It's very common to not know the difference between sadness and depression.
We all get sad once in a while. When that happens, some of us take to social media to let the world in on our sorrows.
While some may take that like a virtual invitation to a one-person pity party, others may interpret it as someone who genuinely needs to vent about feeling down and out.
The hashtag #IGetDepressedWhen was unleashed and started trending on Aug. 31.
At first, users took to the hashtag with silly and essentially harmless commentary. One user tweeted, "#IGetDepressedWhen I open my paycheck."
Another read, "#IGetDepressedWhen I go to the fridge with my cup ready in hand to fill it with some quality koolaid but the pitcher is empty in the fridge."
These types of tweets struck a nerve with people who felt depression was being trivialized.
The discussion quickly took a telling turn from witty confessions about mild inconveniences to more serious discussions about the difference between feeling sad and being clinically depressed.
Here are 10 tweets that stood out in the conversation:
1. Some didn't like the word "depressed" being used so casually.
#IGetDepressedWhen - stop using the word "depressed" so casually. It's a sickness; a medical condition. It's not a substitute word for sad.— Lucy (@Lucy)1472679340.0
2. Or that a disease was being referred to as an emotion.
#IGetDepressedWhen neurotypicals misinterpret my illness and understand "depression" as an emotion instead of the serious disease it is— HELLEN DAY 🤱🏽👧🏼 (@HELLEN DAY 🤱🏽👧🏼)1472719521.0
3. Or were feeling like Liv...
#IGetDepressedWhen people can't comprehend that depression is a mental illness that people struggle with & not a feeling.— liv grace (@liv grace)1472690470.0
4. Others like Alex Phillips were put off by the trending hashtag — period.
5. Many wanted to make sure depression was being taken seriously.
#IGetDepressedWhen people confuse depression with a couple hours of sadness. Depression is very serious and should be treated as such.— Jensen (@Jensen)1472666547.0
6. Because it's NOT a joke.
#IGetDepressedWhen I forget to take my anti-depressants. Because I have depression. Because its a mental illness. Not a joke for a hashtag.— sam (@sam)1472689684.0
7. By pointing out depression is not a choice.
#IGetDepressedWhen is such an annoying hashtag because as someone with this mental illness I don't get to choose when, it's not an emotion— witchy simone (@witchy simone)1472677350.0
8. Even suggesting perhaps a more fitting hashtag.
This hashtag " #IGetDepressedWhen" should be changed to "#IGetSadWhen" cause depression isn't a mood it's a mental illness 😑— Mul (@Mul)1472671693.0
9. Or asking that the word "depression" not be used willy-nilly.
10. And a simple yet powerful reminder to have compassion and not turn this mental disorder into a joke.
Depression - as opposed to sadness - is caused by incorrect brain chemistry. Let's have compassion & not make it a joke. #IGetDepressedWhen— Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC (@Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC)1472669200.0
There is a difference between feeling sad and being clinically depressed.
We tend to associate depression with its primary symptom (sadness), so for a lot of us, it's difficult to tell the difference.
Scientifically speaking, the difference is depression is a result of a chemical imbalance. People diagnosed with this mental disorder have less seratonin neurotransmitters, which produce what are often referred to as the "feel-good chemical."
But there are other factors. Genetics, stress, medications, or other health issues can also contribute to someone developing this neurological disease.
These Twitter reactions were a great reminder that we should think twice before claiming we're depressed when we could just be having a bad day.
Sure it's a go-to term for a lot of people who are bummed about something fleeting, but maybe by avoiding using it so sparingly, we can also avoid hurting each other's feelings.
To be clear, everyone's feelings deserve to be acknowledged and validated. Above all, this thread is a comforting reminder that if you suffer from this mental disorder, you're definitely not alone.