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Argument of Definition

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hannywolf
Words 1685
Pages 7
Hannah Wolf
Brandon Brook Michalik
English 102
25 March 2014
Sadness/Depression
Sadness and depression may seem similar in a lot of people’s eyes, however they both have a very different meaning. Sadness is the feeling of sorrow or grief. Being sad is more of a mood while depression is a clinical problem. Depression has a deeper meaning than sadness. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, categorizes depression as someone who is in a depressed mood and has a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks. People who are depressed often feel like there is no way out and that is why depression can often lead to suicide. Some people may mistake sadness and depression for the same thing because they do have similarities. Sadness is often how depression starts out. Sadness can also be associated with grief. Grief is the response to a loss of someone and is associated with sadness. More people should look at sadness and grief as the same instead of sadness and depression. To know if you have depression, a diagnostic needs to be made by pointing out symptoms. Dr. Kramer believes that there are nine symptoms; if you have five out of those nine then you are depressed. The symptoms include: depressed mood, hard time having fun, no energy, can’t sleep, eating a lot, no desire for physical activity, feeling worthless, can’t concentrate, suicidal thoughts (Valiunas). All of those may seem like signs of just being sad, but as symptoms of depression, they are prolonged much longer. The physical characteristics of depression are what really set it apart from sadness. People who are depressed usually have a significant amount a weight loss; about 5% of their body weight is lost. A change in someone’s appetite is very important to notice because it can help spot depression early. When you’re sad it may be because you got a C on a test or you didn’t get asked to homecoming. Those are short-term things and your mood of being sad from them can easily be lifted. If you get an A on the next test or if you go with a group of girlfriends to homecoming instead and have a blast, that will automatically make you happy again. When you’re depressed, little things like that don’t cheer you up. They may make you feel a little better but that depression is still there. That is one thing that people don’t understand. When a person is depressed they can’t just “snap out of it.” It stays with them and buries itself deep inside them until they get medical help. Depression isn’t really accepted in today’s society. Depression is misunderstood because everyone has had a low point in their life or have been a bit sad. Since people think everyone has a low point, they kind of look past people who are depressed. It’s easy to tell someone to “snap out of it” when you don’t know what they’re going through. It’s also easier to “snap out of it” if you’re just sad about your goldfish dying because being sad is just a mood. Being depressed is a state of mind. Recently there was a story published in the news about a child being suicidal at only the age of five. Crazy isn’t it? Giovanni Cristini was adopted at birth. When he was only 18 months old, his mother noticed behavior problems. He was talking about voices in his head and that he was “seeing ghosts.” When he was only 5, a doctor prescribed him an antidepressant. After an hour Giovanni’s mom realized this was a horrible idea. He started saying “Mom I’m going to kill myself” “I can’t take it anymore I just want to die. Can you just leave me on the side of the road or something?”(“Young and Mentally ill”). At the age of five a child is thinking about killing himself. At the age of five a child doesn’t know what the difference is between being sad and depressed. Five year olds get sad about not being able to go outside and play or having to share with others. They’re not supposed to be thinking about killing themselves. That’s why knowing the difference between being sad and depressed is crucial. Giovanni isn’t sad, there is something mentally wrong and he needs to be treated by a doctor to insure his safety. Some people may think that it’s just a stage and he’ll get over it but it’s not. Depression is a serious psychological disorder and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Especially not in a child who is only five years old. When I was a sophomore in high school I went through a stage of being depressed. This may sound cliché, but it was because of a guy. I had been dating a guy for over a year and he just randomly broke it off, I was devastated. Not only was I feeling alone but I was also feeling rejected. I started sleeping all the time and I would never go out with my friends. I missed school maybe two or three times a week which made my GPA that year horrible. I barely ate and when I did eat I would just throw it up because I constantly felt sick to my stomach, I felt as if their was something missing. I felt hopeless and worthless and I thought I would be like that forever. My mom started seeing the changes in the way I acted and eventually made me go see a therapist. It was really hard for me to admit that I had a problem and at first I refused to go. But then I realized I did want to get better and moping around everyday wasn’t going to help anything. I didn’t have severe depression, just mild so I never had to go on any antidepressants. After a few therapy sessions I started to feel a lot better. My therapist made me realize that it wasn’t my fault and I’m not worthless and there is a reason for living. Even something as simple as a break up can send someone in a downward spiral of depression, I can speak from experience on that. All of my friends told me to stop being sad and to get over it and that it was only one guy and there are plenty of others. They never understood what I was going through and that’s why a lot of people who are depressed commit suicide. They feel like they have no one to go to and that they’re trapped. Luckily my mom was there for me and supported me every step of the way. Being sad over someone is way different than being depressed over someone and that is something my friends never understood. Of course people will be sad if someone brings up their ex and they still have feelings for them but usually they’ll forget about it quickly and move onto the next one. But then there are some people that it really hits them and they can’t seem to snap out of it, like how I was. With help from a therapist and maybe medicine, you can always get better. Depression affects everyone differently and that’s why sometimes it can be mistaken for sadness. Depression has the symptoms of being sad but a big difference between depression and being sad is the serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels mean bad/sad moods, which eventually lead to depression (Lively). That’s why people who are depressed are giving antidepressants with high doses of serotonin in them. It will help get their serotonin levels back up but it does not always cure them.

Figure 1. A quote of what depression feels like. (“ Adult Depression”) This picture represents how people feel going through depression. It shows that no one except the person going through depression feels or notices the pain. The picture is using the metaphor of feeling like you’re drowning because you feel like no one can come to your rescue. Everyone thinks that person is fine when they’re really not. That’s another major difference between depression and sadness. People know when you’re sad because you cry and pout, depression is so much deeper that people often hide it. They don’t tell anyone they just let it eat away at them. When you’re depressed you feel a sense of hopelessness, like no one can help you. That’s why people who are depressed have a hard time speaking out about it because they feel like no matter what they say, no one can help. In the end, knowing the difference between sadness and depression is very important. Although you don’t like seeing people sad, it’s not as important as someone being depressed. Sadness is just a mood that can easily be changed by a kind gesture. Such as a compliment or a Starbucks or maybe even just a hug. On the other hand depression is a psychological disorder that needs to be treated by a doctor with antidepressants. Although some cases of depression aren’t as serious as others ones, depression is still a serious thing and should never be taken lightly. These terms are important because although they may seem similar on the outside, if you dig deeper they are very different. It’s also important to know the difference incase you or someone you know is going through depression. Knowing the warning signs will help you catch it early so you don’t get a severe case, which in the worst scenario, could lead to suicide. Work Cited
“Adult Depression.” Digital Image. 14 May 2013. The Examiner. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Lively, Kathryn. "Emotional segues and the management of emotion by women and men." Social Forces 87.2 (2008): 911+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

"Suicidal at 4: Young and mentally ill." CNN Wire 11 Feb. 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Valiunas, Algis. "Sadness, gladness--and serotonin." Commentary 121.1 (2006): 59+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.…...

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