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Why Am I So Sad?

Updated on April 19, 2014

Sadness is Normal

Feeling sad is a normal human emotion. All of us feel sad at times. Sometimes, the feeling may be mild and sometimes so intense that you may just end up crying inconsolably. While often these feelings are temporary, sometimes they just refuse to go away. Usually, sadness has a reason. However, sometimes there is no reason, and keep on wondering why you are feeling so sad.

Memory of a past event can cause sadness
Memory of a past event can cause sadness

Causes of Sadness

Something in our life is not like what we want it to be. So, we feel sad. We can either choose to just feel sad and allow things to remain unchanged. Or we can use our sadness to identify the problem and bring about some changes in our life.

The choice is ours. We can continue feeling sad about the situation. Or we can just get up and find a way to move on and change certain things in our attitude and our life.

Things don't go your way. You did not get the promotion you thought you deserved. So, you feel sad.

Someone hurts your feelings. They say or do something and you feel let down. You are hurt and you are likely to feel bad about it.

Past events can make you feel sad. You have probably moved on from that terrible relationship where someone betrayed you. However, there may be those moments when that betrayal or the love you shared comes back as a painful memory. Sadness is natural here.

Bullying at school can be a major cause of sadness in a kid
Bullying at school can be a major cause of sadness in a kid

You lost someone special. The death of a loved one can be devastating and you may end up feeling sad for many days. It's difficult and yet important to handle the grief in a positive way.

Often, a problem that just refuses to go away can lead to ongoing sadness. For kids, bullying at school can be a source of constant sadness. Bullying can really damage the self-confidence of a child and this is where parents and teachers can play an active and very important role.

Abuse in a relationship can cause much sadness to the spouse going through it. Abuse can be physical or emotional.

Losing a job can be a source of financial problems and can cause ongoing sadness. A continuous health condition can also be a source of distress. If you are not well, you will feel low.

Causes of unexplained sadness

Mostly, sadness can be explained. There is a reason behind it. Sometimes, we may not be able to identify the cause of our sadness immediately. However, if we just try we may just find out why we are feeling this way.

Often, the remembrance of a past traumatic event is the cause of sadness. But sometimes, we may suppress the memory of that event. We feel sad but don't immediately realize the reason. If we look a little deeper, we may be able to associate it with that painful memory.

Then there are times when everything seems to be going well. Job is well. You have a wonderful relationship. You are fit and healthy. Life cannot be better than this. No past events bothering you. Yet, you are asking yourself, "Why am I so sad?"

Unexplained sadness can be due to certain health conditions, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), major depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, eating disorders, and hypothyroidism. Let's tke a brief look at these causes and find out if these could be the reason why you just continue to feel this way.

Postpartum depression

Sadness and intense anger and irritability are major symptoms of postpartum depression. These may be accompanied by suicidal thoughts and difficulties in bonding with the newborn baby. The feelings are totally unexplainable.

The new mother just doesn't know what is going on. You just don't know why you are feeling this way but you just can't help experiencing these emotions.

If not handled in time and properly, it can even cause some mothers to hurt their babies. Counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and antidepressants can help ease these symptoms of sadness and anger.

Premenstrual syndrome

Fluctuations in the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, can lead to PMS. Five to ten days before you get your periods you may experience sadness and feel like crying. Along with wondering why I am so sad, you may also experience nausea, backache, headache, breast tenderness, digestive problems, and muscular and joint pain.

Taking supplements comprising of the B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium tend to ease the symptoms of PMS and may alleviate your sadness.

Major Depression

Symptoms of major depression include sadness, fatigue, feeling worthless, irritability, and agitation. You wonder why I am so sad. You ask yourself why I am so agitated and restless. You lose weight because you don't eat well. You don't sleep well and you may also have suicidal thoughts. Major depression is one of the most common causes of unexplained sadness.

While most people have heard about major depression, may are just unable to recognize the symptoms of this disorder in themselves.

If you have been feeling this way for more than two weeks, you may want to seek professional help. You may be prescribed medication along with counseling.

Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder go through phases of mania and depression. They sometimes feel ecstatic and at other times they just feel like down in the dumps. During the depression phase, sadness is the one of the main symptoms. Again, don't try to manage this problem yourself. You need professional help here.


Difficulties in sleeping is a symptom of hypothyroidism, a major cause of sadness
Difficulties in sleeping is a symptom of hypothyroidism, a major cause of sadness

Hypothyroidism

Another answer to your question, why I am so sad, maybe a condition called hypothyroidism. A lesser known health condition associated with feeling down, it is caused when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to satisfy your body's requirement.

Low levels of thyroxine affects almost all the systems of your body and you end up feeling depressed and lose interest in relationships at work. Along with these two symptoms, hair loss, recurrent infections, premature aging, digestive disorders, muscle weakness, menstrual problems, and slow heart rate are also signs of this condition.

If you think that this health condition may be the cause of your unexplained sadness, consult a physician, who will probably prescribe a medication meant to replace the missing thyroid hormone.

Eating disorders

Another often overlooked cause of sadness is an eating disorder. Inability to handle emotions is an important part of most eating disorders, especially emotional overeating. These people often use eating as a way to manage emotions such as sadness and fear. If someone hurts you, instead of feeling sad, you turn to food. That suppresses the sadness.

When food is taken away as part of the treatment process for emotional overeaters, feelings such as sadness may come to the forefront. In such cases, you may start thinking why I am so sad. The solution here is to learn more effective and positive ways to deal with your emotions and the reasons behind these feelings.

Once you know how to manage your emotions more effectively, the feelings will subside on their own and you will feel more positive and happier.


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Time to do something about your sadness

So, did you get the answer to you question? Keep in mind that sadness is a normal reaction to painful experiences. However, if sadness is due to unexplainable causes or if you are constantly asking why I am so sad, you probably need to go deeper into it. Explore the reasons and get professional help, if required.

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      You seem to cover all the bases. Quite comprehensive! Lots of good information, and I am pleased that you suggest professional help. Voted Up and Useful.

    • profile image
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      Better Emotions 3 years ago

      Ms Dora,

      Thanks for the vote up and for taking the time to go through the hub on the causes of sadness

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