Even if your particular depression does include sadness, it’ll only be one of many other symptoms. The others might be much more painful and salient for you than the sadness is. Some people can’t sleep, others gain weight, some think constantly about death, others can’t concentrate or remember anything. Many lose interest in sex, or food, or both. Almost everyone, it seems, experiences a crushing fatigue in which your limbs feel like stone and no amount of sleep ever helps. Then there are headaches, stomachaches, and so on.
So, depression doesn’t necessarily mean sadness to us. (And a gentle reminder to non-depressed folks: being sad doesn’t mean you’re “depressed,” either.)
Depression is not sadness; it’s an illness that often, though not always, involves sadness. No amount of happy things will make a depressed person spontaneously recover, and, usually, no amount of sad things will make a well-adjusted person with good mental health suddenly develop depression. (Grief, of course, is another matter.) And sadness, on its own, does not cause suicide.
[…]People don’t kill themselves because they’re sad. They kill themselves because they have an illness that, among other things, makes them feel sad. It also makes them feel like their life is worthless, like they’re a burden to others, like death would be easier, and all the other beliefs that lead people down the path to suicide.
There is a tendency, I think, to assume that people are depressed because they are sad. A better way to look at it is that people are sad because they are depressed. That’s why, even if we could “turn that frown upside down!” and “just look on the sunny side!” for your benefit, it would do absolutely no good. The depression would still be there, but in a different form.
- Miriam Mogilevsky, Depression Is Not Sadness: Junior Seau and Public Discourse on Mental Illness (via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)
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About The Movement:
My name is Daniell, and I am the creator of the Internal Acceptance Movement (I. A.M.)
Need support? Have a question?
The Internal Acceptance Movement is an online space that advocates self-acceptance, healthy body image, recovery from self-destructive behaviors and addictions, and the acceptance of all people, regardless of what they look like, who they identify as, what they have been through, and where they come from. I. A.M. is a space that offers support to those battling their inner demons and strength to continue fighting when all hope seems to be gone.
I. A.M. represents the idea that as human beings, we aren't defined by anything external, such as our weight, appearance, body shape, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, clothing choices, income, occupation, or background. But that instead, it's our internal qualities--our character and attitude, our passions and dreams, our soul and spirit, our heart and capacity to love, our goals and morals, and the way in which we treat others--that are truly self defining.
Whether you're battling an eating disorder, self-harm, alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, PTSD, low self-esteem, anxiety, self-hating thoughts, poor body image, or any other mental health condition or self-destructive behavior, I. A.M. exists to remind you that you are NOT alone in how you feel or what you're going through; that it's okay to not be okay, and that you don't have to face this pain alone; that things can and will get better; that healing and recovery are possible; that there is nothing wrong with who you are; the who you are is enough; and that you are deserving of happiness, love, and acceptance, always.
I'm here if you need me: whether it's support, someone to vent to, a question, or you just want to say hi--know that this is a safe place and that you aren't alone. If I don't respond immediately, know that I'm not ignoring you. I will message you back at my earliest convenience. If you have an emergency or feel that you want to hurt yourself, please, please call 911. I'm not a therapist or a mental health professional of any kind. If you're in danger, you need to ask for help from people who can adequately support you. Sending you love: Daniell