“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
All of us experience major disruptions at certain points in our lives. In fact, this is an expected and predictable hallmark of the human condition. For some, these hard times come frequently – the impact of the trauma is overwhelming and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience – the strength required to adapt to chaos and hardship – lies at the heart of mental and emotional health.
What a revolutionary breakthrough it would be if we found a way to lower blood pressure, lessen the ravages of depression, boost our immune systems, enhance our sense of emotional well being, decrease our feelings of loneliness, increase motivation, elevate our self-image, and promote our ability to trust! These are only some of the benefits of pet ownership. Under most circumstances, having a pet is a healthy and healing experience.
Most divorcing people are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. What will people say? Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How do I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I do the banking and buy groceries and pay bills and fix the car? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change? When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them, we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.
We don’t always have the full range of words to explain what we are going through.
For example, we might say that we feel sad. Yet, in fact, we might have clinical depression and not even realize it. Alternatively, we might recognize depression in someone else who insists that they are “just sad.”
Honestly, it can be hard sometimes to tell the difference.
Sadness is a regular, temporary, human emotion. Depression, in contrast, is a mental health condition. Usually, it requires some kind of dedicated treatment before the condition will improve.
Here are seven key differences between sadness and depression.
1. The Cause for Sadness or Low Mood
One key difference between sadness and depression is whether or not something provokes the emotion. We feel sadness in response to something. For example, a breakup causes people to feel sad.
In contrast, depression doesn’t have a specific cause. We can sometimes point to reasons, finding a cause. However, when the mood doesn’t lift, we see that’s not the real reason. Something underlying it all is at the root. If we can’t find a concrete cause for feeling blue, then we need to consider that it might be depression.
Love is war. So the saying goes goes .
That comparison may actually be fitting in connection with something you perhaps haven’t thought of—trauma.
It’s no secret that sexual infidelity can be physically harmful and emotionally crushing. A betrayed partner may feel a whole range of devastating emotions and experiences a bewildering variety of bodily symptoms.
One moment they feel angry and irritated, the next as if living in a daze where nothing matters. They can’t sleep, they can’t eat. It’s as if they’ve gone crazy.
It’s a reaction to the trauma of betrayal.
Losing your job hurts—plain and simple. For some, it’s devastating.
Not only can it hurt your financial welfare, it can cause emotional pain and suffering. Depending on your reactions to this crisis, it can severely impact your relationships with family and friends. In fact, for some people a job loss is similar to hearing about the death of a loved one. And there are reasons why you may feel this loss so deeply.
It’s a common practice in much of today’s society to place our identity in our job and in our career. For example, you may have based your self-worth and self-esteem on your job responsibilities, or on your coworkers’ respect for you, or on your job title, or your workplace relationships, and losing any of these can mean losing part or all of your personal identity.
The grief that follows a job loss is a natural and very real. Like most significant losses, the side effects can be painful and often happen unexpectedly. But there is a way through this loss that can create growth and healthy changes.
Let’s look at how this might happen and what steps to take going forward.
Our ability to grieve and adapt to the loss of a loved one is an important feature in the course of our lives. Change can stimulate growth. Loss can give rise to gain. If we do not grieve the loss, it can drain us of energy and interfere with our living fully in the present.
If we do not mourn, we may spend our lives under the spell of old issues and past relationships and failing to connect with experiences in the present. It is during the time of grieving that many people begin grief counseling with a professional therapist since they are likely better prepared than most to empathize with you and guide you through your journey of grief.
Most couples who end their long term relations are forced to come to terms with a number of fears. “What will people say? Who can I trust to talk to? How can I handle my partner’s anger toward me? How can I deal with my own anger? Am I a complete failure? How can I be a single parent? Will I be able to keep my children? What about money? Can I handle my loneliness? Am I completely unlovable? Will I ever love anyone else again? Do I have the energy for this much change?”
When we hold on to our fears and refuse to do anything about them we increase the likelihood that these will be the very areas where we experience trouble.