Sadness and Depression: What’s the Difference?

Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield, author of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder, insist on strict separation between normal and pathological sorrow. While the former has real cause and is associated with feelings of loss or other painful conditions, the second, called depression, has no definite cause or, if it does, the reaction to the problem in question is disproportionate. In this case, treatment using anti-depressant drugs is recommended. The problem is that they present very similar symptoms.

Nowadays, being happy has become a must. A challenge that we set in order to prove to ourselves and especially to others, that we are not weak character. In the struggle to avoid sadness, we resort to anything that takes us out of this condition of “failure”. What sometimes happen is a question of pride, plus the difficulty of dealing with conflict. As we need to look happy all the time, any sign of human sorrow put us on the intolerable situation.

We need to understand that happiness is not synonymous with joy and unhappiness is not the same as feeling sad. Confused? Don’t worry this knot is easily undone, with a minimum of logic and detachment. Any happy person can feel sad and any unhappy person can feel joy. That’s because the joy is an external aspect, from the individual’s relationship with the world, while happiness is a result of the relationship with yourself, so an internal factor.The pursuit of happiness outside of us also put us in a victim position and only brings more frustration. Nobody is protected from feeling sad. So, when something makes us sad, we can accept that this is part of life and not only happens to us. Thus, the distressing situations can be experienced with more serenity.

So get to work. Try to shorten the drama and stop debating on the same spot. Happiness is something that is built internally, it has to do with being alive and understanding the value of life. It is a sentiment that feeds on the small things.

For the French psychiatrist and psychotherapist Christophe Andre, author of Imparfaits Libres Et Heureux (Imperfect, Happy and Free), the key to fulfilment is to accept our imperfections with lightness and humor, an attitude that reveals a robust and healthy self-esteem.

According to the Indian doctor Deepak Chopra, even if circumstances are unfavorable, there is always something to be done. If not outside, certainly within us. This is the argument of the book The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment.

See the seven principles outlined by the author and find out what points you can improve to be happier.

1) Pay attention to your body: your body and the universe are a single field of energy, information and awareness. When listening to your body with attention, you enter the field of infinite possibilities, where naturally you will find peace, harmony and joy.

2) Find the true self-esteem: The actual self is beyond appearances. Resides at a level of existence that is independent of other’s opinions, good or bad. When you align yourself to that source, you find a kind of happiness that no one can take from you.

3) Detoxify your life: emotions, habits, relationships and substances of toxic nature contaminate the body and mind. To detoxify your life, you must learn to reverse that. First, taking responsibility for your own actions. Then, recognizing and releasing your feelings so you can move forward.

4) Give up being right: all relationships deteriorate because of the confrontation between right and wrong. Giving up the need to be right does not mean giving up your views. Just adhere to the state of no defence, where there is no need to be attacked or attack and no need to be defended or defend.

5) Focus on the present: the present is the only time that is eternal. Never die, nor should it be forgotten. Therefore, in the here and now, happiness cannot be taken away from you.

6) See the world in yourself: the inner and outer worlds are mirrored. So if your consciousness vibrates in the frequency of love, this feeling will be both inside and outside of you. Thus, a flow of happiness and abundance will manifest when you have reached the deepest level of yourself.

7) Live for enlightenment: this is the most conscious state of existence and also the most natural because it is where you were originated. A place of love, peace and deep joy.


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