Expressing emotions is difficult as it’s not always encouraged in society. People rely on comfort zones and a secure mask to get them through the day. You may feel emotions stirring and wonder, “Why am I so sad?” and not know where to begin in how to answer that.
In a way, being sensitive can be looked down upon. We ignore warning signs of sadness, depression and other forms of suffering because having feelings is something we cannot be open about in society. Stigma stifles us from speaking up.
It shouldn’t be something we are afraid of. With the release or catharsis of emotion, we find resilience and who we want to be. Sadness is one emotion of many. But it’s often the one most ignored. We don’t want to appear weak to others, or even to ourselves.
Ignoring sadness leads to repression. It may also lead to depression.
There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness you feel, depression may lead into numbness, intense sadness or a heaviness that cannot be easily coped with. You may go through all your coping skills for sadness, and it may still be there if it’s depression.
Typically, sadness is fleeting and brought on by something; it comes and goes, whereas depression holds us down for long periods of time maybe lasting weeks or so. It’s where we are in a hole we feel we cannot climb out of by ourselves, but we are even more afraid to ask for help.
When you are feeling sad, you are most likely feeling alone. You are most likely feeling helpless. You feel like it’s the end of the world or that you can’t go on. It’s a grief of something. But part of depression is feeling this way almost nonstop at a depth that can overrule your behavior.
When you feel sad, you may be at a juncture in life of confusion. Where do I go from here? What next? Or even, what is worth holding onto?
Do you find yourself hiding away from the world in shame or confusion?
Do you find yourself feeling hollow or empty, even though more tears may come up?
Do you find yourself feeling lost?
These are the key components to both sadness and depression. Sadness may hold on but it doesn’t linger. Depression doesn’t let go.
Seek a professional to help assist with either, but for now, reasoning through the causes may help to identify a way for a solutions.
Here’re 9 possible causes of you sadness that you shouldn’t ignore:
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
1. Lack of Support System
We need people to know who we really are. We need moments of vulnerability or opening up to one another to feel safe and secure. When we can tell others what we are going through, we feel a sense of clarity and release.
We feel obligated to be our own heroes. We feel like we need to hold on rather than let go and let others in. When this happens, sadness increases, and we are no longer engaged with those we love.
People overwhelm us with their ability to smile, carry on and even be functional. But that’s not always their truth either. When sadness hits, we have to tell someone and build a support system. We may find we have some thing about ourselves in common with others.
Find people you trust: professionals, friends and family that you can turn to when going through a hard time. Let them in. You are not alone in this. You just need to allow others to see your weaknesses, which aren’t even true weaknesses. Feeling sad is not a weakness. Holding back in an effort to appear strong is, however, a weakness. When people know what you’re going through, they can better assist you.
“No man is an island.” — John Donnes
2. Inability to Communicate Needs
When we are the most sad, we have trouble communicating our needs to others. But sadness doesn’t form overnight. Oftentimes, the repression goes back longer and deeper. We expect others to read our minds. We don’t give them a chance to get to know the real us because we’re so afraid of rejection.
Your needs are more than food, shelter and clothing, etc. They include understanding, compassion, reassurance, empowerment and hope. When you let yourself become vulnerable, people can offer you these things. It starts with communicating your needs.
Maybe you were passed up in a promotion, rejected in a love affair, hurt over past childhood abuse, neglected in life because of your inability to speak up. All these things do not define us. What defines us is what we do with them, the lessons learned. We have to let people in so that we can decide what to do with them.
To communicate your needs, write a list of your values, goals, what you’re grateful for and what you want others to help you with in regards to these areas. Then, make a plan to ask for help. Let others see this list. Let them choose how they can help you.
3. Identity Loss
Our identities become wrapped up in what we want people to think about us. Instead of hiding in the same stigma of sadness, open up to the world to share what you are going through.
When you are wearing a mask, you cannot be authentic. And when you are not being authentic, you are not getting your needs in life met. You are not building a true foundation for success. You cannot be happy. You cannot learn others’ needs or identities. You cannot offer a solid answer to their own vulnerabilities. Instead, you freeze. You become numb to others’ suffering and isolated in your own.
That mask needs to come off. Otherwise, you’re just waiting for more sadness to consume you when isolated and alone. That mask is designed to distract others from your pain, but it doesn’t work in the long term. Eventually, that mask will break.
If you keep it on, you will look towards that mask as who you really are. You will pretend and lose sight of your dreams and goals. Instead of letting that happen, take the mask off.
The freedom that comes in being yourself is worth it. The sadness will shrink at the sight of who you really are.
