Difference Between Sadness And Depression

Sadness is normal and a part of life, whereas depression is a long-term mental illness. Many people experience sadness or depression at some point in their lives. Feeling sad is an integral part of depression but sadness and depression are not the same. And, recognizing the difference between depression that needs diagnosis and the emotion of sadness can help a person recognize when to seek treatment and how to process both in a healthful way.

Sadness versus Depression

Sadness is an emotion whereas depression is a mental illness.

● Sadness usually lasts for a short period of time, it is brief whereas depression persists for a long period of time as compared to sadness.

● Sadness is a specific reaction to any stressful situation or loss whereas depression is an abnormal general state.

● Sadness temporarily changes your mood whereas depression may change your life.

● Sadness is subjective whereas depression is diagnosed.


Sadness is the feeling of unhappiness or down in response to any kind of grief, disappointment, or discouragement. It is known as the seven universal emotions experienced by everyone around the world. And it can even happen at times where you feel low or down without any reason or response to a situation. Sadness is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences when faced with a stressful situation or at difficult times. Sadness usually passes with the passage of time. But depression may last longer if not treated.

Many life events can leave a person sad or unhappy. Some conditions or situations that can trigger sadness include:

● Absence of loved ones or loss of close ones

● Loss of job or income

● Financial trouble

● Loneliness

● Difficult situation at home like an ongoing family issue

● Having difficulty or feeling pressure at work or school

● Moving out of the home (homesickness)

● Physical illness or taking care of an ill person

● Chemical changes in the body like puberty, medicines, or drugs

● Thoughts about the negative situations around or self-critical thoughts


Depression is a mood disorder often described by feelings of sadness, down, or anger that interfere with the daily activities of a person. It is different from what you experience as usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in day-to-day life. With moderate or severe intensity depression can become a serious health condition causing the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly, be it in personal or professional lives. It negatively affects how you feel or act, and the way you think. If not taken help immediately or sought professional advice, at worst it can have major consequences.

Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe and can include:

● Feeling down or sad

● Increased fatigue or low energy

● Feeling hopeless about the future

● Feeling worthless or guilty

● Having a depressed mood like feeling empty, irritable

● Loss of pleasure or interest in activities you once enjoyed or had interest in

● Changes in appetite or weight

● Difficulty in falling asleep or sleeping too much

● Unable to focus, feelings of restlessness or lost

● Finding difficult to think or make decisions

● Having negative thoughts like thoughts of suicide or death

Symptoms must persist for at least two weeks or more.

Sadness is not the same as depression. If you are facing symptoms of depression, seek help, contact a psychologist or therapist.

Recommending Psychologists and Therapists are:

1. Life Coach Steffi Prasad - Psychologist & Therapists - Utopia Life Coach in Siliguri, West Bengal, India.


2. Khusboo Tomar - Psychologist: Centre for Forensic & Clinical Psychology

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