Sadness and Depression: Let’s Understand the Difference

There are approximately 264 million people in this world suffering from depression. Are they just sad? The answer is an absolute no. In simple terms, Sadness is an emotion — a feeling that goes away after a period of time. Depression, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that does not go away on its own.

Let’s delve deeper to know the difference between the two.

Sadness It is a very normal human emotion brought on by difficult or stressful situations — loss of a loved one, financial setbacks, health problems, or other personal issues. However, it is easy to overcome this temporary state of mind by doing things that make one happy, sharing/venting, or even crying. Moreover, once the temporary phase passes, or the individual is able to handle the issue, the feeling of sadness automatically subsides, and normal behaviour is resumed.

If this doesn’t happen, and the feeling continues for an extended period of time, it might be a sign of depression.

Depression This is a mental disorder that has serious implications on almost every aspect of a person’s life. Depression can hit anyone at any time — irrespective of gender or social status. These are some of the common symptoms:

  • A sense of discouragement
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in activities that the individual once found enjoyable

Also, depending on the severity of the condition, the symptoms may worsen and the person may develop suicidal tendencies. The World Health Organization has classified depression into two major categories based on severity:

Recurrent depressive disorder: As the name suggests, this type of depression will include repetitive episodes. The afflicted person will go through bouts of sadness, mood fluctuations, loss of interest, tiredness, and a decrease in productivity on regular intervals for at least two weeks. Moreover, during recurrent depression, people will also have

feelings of low self esteem, guilt, disturbed sleep, and appetite. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, this form of depression can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. When a person goes through the mild or moderate version, he/she will face difficulties in carrying on with normal life but will not cease to function totally. On the contrary, during a severe episode, it is highly unlikely that the person will be able to function normally, be it personally, socially, or professionally.

Bipolar affective disorder: This comprises extreme mood swings and was formerly known as manic depression. This level of mania affects the person’s sleep, energy, activity, judgement, behaviour, and ability to think clearly. These episodes may occur rarely or even multiple times a year. While some of the affected people might go through certain emotional experiences in between episodes, others may not.

Causes and treatment While there are a number of common causes of depression like family history, childhood trauma, and drug abuse, certain medical conditions — especially neurological disorders — can also lead to depression.

These are known as neuropsychiatric disorders that have origins in neurology and psychiatry. Multiple factors such as traumatic head injuries, infections, side effects of medication, genetics, and environmental conditions can be the reason behind these disorders.

Common neuropsychiatric conditions include: 

  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine
  • Eating disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Sleep disorders

Living with depression is not an option. One must seek help and explore the following ways to tackle the condition:

Medication First and foremost, one should not indulge in self-medication. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic medicines used to manage the adverse effects of depression have benefits as well as risks. Always consult a doctor and take only what is prescribed.

Psychotherapy Sessions with the therapist can help one overcome negative thoughts. The therapist, depending on the severity of the condition, might also recommend family or group therapy sessions.

Occupational therapy Therapists can help the person examine and create a balance between leisure, work, and relationships. The therapist can define the roles of the person and help him/her adapt to their responsibilities so that they can participate and finally gain a sense of accomplishment.

Exercise One should aim to indulge in physical activities for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Exercise increases the production of endorphin hormones that have a positive effect on one’s mood — however, exercise alone cannot treat depression.

Although depression is an overpowering mental health disorder with a potential to disrupt lives, with proper and timely intervention, its progression can be halted.

Overcoming Shoulder Pain the Right Way with Stem Cell Therapy

Have you ever experienced bad shoulder pain or a severe injury to the shoulder that brought your day-to-day activities to a halt?

Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal condition, after neck and back pain. However, what usually starts off as mild discomfort, can turn into a serious ailment if not given the required attention. That is just one of the reasons why it’s essential to identify its triggers and treat it at the earliest.

Let’s start by first looking at the causes of shoulder pain, which may vary from individual to individual. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Broken arm
  • Broken collarbone
  • Joint inflammation 
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Heart attack 
  • Rotator cuff injury 
  • Strain due to heavy lifting 

On the first instance of such pain, our usual reaction is to wait it out or try quick fixes such as heating pads, muscle relaxants, or painkillers. While these may provide temporary relief, a medical diagnosis is imperative to determine the course of further, long-lasting treatment.

Common treatment measures for shoulder pain

In most cases, surgery is often the recommended way to go, especially in cases of:

  • Extreme difficulty in movement
  • Frequent dislocations
  • Severe joint damage 

That being said, it’s important to note that surgical procedures often involve long and painful recovery periods — during which movement will be severely restricted. That’s when an extensive physical rehabilitation process comes in, which can require a long hospital stay and a large commitment in terms of time.

This is where Stem Cell Therapy comes in as a practical alternative that allows you to leave the hospital in just a few hours, with relatively lesser pain and discomfort.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are regenerative cells that can be differentiated into specific regions and multiply into newer cells. The procedure entails harvesting Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) from your blood and injecting them into the damaged areas of your body, guided by x-rays and ultrasounds. PRP is a blood plasma that consists of platelets, which stimulate the growth of stem cells on a large scale.

Disorders caused by degeneration or wear and tear of cells in the body can ideally be treated with this therapy — one that has significantly decreased the need for surgical procedures. In addition, since stem cells are already a naturally occurring part of the body, the procedure involves minimal chances of infection or rejection.

Stem Cell Therapy for shoulder pain

When it comes to shoulder pain, Stem Cell Therapy involves the extraction of stem cells and PRP from the patient’s bone marrow or blood and injecting it to the damaged part of the shoulder.
Typically, a single stem cell injection is all that is needed to treat mild shoulder pain. However, if the shoulder has endured multiple or severe damages, the patient will have to be injected with additional PRP to regenerate the stem cells a month after the initial injection, along with an additional dose a few weeks after. 
The cells typically take 3-4 weeks to recover, leading to a gradual reduction of pain. Eventually, the patient will experience complete pain-free mobility of the shoulder.

When to choose Stem Cell Therapy for shoulder pain?

It is important to note that the conditions of Stem Cell Therapy may vary for each individual. Factors such as the severity of the shoulder injury will need to be accurately assessed by a specialist before devising a suitable treatment plan. For instance, it is recommended that minor or partial tears are treated with Stem Cell Therapy whereas more severe injuries may require advanced procedures. 

Life After Stem Cell Therapy 
Stem Cell Therapy in India is often the chosen treatment option for most patients since it is known for its quick recovery times and effective pain relief. Most patients can return to sports activities or heavy-duty chores within 4-12 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. From minor to chronic shoulder conditions ⁠— stem cell therapy effectively treats pain, promising patients a healthy future free of agony and discomfort.