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
Hardship does not define us. But it can take time to recover from one. Don’t speed up that process. Sadness is not an inherently wrong emotion to feel. It’s just uncomfortable. And when you go through a hardship, that sadness will be there. That sadness attaches you to what you lost that you loved. It gives meaning to it. It helps you understand yourself when you open up about your grief.
People will have solutions for everything. But the greatest answer you can give yourself is honoring that sadness and what it stands for, so that it doesn’t overwhelm and control you. You will be less afraid of the hardship’s long term effect. It will equate some closure. You will learn lessons from the hardship that you might have not learned any other way.
Hold space for the pain, for yourself to heal, and for others who might not understand right away.
Be kind to yourself. That’s the best way to handle sadness from a hardship. Know that it’s natural to be there, but it won’t be so pushy forever. That’s where your own abilities come into play.
You can keep going knowing that you will honor that notion that it carries the weight of what you once wanted. And maybe as you grow, you will change in what you want. But you will never change in what you need. And that’s healing, growth, love and honoring your journey that you got this far and are able to do much more than anyone knows. Keep going!
5. Negative Messages or Self Talk About Yourself
You are worth everything. Your sadness does not speak to what you are worth. It only tells you the story you tell yourself. And when you change that story, you can breathe. You start to see the positives in your day. You start to realize you deserve to be happy. You even let yourself smile maybe. You will not go down that easy. You will rise again.
In The Toxic Effects of Negative Self Talkon Very Well Mind , Elizabeth Scott, MS said:
“Studies have linked negative self-talk with higher levels of stress and lower levels of self-esteem.”
Both stress and lower self-esteem bring on the sadness in which we feel we are losing our sanity. But we can pick ourselves up again with positive self talk.
Positive self talk is sending message of love and hope to yourself when the world fails to do so for you. It’s taking control. You may not be able to take control of every aspect of every circumstance, but you can control yourself. That means you have something to give. You can show up, when you are struggling, and you can know you are safe because you can control the messages you are telling yourself.
Take control, today and everyday, and watch the sadness fade. Start with “I am worth it.”
Maybe you’re not going through a hardship. Yet, you are not empowered. Maybe your circumstances are just not giving you what you want. You are having unfulfilling experiences. Your relationships are not healthy, your school or work simply drains you, you have no support system, you have an identity crisis, a lack of focus or meaning. Or all of the above.
In all of these examples, you feel a lack of power over your life.
Maybe you didn’t notice it at first, but the sadness creeped slowly up on you. Maybe you need it though as a wake up call. This isn’t the life you deserve. Maybe it’s time to change something.
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
That’s when sadness can serve us. It can give us hope. That we can feel enough to know something isn’t right. You don’t need to explain it to anyone else. You just need to act on it. You’ve been white-knuckling through your problems enough. Use the sadness or when it rains to open an umbrella, and walk forward.
7. Lack of Focus, Direction or Drive
It may be a simple thing of a lack of focus, direction or drive for your reason for sadness. You may have a great life, but you don’t know which way to go next. You aren’t taking what you do have seriously. In fact, you may be taking what you have for granted.
The lack of gratitude may be the reason why you can’t see the good even though it’s there. You’re forgetting why you started. You don’t recognize yourself in the mirror because you’ve let yourself wander so far. But now, it’s time to get it all back.
Choose. Make choices. Act. It sounds simple, but it is not easy to get your drive back. You have to really want it. And that changes everything.
Your mindset is everything. If you can’t view things with a positive spin, you will have nothing to do that is meaningful or productive. If your mindset is causing you to overlook what you do have and what you can have, it’s time to change it. Just with positive self talk, getting focused is about realizing what you deserve.
“It’s during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” — Aristotle
If you want to find your drive, this article can help you: How toGet MotivatedEvery Day When You Wake Up
8. Oppression of Some Sort
Poverty, pain, wrong doing, injustice… Sometimes, there are things outside of our control. We may feel like there’s nothing we can do in our current circumstances to make it better. But we have to try.
You didn’t choose this, but you did decide your attitude about it.
You can either fight or stop. But stopping is not an option.
Instead of blame everything else, see what you can do to be a light here. Get yourself through it to get yourself to the other side. Don’t judge what you’ve had to do in the past to do just that. But now it is time to start over.
Forgive yourself. Let the sadness be a voice for what you’re going through. Express that. It doesn’t mean things will change right away. But you will change. That will make meaning out of your sadness. It will help you transform what you hope to change.
If your sadness doesn’t leave you, it may be depression.
A chemical balance may be the reason for it all. Or a sudden hardship, heartbreak, loss. There’s no one reason for someone to become depressed. It’s subjective to that person.
