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It bypasses all rationale, dilutes the power of logic and the mind.


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It washes over you in heavy, crashing waves, diligent and powerful. But then it goes away. Eventually, it fades. Sadness is, after all, a feeling. No feeling dominates or perpetually consumes the heart, mind, or soul.

Ask Dr. Oz: How Do I Know If I'm Depressed or Sad?

It may seem permanent, but feelings come and go—they wax and wane. We are unique and beautifully distinctive in our individual ability to experience and feel.

Depression: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

And once we realize that our sadness, as well as our happiness, depression, and passion, are all emotions that mold our relationships and experiences in this world, we can realize that feelings like sadness are not all-powerful. They do not define us. They are not all-consuming. And they will pass.

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The person must also exhibit a depressed mood, or loss of interest or pleasure. It must also be ruled out that the symptoms are not caused by another medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, or due to the direct effects of a drug or medication. So doctors may do a blood test, or test the thyroid to make sure it's functioning properly, according to the Mayo Clinic. And lastly, doctors look at whether "the symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning," according to the DSM.

Surveys have shown that up to half of Americans with depression don't get medical help for their condition.

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Left untreated, major depression can set off a chain of social, emotional and health consequences that add to patients' overall stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, social isolation and relationship conflicts, work or school difficulties, or suicide.

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Depression treatment may involve psychotherapy therapy, medications, or a combination of the two. Medication: Prescription drugs, called antidepressants, help alter mood by affecting naturally occurring brain chemicals. There are several categories of antidepressants, but doctors often start with a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , and may try other medications if the patient's condition didn't improve.

SSRIs target the brain's serotonin, a signaling chemical neurotransmitter that studies have found to be involved in depression. This class of medication includes fluoxetine commonly known as Prozac , sertraline Zoloft , paroxetine Paxil , escitalopram Lexapro and citalopram Celexa. Side effects, which are usually temporary, include changes in sexual desire, digestive problems, headache, insomnia and nervousness.

This Is What You Need To Understand About Sadness | Thought Catalog

Medications take time — usually 2 to 4 weeks — to work, and often symptoms such as appetite, concentration problems and sleep improve before people may notice mood changes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy or counseling, this treatment has been shown to help some patients with depression. Several studies have suggested that combining psychotherapy and medication together works best for treating people with severe depression.

Different types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps a person change negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier ones, as well as interpersonal therapy, which is designed to help someone understand and work through difficult relationships, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Another form of psychotherapy is problem-solving therapy, which involves coming up with realistic solutions to cope with stressful situations. Less common treatments: For patients with severe depression who have not responded to any medication or psychotherapy, doctors may consider transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS , according to the Mayo Clinic.

TMS involves receiving brief magnetic pulses on the scalp to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that are thought to be involved in mood regulation and depression.