sadness versus depression

The Case of Sadness Versus Depression

Every time, a guest leaves our home, my son becomes gloomy. I can see the dark face appearing over the horizon the moment our guests announce their intention to leave. This happens usually around 15 minutes before they actually leave. From that time, the boy’s blues continue to wrap him in their embrace, and it takes a very long time or sleep, for him to let go of his melancholy. Sometimes, I wonder if his sadness overpowers his happiness.

Which brings us to the topic of Sadness

While I very often struggle to console the child with random phrases like “you don’t have to cry about this,” “they are leaving now only to come back,” and shit like that, my son’s open display of emotions is something that I, and maybe even you can relate to.

I have always looked forward to meeting guests, and as a child, I too used to feel sad at the time of their departure. The difference between my son and me is that he expresses his emotions. Which brings us to the question, why is it that happiness can be expressed and sadness not? Why is sadness perceived as a sign of weakness?

So, what is sadness then?

Simply put, sadness is the opposite of happiness. It is a natural state of being. Why do we run away from it then?! If we can embrace our moments of happiness, why cannot we embrace our time with sadness?!

If there is one thing that we can learn about life, it is the fact that “constant” is a myth. When life itself is not a constant, how can anything about life become a constant! A state of mind is also a state that subjects itself to constant change. The best way to deal with our emotions is to work with them. We feel them as they come and let go as they pass us by.

We just let Time do its job in its position as the greatest healer.

But sadness does not feel nice…

Sadness does not feel nice just like happiness does not feel horrible. Neither does any form of medication feel nice. But we still undergo these treatments just so we can feel better. Sadness works that way. While it definitely does not feel nice, it is a medicine that we need to take, just so we can feel better.

When my father passed away, I remember wailing over his figure. But when Time came around to embrace my mother, I did not cry. At least, not publicly. In front of my sister-in-law and my husband though, I was a mess. Imagine how unnatural it would have been for me to not express my mourning. I shudder to think of all the unexpressed sadness bottled up within me only to burst out at ill-timed moments.

And that is how my mourning periods were also healing periods. As it is for everyone. This is because our feelings arise from experiences and memories of experiences. So, every bit of sadness is a medicine to heal an unfortunate experience. It is nature’s way of telling us, I am right here, here with you.

Which brings us to the topic of Depression

Is depression a healer too?

Eeks no!

Depression is the symptom of a dysfunction happening within the brain. When the chemicals released inside the brain get out of balance, it jeopardizes the normal functioning of the brain. A jeopardy of the brain would, among other things, result in a disruption of the memories folder that contain our experiences and emotions. In short, the brain goes kaput. And that is why end up feeling kaput.

So, depression is not a state of the mind. It is a reflection of the state of the body. And this is very similar to how an infection of the gut results in a stomach pain. In other words, depression is as physical as a kidney failure is. It is the reflection of a dysfunction of the system. And needs medical intervention.

Depression is an unnatural state while sadness is a natural state.

How do we get into depression?

Depression can be the result of anything from a genetic mutation to an unhealthy lifestyle. We are living in a world besieged by the slow-build of pollution, junk food addiction and the disastrous effects of cellular radiation. When we think about all of these and how they affect the brain, depression is not a surprising side effect of these dangerous living patterns.

The best way to avoid getting into depression is to respect our brain in its position as our bodyguard. And the only way we can give the organ its due is by following healthy lifestyle patterns. The moment we become conscious of our health, is also the moment we become ourselves.

Here’s to avoiding depression and accepting sadness!


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