Mental Health Last updated on 2021-12-15 12:18:47
Why Am I Sad For No Reason?
- Ms. Deepanwita Roy
- 5 Min Read
- Fact Checked
As individuals, we all have experienced bouts of sadness, crying spells, and feelings of loneliness and despair in our lives. Sometimes we can identify the potential causes behind it and we spend hours and days trying to figure out what must be wrong with us? Often, we ask ourselves, why am I sad for no reason?
Feeling sad is not at all unusual. After all, feeling sad and crying is a normal human response to disappointment and loss. A temporary state of feeling sad, feeling lonely, or feeling alone could most often have a clear cause, such as a big disappointment, loss of someone close to you, or receiving bad news from someone you love. This type of sadness might fluctuate throughout the day, and even linger for a couple of days at a stretch.
Persistent sadness, however, is something else entirely. It can wrap around you like a heavy blanket, muffling the sensations and joy of everyday life. This sadness can leave you feeling low, lonely, empty, and defeated. You don’t know what caused your unhappiness, so you have no idea how to start feeling better.
Sadness that doesn’t have a clear reason behind it and doesn’t seem to improve may suggest something else is going on.
So, what could it be? Be it sudden, gradual or persistent changes in your mood, affect, or emotions, it can be attributed to a wide range of reasons.
While not everyone with depression will feel sad, unexplainable sadness you can’t seem to shake could be one of the primary signs of depression. You might feel sad nearly all the time, almost every day, for the most part of your day. With sadness, you might experience other symptoms as well. There could be:
- Teary eyes, crying spells - Feeling lonely, feeling alone even in a crowd - Feelings of emptiness - A sense of pessimism and hopelessness about the future - Increased irritability - Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness - Little interest in the things you usually enjoy - Fatigue, lack of energy - Unexplained physical tension, pain, or digestive issues - Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and energy levels - Restlessness or agitation - The trouble with concentration, memory, and decision making - Frequent thoughts of death, self-harm, and suicide
Rapid changes in mood
You might notice you suddenly feel intensely happy, even euphoric, and then again drown into a chronic state of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. . This abrupt change in mood might also involve:
- Impulsive behavior - Restlessness and irritability - A renewed sense of energy that leaves you fixating on certain projects or activities - An increase in confidence and self-esteem - Less of a need for sleep
Seasonal sadness or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Maybe your sadness seems to arrive or intensify around a certain time of the year. It’s pretty common to feel a little low during autumn and winter when the nights get longer and cold, and many days during monsoon when you may not even see the sun. Again, one again, when the days are longer, sunnier days of summer and spring arrive, you feel better. If this seasonal sadness persists and becomes serious enough to affect daily life, you could have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs along with seasonal changes.
Sadness before your menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, or after childbirth
Our reproductive hormones can also play a role in depression. Tracking what time of the month such symptoms show up can offer some important clues.
- There could be symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder which generally show up a week or so before your period starts. - Perinatal depression and postpartum depression involve episodes of depression that might begin during pregnancy or anytime in the first year after childbirth. It can involve worries about your ability to care for your child and intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or your child. You might also struggle to bond with your child. - Depression symptoms can also develop along with perimenopause, or the transitional period before menopause. You might feel very tearful, lose interest in your usual activities, and find it difficult to manage ordinary stressors.
(1) Stay connected and talk to your friends, family, and close ones: Isolating yourself will generally only worsen sadness, though, so sharing your feelings with someone you trust can help a lot. Talking won’t necessarily make your symptoms go away, but it can help the burden seem lighter.
(2) Add a little humor: People commonly use humor as a method of coping with depression and other mental health conditions. Even when you don’t feel much like laughing or cracking jokes, funny books, YouTube videos, or your favorite comedy program can often take the edge off your sadness and help raise your spirits.
(3) Revisit your old hobbies and habits: Our crazy work schedule and in general ‘life’ doesn’t allow us to spend more time exploring our old hobbies and habits. So it’s time to get back to the roots and figure out what made you feel happy earlier. It could be music, dancing, reading, singing, playing an instrument, traveling and so much more.
Also, did you know that listening to music can encourage your brain to produce hormones like dopamine and serotonin? These “happy hormones” have been linked to improvements in mood and reduced anxiety and stress.
(4) Step out of your house: Research has shown that sunlight prompts your brain to produce serotonin. When you have lower levels of this hormone in your system, you’re more likely to feel depressed, especially as fall and winter roll around. Spending more time in the sun, then, can increase serotonin and potentially relieve sadness.
(5) Nothing can substitute counseling and therapy: Coping strategies won’t always help relieve sadness. If nothing seems to help you find relief, it may be time to talk to a counselor or a therapist.
The bottom line
Feeling sad all the time for no specific reason doesn’t always mean you have depression, but it does suggest you could be experiencing something more complex than sadness alone. When sadness lingers and becomes more of a fixed state of being, talking to a therapist can have a lot of benefits. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself and try to remember that this feeling won’t last forever.
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