The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

Difference Sadness Depression

Signs and symptoms of depression

To be formally diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) an individual must experience a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities for at least two weeks as well as at least five other symptoms including the following: 

  • Change in sleep: Either difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  • A decrease in energy or feelings of fatigue daily.
  • Change in appetite or weight: Gaining weight, losing weight, overeating, or eating much less.
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Slow physical movements or unintentional purposeless movements that are noticeable by others.
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide.

Sadness (depressed mood) is just one symptom of depression. 

Related: 10 Habits That Cause Low Self Esteem And Depression

Treating sadness versus treating depression

Sadness can be overcome within time. You can express your emotions, “cry it out”, go out with friends, or spend time outdoors. Expressing sadness over the loss of a loved one may take some time, but you can still find happiness in other aspects of your life. Engage yourself more with these happy aspects. 

Depression is best treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. The most common medications used to treat depression are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). All medications, including SSRIs, come with side effects, and therefore it is essential to have a conversation with your healthcare professional before starting this treatment. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the mainstay psychotherapy approach in treating depression. Treatment for depression does not happen overnight; this is a process and can take some time, and different treatment approaches. Depression is a prevalent mental illness, and many treatments benefit most individuals.


Written By Kristen Fuller    
Originally Appeared in Psychology Today

Now that you know that sadness and depression are not necessarily the same, you will be able to understand what you are actually going through. Understanding the difference between these two is very important because this will help you go for the right recovery plan, and get better as soon as possible.

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