By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

07 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Table of Contents

The human mind is capable of feeling many emotions, and they are capable of handling them intensely. However, it is a proven fact that most of our unregulated emotions are caused by the experiences we have faced in the past or things we are experiencing now.

From being happy to sad, the human body creates certain hormones, which are then reflected on us physically; if we are happy, our body releases dopamine, and then we start feeling very hyper and cheerful. When we are sad, our body emits stress through tears; every emotion we feel has some physical reaction to our physical health.

All of us feel sad from time to time, but extreme unexplained sadness leads to a lot of problems 

What Is Sadness?

Sadness is one of the powerful seven universal emotions which everyone usually experiences; sadness is a negative emotion, and it also leads to negative thinking and anxiety.

With sadness comes secondary emotions like:

  • Anger
  • Reminiscing about the past
  • Fear

If termed by the universal connotation, sadness is a signal for help. When a person is sad, they need comfort, warmth, and affection from a person to ease up the stress and the negativity. Although some people derive pleasure from sadness for a cathartic effect, while some seek pleasure from this emotion, others avoid the feeling at all costs. They try to stay away from anything that will trigger that emotion. Sadness, in general, leaves a person very lonely and vulnerable. (Power, M.J., 2010)

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms To Deal With Sadness:

There are two ways to cope with sadness; it can either be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the person.

  • When dealing with grief or any sad emotion, people usually start depending on substances like alcohol or any substances which try to control the human brain-body.
  • (Trigger warning: mentions of self-harm) some people try to damage their bodies as a coping response towards their sadness; they try to harm themselves, which leads to them feeling suicidal and ten times sadder than they were.
  • Getting into dependent relationships or trauma dumping on a person is another unhealthy coping mechanism for sadness.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

Our minds can create various forms of mechanisms to deal with extreme emotions, but it is up to us; we can either cope with our daily anxieties in the healthiest way possible, or we can either go downhill or deal with it in the most dangerous way possible. One must understand that dealing with your emotions in a very healthy way is necessary, and it is the only primary way to prevent it for the time being.

  • If you feel like your emotions affect your daily lifestyle, it is essential to seek medical help.
  • Self-care techniques such as journaling can be effective in getting your emotions regulated.
  • Exercising or yoga
  • Having a proper healthy diet.

Responding to Sadness In Others:

  • Knowing that someone is sad but not intruding is a personal choice.

For instance- it is essential to acknowledge that someone is sad, but how do you want to help them is a personal choice; if someone is going through a personal loss, then being sorry for them and acknowledging it is the bare minimum but allowing them to get out of it is a personal choice and it depends from person to person. Some people need a shoulder to rely on, while others require a lot of personal space.

  • If someone is reaching out to you or if their behavior seems concerning to you, it is essential to offer help, and if they are reaching out to you for help, then it is crucial to acknowledge their concerns and listen to them.
  • At the same time, if someone needs a lot of personal space and does not want anyone to intrude, it is essential to give them their room instead of forcing them to reach out.
  • It is important to remember that your methods to help someone should make them feel better, and the minute you start bothering them, that's the time for you to stop. Your plans should benefit them instead of making them worse.

However, there’s a world of difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed for a long time. Professional help or medications are needed when a person starts to get low for an extended period. Sadness is a stagnant emotion, but at the same time, it's fluid; you can either be miserable just for a day, or you can below for ten years. When your sadness starts to intensify, you are prone to depression:

What Is Depression?

  • Depression is a mood disorder; you lack interest in every activity and start feeling tiresome for no specific reason.
  • Depression occurs in different forms; it can either make you extraordinarily stressed, or it can make you feel unfortunate.
  • Having suicidal or severe intrusive thoughts about self-harming

Difference Between Sadness And Depression:

  • Being sad is a temporary feeling; when you have a bad day, you are unhappy, but you are back to being joyful again the next day.
  • Whereas depression is a mood disorder that is curable but lasts for a long time and isn't a temporary one or two-day thing.
  • Depression causes a lot of physical stress, and medications are needed to cure them.
  • Sadness is a fluid concept, whereas depression is a stagnant state of mind.

Out of The Box

If we go out of the box and figure out the answer to this question, there's no specific answer. Sadness is a negative emotion, but at the same time, it is subjective; it depends on factors like- that person's social background, economic status, etc. For instance- for some people, monsoons are a boon, while for others, it's a curse. (Malhi, G.S. and Mann, J.J., 2018)

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