Sadness is something that others may be able to see in someone’s face, but what is behind the eyes only the sufferer knows. However, sadness and depression are quite different.
For example: “Shorty,” who is pictured, was likely sad when he and his girlfriend had a falling out. However, he may or may not have been depressed at the time, but sadness was definitely an emotion he felt. The good news is that sadness passes fairly quickly while depression can stick around for months or even years.
So many of those who live on the street experience deep and often dark depression. While it may start out as something mild in their younger years, it lingers into age and grows deeper into severe depression.
People often confuse mild depression with severe depression, only because they have not experienced such agony themselves. Others suggest that those who are sad simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps, which can’t be done if severe depression is involved. Those who make such suggestions fail to understand or even try to understand the underlying darkness.
Sadness can trigger depression and your chances are also higher if you have family members who have fought depression in the past. Severe illnesses can also lead to depression. Other items that can lead to depression in adult life include being abused as a child (any nature of abuse). In fact, child abuse greatly increases the chances of becoming depressed as an adult.
To help cure depression, doctors often encourage a healthier lifestyle along with medication. But, if you are homeless it is hard to eat right and hit the gym. It is also hard to afford a doctor’s visit, much less pay for medication. But, studies show that medication is important.
The brain is extremely complex, as most realize. Some areas of the brain regulate mood while other areas focus on daily tasks like extending your arm to turn off the alarm clock.
According to a Harvard Health article from 2009, “Areas that play a significant role in depression are the amygdala, the thalamus, and the hippocampus.” A recent study demonstrated how the hippocampus is 9% to 13% smaller in those who are depressed or who have dealt with bouts of depression.
To increase positive moods and decrease depression, the production of new neurons are needed. Doctors will prescribe antidepressants to help boost the number of neurotransmitters, but the medication takes four to six weeks to start working. The extended period of time between the depression and a good mood have to do with neurons growing and forming new connections.
Antidepressants promote the growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus. It takes weeks for that growth to occur, which explains why it takes so long for antidepressants to work. This growth process is called neurogenesis, meaning neuron growth or formation.
As for Shorty… he told me that he came to Tennessee because of a girl. He later said that he went to jail for 7 months because of that same girl. "I caught her with another man," he told me. The woman is now in California.
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow