Depression is a mood disorder that can have many different causes. Sadness comes and goes. The main difference between depression and sadness is that depression can have long-lasting feelings that get in the way of your daily life. The feelings of sadness and being depressed are often confused with each other because both involve similar types of symptoms. In this article, we will discuss the difference between sadness and depression. This way, you know if you should seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Sadness and Being Depressed Are Similar but Different
When thinking about the difference between sadness and depression, it’s important to note that both are very common human experiences. Sadness is a normal human emotion that everyone feels at some point in their lives. Sadness can be caused by many things, including the following:
- The loss of a loved one
- Experiencing failure or disappointment
- Feeling inadequate or embarrassed in public
- Financial hardship
- Other life circumstances
Depression is also a very common experience for people around the world. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.” Depression can have many causes. However, what makes it different from sadness is that depression tends to last longer than sadness does. It often involves more severe symptoms, such as feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Depression Is Not Just Feelings of Sadness
Depression is not just sadness. It can cause symptoms other than just feeling sad or blue. People with depression might have many different symptoms, including the following:
- Anxiety or irritability
- Weight loss or gain without trying to change your diet or exercise
- Changes in sleep habits (such as sleeping too much or too little)
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Feelings of hurting yourself or others
- Loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt over small things
If you find yourself having several depressive symptoms for more than two weeks at a time — or if they interfere with your ability to enjoy life as much as usual — it may be helpful to seek help from your doctor or mental health professional.
Someone Feeling Depressed Can Still Have Good Days
Sometimes, a person with depression may feel sad or unhappy. However, this is not the same as having a depressive disorder. If you’re experiencing these feelings and need help, it’s important to see a doctor or mental health professional for an evaluation.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects people of all ages, sexes, and backgrounds. Your life otherwise might seem fine. You can still feel emotions like happiness or joy on occasion, even while struggling with symptoms of depression. Many people who experience major depressive disorder (MDD) report having good days and regular periods of moods that are completely manageable over time.
Depressed Feelings Are Treatable
Depression is a medical condition. It’s not your fault, and you can get help. Depression doesn’t have to be the end of the world or your life. You can feel better again, and you deserve to.
If you’re feeling depressed or like things aren’t going well in your life, reach out to someone. This can be a friend, family member, teacher, or coach. It is also recommended to reach out to a counselor at school or elsewhere, like a therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. Even if it seems too hard right now, reaching out is the first step in getting the help you need.
Depression can cause feelings of sadness that last for more than two weeks and interfere with daily activities like sleeping and eating normally. If these symptoms are causing problems in your daily life, then it might be worth talking with someone about them. Even if they don’t interfere with daily activities yet but seem bad enough, professional help can help you find relief from symptoms.
You are not alone in this. There are millions of people who are also dealing with feelings of depression. The most important thing is identifying when depression is more than normal sadness and getting the help and resources that you need to get better.
It’s Okay to Feel Bad Sometimes
Depression is a medical condition that can be treated, and it’s okay to feel bad sometimes. If you’re sad or unhappy for long periods of time, it might mean you’re depressed, and you should talk to someone about it.
There are professionals who can help you get back on your feet and help you feel like how you used to feel. They can also help prevent depression from getting worse over time and taking hold of your life.
It is important to understand that being sad and depressed are different. Depression can cause a person to feel sad, but it also causes other symptoms that are different from just being sad. If you are unsure about what you may be experiencing, try taking a test to help you better understand.
Depression and sadness are often confused with each other, but they are actually very different conditions. Depression is a mood disorder that affects your entire outlook on life, whereas sadness may occur after a loss or during a difficult time. Depression has been shown to have both physiological and psychological causes. At the same time, sadness tends to be more related to specific events like the death of someone close or something similar, like an injury that prevents playing sports anymore. If you or someone you know is struggling with feelings of depression, Acers Health is here to help. Our evidence-based treatments can help you find relief from your symptoms. Call (949) 647-4090 to learn more.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.