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White Plains Hospital

October 9, 2018


When it’s more than just sadness

While everyone goes through occasional periods of sadness, it is important to separate sadness from depression. Sadness is usually a result of a clearly defined event or thought. And, after a short period of time, the sadness passes. Depression is a medical condition.

So how can you tell if it’s more than just sadness?

If you have:

  • feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or excessive guilt
  • a feeling of emptiness
  • a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • restlessness or fatigue
  • a change in sleep patterns
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

If these symptoms continue for the better part of the day for at least two weeks, one should see a healthcare provider.

Dr. Richard Ellsasser, Director of Psychiatry at White Plains Hospital, says, “Depression can affect anyone at any age and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Research has shown that people with depression have impaired physical, social and work functioning. What is important to remember is that depression is a treatable condition. By treating your depression, you can regain a better quality of life. If you think you are experiencing depressive symptoms, start by talking with your healthcare provider to determine the next steps in your care.”

And here are some important numbers to remember:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—1-800-273-8255
Westchester County Crisis Prevention Team—914-925-5959

If you are suicidal, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room.