What is the difference between depression and self-awareness?


Mental disorders such as depression are characterized by a feeling of persistent sadness and a loss of interest. In times of depression, concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things can be challenging. It can also give rise to a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness. However, self-awareness is an individual’s ability to recognize and comprehend their emotions and thoughts.

Depression can indeed lead to self-awareness, but the two are different. As opposed to depression, self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s thoughts and emotions.

Emotional intelligence requires self-awareness. The capacity to understand your emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behaviors is crucial. 

Depressive Disorders: What are they?

There are several types of depression, depending on their severity and duration. Despite this, all kinds share certain factors. It is crucial to seek treatment for depression by a professional if you or someone you know is suffering from it. 

Depressive Disorder (MMD)

The symptoms of major depression are persistent sadness, hopelessness, or anger over time. In severe cases, it can result in suicide.

Depression/Dysthymia in Chronic Form

In dysthymia, a person has a persistently sad disposition, as if they are always unhappy. It lasts longer and is less severe than major depression.

Depression of atypical types

The symptoms of atypical depression can be hard to diagnose, and they can persist for many years. For example, the person may experience cravings for chocolate or sweets instead of the typical symptoms of depression, such as decreased appetite.

Manic depression or bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder involves periods of depression and manic activity, and feels empowered and positive. How long it takes for phases to pass varies from person to person.

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

It is common for people to suffer from SAD during the winter months. Vitamin D deficiency and a lack of exposure to fresh air contribute to irritability and lethargy in people who suffer from SAD.

Depression after childbirth

The more significant part of women who have just given birth suffers postpartum depression. In many cases, it will not appear for several months after giving birth; however, it could take as long as a year to manifest. The severity of the condition ranges from moderate to severe.

Depression due to psychosis

Delusions or hallucinations are common among patients with psychotic depression. All or some of the senses may be affected by hallucinations. In most cases, delusions are associated with feelings of inadequacy or unwarranted guilt.

Effects of depression in the short- and long-term

A person suffering from depression may lose appetite, gain weight, and experience other physical symptoms in the short term. Sleeping excessively can lead to fatigue and lethargic behavior. You can become malnourished if you don’t eat enough or obese if you overeat. It is also possible to experience a drop in short-term memory, making it easier to forget things. Depression can also lead to suicide. It’s found that around 68% of suicides have depression as a contributing factor.

Self-Awareness | Copyright The Clearmind Online

What is self-awareness? 

Mental health requires self-awareness, but self-awareness does not mean that someone is depressed. Indeed, many self-aware people do not suffer from depression. Depressive disorders can, however, lead to self-awareness in that they can make us reflect upon our thoughts and emotions.

Self-aware people know how to thrive because they understand their strengths and challenges. Moreover, they understand that how they see themselves may differ from how others perceive them.

Self-aware individuals can:

  • Be aware of their strengths and weaknesses
  • Be mindful of their needs and feelings and talk to them about them
  • Be aware of the feelings and needs of others
  • Weigh the consequences of their behavior on others
  • Make mistakes and learn from them

Building positive self-esteem is more unrestricted when people understand themselves better, especially those who think differently, learn differently, and struggle with specific skills.

There are various forms of self-awareness. 

To develop self-awareness, you have to work at it. The process begins with children recognizing and naming their emotions, strengths, challenges, and likes and dislikes. Then, as time goes on, it keeps evolving.

A person’s self-awareness can be classified as either private or public. When someone is aware of something about themselves that others are not – like being nervous about reading out loud – they demonstrate personal self-awareness.

People aware of their public self-awareness are aware of how others perceive them. Children don’t begin to do that until they are five years old. Most children don’t realize that other people don’t always think and feel the same as they do. 

Building self-esteem is more effortless when you are aware of yourself. 

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