Why Do I Feel So Sad?

Why Do I Feel So Sad?For decades, songs have been written about it, an entire section in almost every bookstore is filled with books about it, movies epitomize it, and hours are spent with counselors talking about it. Sadness; while a simple word and concept, sadness receives so much attention because it is an emotion that most people struggle with.

Types of Sadness

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sadness is often evaluated by its depth, cause and duration. If someone is feeling sad because he missed a long awaited phone call from a dear friend, but his feeling only lasts briefly, this can be considered a mild form of sadness, and one that doesn’t warrant any attention.

Many times sadness is directly related to an event. Postpartum depression is associated with the hormonal fluctuations many women experience after childbirth. Grief, associated with loss, is also quite understandable to most people. However, it is when sadness is severe, cannot be associated with a precipitating event, and/or when it lasts for quite a while that people should be concerned.

Other Causes of Sadness

While sadness is a natural emotion, it seems that some people are more prone to it than others. When looking at the characteristics of a person prone to sadness, you often see a person who displays the following behaviors:

  • Does not get sufficient sleep
  • Does not maintain a nutritional and balanced diet
  • Does not have a regular exercise and fitness program
  • Ineffectively manages stress
  • Has a more pessimistic and defeatist attitude
  • Does not have loving and rewarding relationships

What to Avoid If You are Sad

The natural reaction to sadness is to try and stop the discomfort. Because some people are already sad, then are often unable to think clearly about healthy and constructive ways to address their sadness. If you are experiencing any unexplained sadness, you want to avoid the following problems:

  • Alcohol – it is a depressant and you are already spiraling in that direction; adding alcohol to sadness is similar to adding gasoline to a fire and will only make it worse
  • Drugs –if you choose take an antidepressant or stimulant without a doctor’s recommendation, you may mask your feelings of sadness, but do nothing to help you understand the root cause
  • Negative interactions – you want to avoid people or events that could only exacerbate your sadness. A heart wrenching movie, a depressing book, or interactions with people who are behaving in such a way to put you at risk are all things you want to avoid

Help for Sadness

Feeling sad is often associated with reasons such as relationship problems, angst about work, or concerns about your physical health. Turning to drugs or alcohol to respond to this sadness can only create a cycle of destruction. The sooner you can get help, the greater the likelihood that you can recover. You need to talk to people about this cycle.

To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free helpline any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle drinking and depression. We can provide you with options, information about insurance, and treatment resources. We are here to help.