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue reading article ⌄
Sadness enduring and growing stronger with a more hollow, empty feeling than you’ve ever had before is a sign of depression. Depression strikes when you are down. It’s like a weight on your chest. Sometimes, the sadness robs you of your sanity. You make rash decisions. You act in ways that do not appear healthy. You choose to retreat rather than open up the world. And therein lies the problem. You forget you’re human. You’re allowed to ask for help.
When the depression becomes numb, it could be a multitude of emotions lingering that the brain suppresses to help you cope. In that state, it’s time to reach out. Even if you don’t know what is causing it, it’s time to act.
If you need help, here’s a great organization to start with:National Alliance on Mental Illness describes depression as hopelessness, lack of interest in activities or even suicidal thoughts.
It’s also suggested to create a safety plan. This means you gather your supports, someone you trust, to help maybe take you to the ER if symptoms persist.
Call a suicide prevention hotline.
Note these aren’t fail-safe. It may take trying different therapies such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Maybe even medication. Meditation never hurts. But it’s up to you to be honest about how you feel, if something is not working for you, or if a counselor is not helpful.
Get ready for it all to be a process, to take time. There’s not a quick fix for your feelings. And when sadness becomes depression, you know to take it seriously. One day, there may be a cure, but for now, you will heal your sadness and depression by identifying and causes and coming up with a plan of action no matter what.
People don’t always recognize when someone is in crisis. They don’t know your internal dialogue. They don’t hear your negative self-talk. But what they do is love you.
You are not alone in this at all. Sadness can be very telling of what a person is going through. If it becomes depression, added steps are needed to getting help.
It should be viewed as any other health crisis. But due to stigma, it is not often so that we view it that way.
You can change that — just by showing up, just by voicing your concerns, just by living for yourself, your needs, and your goals. Because when it comes to sadness or depression, we often feel silenced. No more.
More to Cheer You Up
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake offSadnessNow
- WhyNegative EmotionsAren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them)
- How to Stop BeingSadand Start Feeling Happy
Featured photo credit: Casper Nichols via unsplash.com
There are many reasons why you can feel sad. It can be due to a loss, significant life change, heartbreak, financial struggles, or worrying about your or your loved one's health. Other people may not be satisfied with their life, which is the reason why they feel sad.What are the 11 symptoms of depression? ›
- Feelings of sadness.
- Loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities.
- Angry outbursts.
- Sleep issues.
- Lack of energy.
- Weight loss or loss of appetite.
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
- Acknowledge what's happening. It is okay to not feel okay. ...
- Prioritize taking care of yourself. ...
- Be mindful of how you're feeling. ...
- Maintain connections with others. ...
- Seek help from a professional if your sadness becomes overwhelming or feels unmanageable.
This type of crying may result from a mental health condition, such as burnout, anxiety, or depression. It might instead stem from hormonal imbalances or neurological conditions. If frequent crying for no apparent reason is causing concern, see a doctor for a diagnosis or a referral to a mental health professional.What happens inside your body when you are sad? ›
Along with the emotional baggage it carries, extreme sadness can cause distinctive physical sensations in the chest: tight muscles, a pounding heart, rapid breathing, and even a churning stomach. As you can see on the body map, survey respondents pinpointed the chest as a major spot for the manifestation of sadness.What happens in the brain when we are sad? ›
Sadness is associated with increased activity of the right occipital lobe, the left insula, the left thalamus the amygdala and the hippocampus. The hippocampus is strongly linked with memory, and it makes sense that awareness of certain memories is associated with feeling sad.What are the 3 stages of depression? ›
Living with depression every day is a reality for millions of people, but not everyone knows it.What is the largest cause of depression? ›
There's no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause. Different causes can often combine to trigger depression.What are 3 life events that can trigger depression? ›
Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems. Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide.When is emotional pain too much? ›
If you're feeling life is painful at the moment, it's highly advisable that you reach out to a mental health professional, or contact a crisis line and similar resources. Once you've reached out, you may also want to try some of these techniques to help you find relief from your emotional pain.
- Light therapy.
- Antidepressant medications.
- Vitamin D.
