When it’s alright to feel sad and when to seek help

Feeling Sad

Feeling sad?

Everyone experiences a time in their life when they feel fed up or sad. The inevitable tragic and stressful events touch us all and affect our mood and trigger sadness. The feeling of sadness is considered a healthy negative emotion, but just like other emotions, it is a temporary one and it fades with time.



The difference between sadness and depression


One of the biggest misunderstandings about depression is that it’s similar to feeling sad or down. Knowing and understanding the differences between sadness and depression can help you recognise when to seek help.


Unlike sadness, depression can leave you struggling to get through your day and it is persistent, longer-lasting and can appear without any specific cause. Sadness can, however, turn into depression.



Symptoms of depression:


It is important to get help if you experience several of the following symptoms for two weeks or longer.


  • Constant feelings of sadness
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Fatigue or lack of energy and/or being “slowed down”
  • Loss of interest in things that used to give you pleasure
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and body aches




When should you seek help?


Depression can worsen without treatment and severely affect your quality of life. It’s important that you talk to a doctor if you experience sadness for longer than two weeks. Possible treatments that your doctor might recommend to treat your depression include medication, counseling, and psychotherapy.



Self-care tips


It is more important than ever to set aside some time to practice self-care and prioritize mental wellbeing, which can differ from one person to another. Therefore do whatever feels good in order to increase your happiness, and try to follow the below tips.


  • Don’t bottle things up. Connect with family and friends about how you are feeling.
  • Build in time each day to do things you enjoy. This could be cooking a delicious meal, taking a yoga class or listening to music.
  • Make time to get outside for vitamin D, which can be a big mood booster.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Studies have shown that just doing 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day can significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve your mood.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and protein, which can improve your energy levels and keep you nourished.
  • Get enough quality sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, try meditating or taking a warm bath before bedtime.

We encourage you to use our digital health services including our Symptom Checker and See A Doctor. Download and register on the MyNextcare app now.