Sadness can also be described as a lowering of a person's mood, hence the expression “feeling blue”. Oftentimes, sadness may lead to depression, where a person experiences a persistent low mood that becomes more and more intense as time passes, resulting in a person's inability to cope with ordinary everyday matters.
Sadness affects everybody, as it is part and parcel of being human and a normal response to circumstances that are painful, such as loss. While most people try to resist feeling sad at all costs, they should avoid doing so to prevent a repression of their feelings.
SADNESS SIGNS AND SYMPTOMSIn the 1950's, expressing sadness in public was thought to be unfashionable and socially unacceptable. Today, that notion is beginning to change. Feelings of sadness that are repressed are likely to stay indefinitely, causing adverse physiological reactions as the body tries to get rid of the feelings a person is tied to resist. Sad moods can be managed to prevent them from turning to depression.
It is healthy to express sadness and grief so as not to become emotionally unhealthy or unstable.
A person who is sad will feel as if the whole world appears unfriendly. One of the symptoms is a crushing feeling of hurt and darkness, and it seems there may be nothing to look forward to and nothing to lighten a person's mood.
Most people who are sad are likely to be quiet, withdrawn, and exhibit very little energy. On the other hand, some sad people try to compensate for the emotion they are experiencing by being exuberant and energetic in the attempt to counter the feeling of sadness.
People who are sad often feel like crying, and when they do let go and cry, they feel better afterwards. Some people prefer to be alone to reflect on their feelings of sadness, while others seek other people to comfort them and keep them company while they weather this normal human emotion.
Other symptoms of sadness include feelings of anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, helplessness, guilt, and worthlessness. People who are sad often lose interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed, and sometimes they feel tired and have difficulty making decisions. In some cases, when the sadness is persistent, a person may lose their appetite and develop insomnia, or become restless and irritable.
Acute, all-encompassing sadness may eventually turn into depression if a person cannot find an outlet for it. Depression is often accompanied by physiological symptoms such as headaches, chronic pain and digestive problems. A depressed person will often entertain thoughts of death or suicide, and may even attempt to commit suicide in extreme cases.
SADNESS CAUSESSadness is caused by a multitude of factors. The most common cause is loss. A loss of a loved one will make a person unaccountably sad. This is particularly true if the person had a close relationship with the individual who passed away, moved away, separated or divorced from. Sadness is one of the primary emotions felt when people have lost someone important, or when that someone has disappointed them. There is the sadness that a person experiences after a bad relationship, or while in the middle of relationship problems.
Another kind of loss is the loss of a job or a home. When people suddenly find themselves unemployed or change jobs, they may feel sad and displaced, or unworthy. A loss of a home, or moving away to someplace else may also evoke the feelings of sadness and loss.
A person who is lonely is also likely to feel sad. So is a person who is unable to meet their goals and expectations. Sometimes, a prolonged illness can be a cause of sadness, as can changes in life that a person may find difficult to accept. A loss of a person's lifelong dream is likewise a cause for much sadness.
SADNESS DIAGNOSISSadness is both a normal emotion and process that people go through in life; as such, it is very easy to identify the emotion. Sadness is actually not diagnosed until it becomes an acute and persistent emotion coupled with some physiological changes that signal the onset of depression.
When depression is diagnosed, doctors will usually describe anti-depressants that may treat most of the symptoms of depression. However, these medications will not remove the feeling of sadness.
SADNESS TREATMENTThere are two schools of thought towards the treatment of sadness. One is to diagnose most feelings of sadness as depression and consider it treatable as such. This involves using various therapies that involve the prescription of anti-depressants, mood enhancing medications, and sessions with a therapist or a psychiatrist.
The other school of thought regards sadness as a totally normal human emotion, and promotes that people have a right to grieve and to let sadness run its course. The sadness that most people experience is a reaction to loss, change, grief, disappointment, and many other factors, but it is not the same as depression.
Many believe that it is healthier to live through sadness and to express it fully to prevent a repression of feelings. Repressed feelings are widely believed to result in emotional instability, and to treat sadness as depression will cause a person to be addicted to prescription anti-depressants, or rely too heavily on their psychiatrists and therapists to be able to function normally.
Different people can take different lengths of time to recover from sadness. It may take as little as a couple of hours, to as long as several months or a year.
There are many ways to deal with the feeling of sadness to help people cope with the emotion, and still remain positive afterwards. One is physical exercise. Physical activity has been scientifically proven to release the kind of hormones found in the brain that leads to an upliftment of mood.
People who are sad may also seek the company of family or friends to help ease some of the burden they are feeling. Joining a support group is also healthy, and many people who have been beset by loss and grief have found that this type of therapy can help them come to terms with their emotions.
Getting involved in a community effort or working actively for charity groups can help a person forget their sad mood. People who immerse themselves in helping others who are in need find that it is a good therapy to help them cope with their own sadness.
SADNESS PREVENTIONPositive thinking is one very common way to counter sadness, so is harnessing a person's creative side in activities like writing, dancing, singing or painting to express sadness in a constructive manner.
Oftentimes, simply going out into the sunlight to take a walk can brighten a sad mood. Scientific research has proven that the lack of sunlight can contribute to sadness and depression. If the feeling of sadness persists despite all a person does to counter it, they can seek professional support and go for counselling to help overcome the feeling.