down. Depression is all-consuming and very stubborn in that it won't go away, whereas sadness is an emotion that clears after a day or two. You can usually get out of feeling sad by going to a coffee shop/going shopping with a friend or something of the sort, but depression is different. It follows you around and will not leave; often even the most determined cannot get out of it without a clinical intervention.

    I think that saying "oh, I've been so depressed recently" when you're just a bit sad is like saying "I'm so OCD" when you line your pencils up on the desk: you're not, and you know that you're not, but it's a figure of speech which you use anyway. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would be when you have to - to continue the example - line your pencils up on the desk and measure them with a ruler five times, not out of choice but out of an instinct on the level of 'fight-or-flight' in how involuntary it can be for some people.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, depression is "feelings of severe despondency and dejection" and "a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep". Whilst I would say that perhaps is should be used less frequently, the word is not just applicable to the psychiatric disorder, and I think that only the individual concerned can determine whether their feelings of "despondency and dejection" are "severe".
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    For me personally, the difference between sadness and depression is the intensity, variation and duration of the emotions I feel. When I am sad, regardless of the cause, I feel down in the dumps, a little bit hopeless, don't know what to do with myself and feel like maybe a good meal, a good cry, a good nights sleep or talking with someone will help whereas with depression, what I feel isn't just a form of sadness. Its a mix of numbness, guilt, regret, anxiety, anger, suicidal feelings almost, utter helplessness and hopelessness and I have physical stress symptoms too and it doesn't matter what things I do to try and lift myself out of it, it doesn't work. The duration of a sadness spell for me can last a few hours to a few days whereas a depressive phrase can last months or even years.

    Another way I differentiate between the two is that often sadness does have a cause - a break up, an argument with someone, you just got some bad news etc and feeling awful then is expected but as you being to process it, it does lessen whereas with depression, a lot of the time is springs up out the blue with no obvious cause and it lingers on and can be caused by or aggravate other or underlying mental illnesses you have.

    I do agree with the fact a lot of people say they are depressed when they are just down or having a bad day and its just as wrong as when someone says "I'm so OCD!" when they clearly aren't and don't know anything about the condition but I don't think its said to be nasty. I just think a lot of people aren't really told the ins and outs of conditions and just put two and two together and assume that if you feel sad, its depression and if you do things a certain way, it must be OCD when most of the time, that's not (or not only) actually what the conditions make you do or feel.
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    (Original post by SummerStrawberry)
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    This is a really good description, probably one of the best I've seen. The examples too show it really clearly, 'I'm so OCD' is worse to me than depressed as it's in direct reference to the illness, depressed it's just another word. It's also definitely worth noting that only the individual knows how they feel- from the outside it may seem like they have everything, but depression is a mental illness and doesn't work like that. Someone may also have apparently nothing and be perfectly happy. It doesn't differentiate.


    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
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    Pretty much what I said above but those are really good ways of differentiating. People not meaning it nastily is a very good point too. It's a figure of speech, yes a potentially very damaging one in terms of invalidating the illness but still one that most of us have probably used at some point without a second thought. It's good if trends like this make people just stop and think for a moment though about what they're saying- that's all is needed sometimes.


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