Sad vs Depressed

I am not a doctor but.. I recently heard a comment on the difference between being sad and a diagnosis of depression and it made me think. How often do we use depressed when we mean sad? From all accounts a diagnosis of depression infects every aspect of a persons’ life and requires rigorous and long-term treatment. Sadness on the other hand can be alleviated by action.

For example, it makes me sad when I read poorly informed, biased and generally hateful social media posts. Well actually it enrages me but it doesn’t depress me. I am sad because we have lost the ability to provide critical thinking to situations. I’m sad because elected representatives refuse to be accountable and consistently push off their responsibilities to their opposition. I’m sad because our society is so hell bent on being inclusive, we are losing our common sense.

All of these examples can be turned around with action. Turn off the social media or at least view it through a common-sense lens. Get involved with politics and search out candidates who have both bold ideas and strategies to achieve results. Vote! Every chance you can to elect honorable candidates!

A friend of mine suffered for years with depression and said “think of your absolute worst day, that is my best day”. Let’s not conflate sad and depressed. To do so insults the efforts of those with depression while giving the rest of us a pass to do nothing.