Sadness is the longest lasting of all emotions taking on average 120 hours to pass. Hatred is the second most enduring emotion followed by joy which lasts an average of 35 hours. Guilt lingers longer than the hot burn of shame; and fear tends to pass fairly quickly compared to anxiety which generally lasts much longer.What is stress crying? ›
Emotional tears contain stress hormones and other chemicals, so shedding tears as a response to stress, or any other emotion, can help us let go of them. Research shows that there are even more benefits to crying, too. “It's important to relieve stress in healthy ways.What are crying spells? ›
Uncontrollable crying can be caused by pseudobulbar affect, also called emotional lability. There have been reports of this uncontrollable laughing or crying since the 19th century . Pseudobulbar affect is marked by laughing or crying that seems inappropriate to the environment or stimuli.Why do I keep crying over small things? ›
Crying spells, crying over nothing at all, or crying about small things that normally wouldn't bother you may be signs of depression. Inability to concentrate. If you are depressed, you may be forgetful, have trouble making decisions, or find it hard to concentrate.Why your heart hurts when you're sad? ›
Studies show that your brain registers the emotional pain of heartbreak in the same way as physical pain, which is why you might feel like your heartbreak is causing actual physical hurt.Where is sadness stored in the body? ›
Emotional information is stored through “packages” in our organs, tissues, skin, and muscles. These “packages” allow the emotional information to stay in our body parts until we can “release” it. Negative emotions in particular have a long-lasting effect on the body.Does depression change your face? ›
Long-term depression has disastrous effects on skin, because the chemicals associated with the condition can prevent your body from repairing inflammation in cells. "These hormones affect sleep, which will show on our faces in the form of baggy, puffy eyes and a dull or lifeless complexion," says Dr. Wechsler.Why does my brain hurt when im sad? ›
Crying from fear or sadness (rather than happiness) involves more than just tears. The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol make the muscles of your face and scalp scrunch up. This increases pressure on your skull, which can cause a tension headache.What part of the body is affected by sadness? ›
Sadness affects the Lungs,61 the Liver,62 and the Heart and may influence the functional relationship between these organs. Sadness and grief induces Heart and/or Liver Blood Deficiency and may also impact the functions of the Uterus.
There's growing evidence that several parts of the brain shrink in people with depression. Specifically, these areas lose gray matter volume (GMV). That's tissue with a lot of brain cells. GMV loss seems to be higher in people who have regular or ongoing depression with serious symptoms.What is the last step of depression? ›
Depression creates a sensation of isolation as if you are lost in the wilderness with no direction. The final stage is acceptance, which means you have finally made peace with the reality of your mental illness.Is there an end to depression? ›
Depression is a serious mental illness and is unlikely to go away or cure itself. Without treatment, depression can last for years or decades and can worsen over time. For people concerned about whether their depression will ever go away, it's important to reach out and seek professional treatment.What are the 9 forms of depression? ›
- Major Depression.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder.
- Bipolar Disorder.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic Depression.
- Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
- 'Situational' Depression.
The deepest known depression of this kind is the Mariana Trench, which lies east of the Mariana Islands in the western North Pacific Ocean; it reaches 11,034 metres (36,200 feet) at its deepest point.Who is at the highest risk of depression? ›
It's mainly found in those with low self-esteem, who have a poor outlook, or who feel overwhelmed by stress. Depression is also more common in people with anxiety or other mental health problems. Teens who have tried to self-harm by the age of 16 have a higher risk of having depression by the time they're young adults.What is the sad hormone called? ›
production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression.What triggers a depressive episode? ›
Depression episodes can be triggered by factors such as stressful events, loss, illness, lifestyle habits, and substance use.What triggers a major depression episode? ›
While the exact causes of major depression are unknown, some risk factors include a family history of depression and significant life events such as trauma, times of high stress, loss of a job or relationship, or the death of a loved one.What are the 5 signs of emotional suffering? ›
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little.
- Pulling away from people and things.
- Having low or no energy.
- Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches.
- Feeling helpless or hopeless.
Life is hard because we are worried and fearful that we have not done well in our lives. We are concerned that we are not living up to our potential, living our dream, working in our passion, or planning for retirement. Life is hard because we want more and believe that we are already failing.What drugs help with being SAD? ›
SSRIs. This group of drugs, including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Cipralex) and sertraline (Zoloft), is usually the first choice for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.Does vitamin D help with SAD? ›
Low levels of vitamin D, caused by low dietary intake of the vitamin or not enough exposure to sunshine, have been found in people with SAD. However, it's unclear whether vitamin D supplementation can help to relieve SAD symptoms. Very little research has been done on dietary supplements other than vitamin D for SAD.What type of mental disorder is SAD? ›
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD , your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.What is the hardest emotion to feel? ›
Many people say that one of the most difficult emotions to handle is anger. Anger can weaken your ability to solve problems effectively, make good decisions, handle changes, and get along with others.Why do I feel so broken? ›
The reasons for feeling broken vary from person to person. Some people feel broken because of things they experienced in childhood or after the loss of a friend or loved one. Others may feel broken after losing a job or a home, or even after experiencing a serious illness.What is the highest emotion? ›
- #1 Fear. The greatest (and most primitive, since it originates from our early reptilian brain) is fear. ...
