Are You Depressed or Just Sad? A Clarity Between the Two

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 15, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Depression is a much more complex and damaging situation than just being sad
  • Sadness is a feeling of sorrow, helplessness, and loneliness
  • Depressed people may feel sad, uneasy, empty, hopeless, worthless, hollow, restless or ill-tempered

What does being depressed or being sad mean to you? When we feel low, emotions cloud our judgment and we get confused between depression and sadness. Mental health has been affecting numerous people over decades but only now does it feel acceptable to have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones or open each other’s eyes to what surrounds us and can severely affect us in the long run. The battle against mental illnesses can be gruelling and may take a person a very long time to overcome the effects. If you think that you suffer from any such problems, talk about it, think about it, and do something about it because otherwise, it could prove detrimental to your health.

So, what does the two terms ‘depression’ and ‘Sadness’ mean to you? Know that these two are not synonymous with each other. Depression is a much more complex and damaging situation than just being sad.

Read: How much sadness is too much?

What is Sadness?

Sadness is a feeling of sorrow, helplessness, and loneliness. It is a negative outcome of bad circumstances. It is a temporary mood swing related to certain situations such as professional or personal stress, a difficult relationship, sudden demise of a loved one etc. Every person experiences this feeling differently as no situation is the same. But this is not chronic and would wear-off in a while.

What is Depression?

Depression is chronic and a serious mental health issue. Depressed people may feel sad, uneasy, empty, hopeless, worthless, hollow, restless or ill-tempered. A depressed person will experience one of these symptoms:

  • Lost interest in daily activities that you once enjoyed doing
  • Find it difficult to remember details or make sensible decisions
  • Inability to understand the simplest of things
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion or loss of energy
  • Aches, pains or digestive problems
  • Hard to concentrate
  • Suffer an eating disorder
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Read: How to fight negativity when in depression

Being Sad is a Symptom of Depression

We all experience a feeling of sadness from time to time as it is a natural human emotion. People often say that they are depressed even if they are just having a bad day or something has not gone the way they planned it. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned problems, then you are sad and not depressed. These are just everyday “blues” and not a serious depressive disorder.

Depression, on the other hand, is a serious mental health issue that could prove fatal. It is a mental illness that not just affects a person’s emotion but his/her behaviour, thinking, and physical well-being.  A sad person will cry for a while and get better in a few days. Whereas a person suffering from depression loses interests in all activities, experiences sleep deprivation, withdrawal from others, and loss of appetite for multiple weeks. Depression may even lead to thoughts of suicide or mortality.

Regardless of whether you are sad or depressed, check in with your loved ones or seek professional help if you think what you are experiencing is something serious. Take your mental health seriously and look out for signs. If you suspect that someone around you is showing any of these signs, then help them out. Just because a person seems happy does not necessarily mean that they are not suffering.

Read more articles on Mental Health.

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