What is typical sadness?
It’s typical for us to feel down when bad or unexpected things happen. It is part of human nature. As some time goes by or bad things start to ease up, we begin to gradually feel better. When we remain sad despite positive things happening to and around us, it can be concerning.
When should I pay special attention to sadness?
Being sad for a few hours during the day or a few times during a week is perfectly expected. But when we notice that we are feeling down most of the time, something may be going on. Signs that we are facing persistent sadness include:
- Being easily and frequently annoyed.
- Feeling hopeless most of the time.
- Lacking energy or feeling lazy for most days.
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities.
- Having trouble concentrating, even in simple tasks.
- Having trouble making decisions.
- Struggling with or putting little effort into schoolwork.
- Thinking and saying negative things about ourselves.
- Thinking and saying negative things about the world, other people, and the future.
- Changing eating patterns for either eating too little or too much.
- Gaining or losing weight in a short period of time.
- Social withdrawal.
- Being tired much of the time.
- Having trouble sleeping.
What can I do if I struggle with persistent sadness?
It can be hard and frustrating to deal with excessive sadness. If you understand that you struggle with it, there are a few things you may try:
- Ask a trusted adult for help. Trusted adults are usually our caregivers, other family members, or someone else who is responsible for taking care of us. Let your trusted adults know about your difficulties. They can be helpful for assisting you and helping you get any additional help you may need.
- Try new experiences. Try new social activities or school clubs. Because we tend to withdraw when we are feeling sad, it is important to be around others while participating in enjoyable activities.
- Exercise, eat well, and do things you enjoy. Maintaining physical wellness and engaging in pleasant activities may improve your mood and be useful distractions at times.
- Not having reasons to be sad is no reason to be happy. Sometimes it is hard to understand why we feel sad when we seem to have everything we need. But remember that feeling sad is not a choice.
- Remember that motivation doesn't come before action. When we are feeling sad or down, it is expected that we don't feel motivated to do much. However, keeping our daily routines and activities is extremely important. As hard as it might be, keep up your daily activities even if you don't feel motivated to do so. Eventually, if you keep engaged with them you will probably start to feel motivated again.
- Remember the good things about you. When we feel sad, it is common to also feel bad about ourselves. Try to remember the nice things about you, your strengths, and also what makes you interesting. Everyone is unique in some sort of way.
- Acknowledge and recognize the progress. When you make progress, it is important to acknowledge it. Compliment yourself for every effort you make overcoming your persistent sadness.
If you have already tried some or most of these suggestions and the problems you are facing persist, it may be time to ask a trusted adult to seek out professional support.
Sadness that is too frequent, intense, present in many different contexts, discrepant from those experienced by people the same age, and that negatively interfere with our lives may indicate the possibility of Depressive Mood Disorder.
What kind of professional support can I seek out for help?
It is not unusual for us to feel embarrassed, inadequate, or guilty if we are struggling with persistent sadness. But, if you think you are facing this difficulty, support and guidance are available now.
Pediatricians or family physicians can help to address initial concerns and refer to specialized professionals. Also, whenever possible, a consultation with a mental health professional may be helpful.
The public system provides services through the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Centers of Multidisciplinary Assessment, Counseling, and Support (KEDASY).
Where to find more information
Specific, detailed, and clinical information on Depressive Mood Disorder can be found at [clinical short guide at the program website].
If you want to know more about the closest available services for educational and public health systems for children and adolescent assistance across the country, go to our Services Mapping webpage here.
You can also find more information by pointing your phone camera at the QR code below or by clicking here.