- #2 Anger. Coming in at a close second is anger. ...
- #3 Sorrow. The third emotion is probably sorrow. ...
- #4 Joy. The light at the end of the emotional tunnel is of course joy.
What is a Mental Breakdown? The term mental breakdown is often used when a person has a mental health crisis that overcomes their emotions. It can stem from other conditions like depression and anxiety but tends to be a severe case.Is it better to cry or hold it in? ›
You'll feel better afterwards
When you cry for emotional reasons, those tears contain stress hormones that help relieve the body of stress-induced chemicals. You're quite literally shedding stress.
Crying is thought to burn roughly the same amount of calories as laughing – 1.3 calories per minute, according to one study . That means that for every 20-minute sob session, you're burning 26 more calories than you would have burned without the tears. It's not much.
- Hunger cry: Newborns during their first 3 months of life need to be fed every couple of hours. ...
- Colic: During the first month after birth, about 1 in 5 newborns may cry because of colic pain. ...
- Sleep cry: If your baby is 6 months old, your child should be able to fall asleep on their own.
Overview. Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a condition that's characterized by episodes of sudden uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing or crying. Pseudobulbar affect typically occurs in people with certain neurological conditions or injuries, which might affect the way the brain controls emotion.Why do I cry so easily now? ›
Crying easily can be a symptom of depression, anxiety, or a lot of stress in your life. Since HSPs feel so deeply and can experience sensory overload, we're more susceptible to strong feelings of depression or anxiety. We might feel alone in our sensitivity or isolate ourselves to reduce excess stimuli.What kind of person cries easily? ›
Tearfulness is frequently associated with depression and anxiety. People often experience the two conditions at the same time. Certain neurological conditions can also make you cry or laugh uncontrollably.What happens when you cry all day? ›
Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, your body may go into somewhat of a numb stage.What happens to your eyes when you cry too much? ›
“Because tears are made from our blood, vessels carrying blood to our eyes can dilate or become bigger to allow for more passage of blood to the area — this can contribute to redness and puffiness of the eyes, eyelids, and surrounding skin,” says Jason Brinton, MD, a board certified LASIK surgeon in St. Louis.What are the top 10 causes of depression? ›
- childhood experiences.
- life events.
- other mental health problems.
- physical health problems.
- genetic inheritance.
- medication, recreational drugs and alcohol.
- sleep, diet and exercise.
- Hopeless outlook.
- Lost interest.
- Irritability in men.
- Appetite changes.
- Suicidal thoughts.
It is diagnosed when an individual has a persistently low or depressed mood, anhedonia or decreased interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, lack of energy, poor concentration, appetite changes, psychomotor retardation or agitation, sleep disturbances, or suicidal thoughts.What is the number one solution to depression? ›
1. Medication: The most common treatment for depression is the use of antidepressants. These drugs work by balancing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. There are several categories of antidepressants.
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Depression can occur at any age. Some mood changes and depressed feelings occur with normal hormonal changes.What's the deepest depression? ›
|Surface area||19,605 square kilometres (7,570 sq mi)|
|Average depth||−60 metres (−200 ft)|
|Max. depth||−147 metres (−482 ft)|
|Water volume||1,213 cubic kilometres (291 cu mi)|
Mild depression involves depressive symptoms that are considered low-grade. While many of the same symptoms of more severe depression are present, including irritability, sadness, and lack of motivation, they are often more subtle and less intense.What is the lowest form of depression? ›
The symptoms of dysthymia are similar to those of major depression but are less severe. However, in the case of dysthymia, symptoms last longer. A person has to have this milder depression for more than two years to be diagnosed with dysthymia.
People with clinical depression often have increased levels of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), an enzyme that breaks down key neurotransmitters, resulting in very low levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.What are the four stages of depression? ›
- Stage 1: Origin. ...
- Stage 2: Establishment. ...
- Stage 3: Lack of Interest in Activities You Once Loved. ...
- Stage 4: Lack of Interest or Abandonment of Obligatory Activities.
Multiple diagnosis codes exist for coding for depression. The most general is 311, “Depressive disorder, not elsewhere classified.” Code 290.21 represents senile dementia with depressive features.What are 5 suspected causes of depression? ›
Some examples of chronic illnesses that may cause depression are diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV and AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Hypothyroidism may also lead to depressed feelings.