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Ever felt sad or stressed for no apparent reason? If you’re tearful or crying a lot, or just feeling down, this article can help you figure out why and what steps you can take.

This can help if:

  • you feel sad all the time
  • you want some help to stop feeling low
  • you want to know why people get sad.
Boy with head down

How sad is too sad?

Everyone gets sad sometimes; it’s a part of being human. But feeling sad for a long period of time makes life really hard and isn’t good for your overall health.

Here are some signs that sadness is taking over your life:

  • You’ve stopped seeing friends and family.
  • You get angry easily.
  • You get emotional and/or cry for no apparent reason.
  • You’ve stopped caring about stuff that used to interest you.
  • You’re sleeping more, or less, than you used to.
  • You’re eating more, or less, than you used to.
  • You’re finding it hard to do all the things you used to do (such as work or chores).

What’s causing my sadness?

Not knowing what’s making you feel so crap makes it hard to find a solution. There are some simple things you can do to help figure it out. First up, it’s good to understand some obvious things that can get people down, such as experiencing grief or loss of a loved one, caring for someone who is unwell, being sick or having a medical condition or chronic illness.

Then there are other, less expected causes for sadness, such as:

  • going through something stressful
  • being around people who are going through a tough time
  • having an argument with someone
  • problems at school/uni/work
  • big life changes (such as moving house)
  • being bored
  • not sleeping well
  • not exercising enough
  • hormonal changes.

Here are some things you can try to feel better:

  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend or a family member. They might have some insights that you can’t identify yourself, which might help you figure out what’s causing your sadness.
  • Write down your feelings. The causes of your sadness may become more obvious if you write about what’s happening in your life and how you feel about it.
  • Face things head on. Try not to stay in bed all day avoiding things.

If you can work out what’s getting you down, then you’ll be in a better position to turn your feelings around. Problem-solving strategies can be really helpful in overcoming some issues. If the cause of your sadness isn’t really something that can be solved, though, you might need to focus on developing coping strategies instead.

I feel so alone

You never have to cope with emotional problems on your own. A counsellor can help you figure out what’s going on, guide you through strategies to overcome your sadness, and recognise if something more serious is going on.

ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try it to learn about the support options available for you.

What can I do now?

  • Don’t use drugs or alcohol to try to manage your feelings.
  • Try ReachOut NextStep to find the help that’s right for you.
  • Connect with others who might be experiencing sadness as well on the ReachOut Forums.