Seriously, why do people confuse these words “SADNESS and DEPRESSION”? I don’t get it! Okay, this is it, according to Corey Whelan, Sadness is a human emotion that all people feel at certain times during their lives. Yes I totally agree, and depression is a longer-term mental illness. That impairs social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. Left untreated, symptoms of depression may last for a long time.
(Are you thinking of closing the page without getting the learn more?) Keep reading.

Having known the meaning of both words, It is important to know the difference because treatment can help a depressed person. Sadness and depression are not the same but it may be difficult for people to understand the difference. When a person is sad, he/she is experiencing unhappiness or sorrow. It is an emotional pain associated with grief, loss, disappointment, despair or helplessness. For example, a person may be in a blue mood when his or her beloved pet dies. Usually this feeling does not last for a long time and a person can feel better without professional help. However, if this sadness does not end, it may develop into a more serious illness, depression.
I think people hear about depression more as a buzz word in current times with pop psychology. So many people say they have it but don’t want to explore medication therapy. If they were having depression, they would probably be going to doctor at least to explore their options. Sadness can definitely feel very dark too but passes. In older times people recognized the fact that almost everyone experiences periods of sadness or melancholia. There are different types of depression, with some types of depression there is a feeling of being pushed toward death by increasing magnitudes. With others type of depression, a person is fatigued like a dishrag and feels emotionally numb and almost “dead” inside.

Those persons who has never been depressed would think that due to what they’ve heard, read or learned , if ever they experience depression they will definitely know the difference. Now this sounds strange but a person going through depression can also get sad too because depression is more of a powerful as well as powerless emotion with slow waves of constant confusions and blank thoughts. Now when a person is sad, it has to do with some emotional things such as; the drama from a breakup.

For me, I think of sadness as an emotion tied to a specific event (for example, the death of a loved one), and depression as more of a response mechanism, even though sadness is also part of depression. Sadness is a common reaction to certain events encountered in life. Most of the time, sadness will resolve itself, either by an improvement of the event or by time passing. Sadness is peeking through a window adorned with water droplets on a rainy day after an unfortunate event Sadness is a part of life that comes & goes depending on circumstance, someone passing away or losing a job. Usually when a person is sad he/she usually doesn’t wish to die but with depression you feel nobody care and your only option now is death.

Different events can lead to depression, for instant; the drama felt from a breakup can be very painful and it can trigger depression, but it’s something we have to go through. Depression always has a feeling of utter despair and hopelessness attached to it. Often times, depression is accompanied by disturbing anxiety, as if one were to overdose on med. It is a devastating, long-lasting, unexplained and is not just mere sadness or loneliness. I hate to say this but the truth is, it kills, if put simply, and it has nothing to do with your position in life or how much money you make.
Medically speaking, depression is a disturbance in the chemistry of the brain, most famously disturbance in Serotonin chemistry. That’s why the most famous drugs for depression are S.S.R.I (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) which help serotonin to last longer at the synapses and thus exert its positive effect on the mood (Serotonin is the reason we feel happy after sex or eating chocolate).

Depression is extremely complicated, and having been through it (depression) myself, I would argue that my experience is unique to me. I wasn’t that sad, although I did have my moments. I still felt strong love for others, but it was very difficult to reach out to them. I was having strong nostalgia was a big component for me, and again, this is uncharacteristic. I worried about the future a lot. I just rarely found things to get happy about. And guess what; I stopped caring about my own happiness.

Depression is like an umbrella that harbors many types’ feelings, behaviors, and responses to external stimuli. It also includes other symptoms like change in sleep pattern, change in weight, change in appetite, change in concentration, irritability, lack of energy, lack of a desire to live, inability to care for yourself. Depression is more than just sadness. It is an illness that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, thinks about things or feels about him or herself. It showcased a loss of physical symptoms which may be withdrawal from enjoyable activities, appetite changes, sadness, anxious or empty mood, a feeling of hopelessness, unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, trouble concentrating and making decisions, anxiety, physical symptoms, and thoughts of death or suicide. A person cannot get better no matter how hard they tries. Symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years without help. To be honest depression is a hundred times worse than sadness.

In my case;

It was never sadness for me rather it’s like there are thousands of ants slowly destroying my brain and my body while all I can do is look at the wall, emptily. Sometimes I can’t cry, sometimes I cry for hours. Sometimes I don’t want to eat, sometimes I eat like I have never seen food before. Sometimes I completely shut down. I look out of the window for 2 hours without feeling. The only feeling is pain. I am so exhausted. I can’t think. I can’t sleep properly. I have a headache that goes on all day. I want it to stop and when I tell someone about it, they act like they care but they slowly get away from me. They don’t actually give a dame. Everyone is so occupied with themselves. I don’t matter anymore. I don’t want to walk, eat, and read. I might as well be dead. I wish I was dead. I am already dead inside. This was exactly how I felt.


Depression was that young vibrant lady, concealed in plain sight among the shrubs and thick bush whose cries were unheard. She straddled onto a thin string of hope and held on tight, hoping someone could save her. But the longer she cried, her cries went unanswered, the more and more indistinguishable she became to the populace buzzing about only a few feet away.
While Sadness is a healthy reaction to an event, or occurrence, it becomes depression when your sadness never goes away. No matter how sad you are, if it stays, and clings, and overshadows everything you do, it becomes depression. If the sadness affects your sleep, your enjoyment of life, and your ability to experience happiness, it has become depression. If the sadness has lasted months, and seems like it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and you can’t seem to cheer up for anything, it has become depression.

People can’t relate to depression and therefore consider it weakness. It is cruel and unfair, but that’s just the way it is until society takes a greater focus on mental health education. I see it just like a primal subconscious is programmed to viewed it with contempt.

Normally, people do not know difference between sadness and depression because:
• Both words are often used as synonyms.
• It has to do with natural selection. We value strength, self-sufficiency and the ability to fight for survival. So it is ingrained in us to view weakness from the point of view of a predator.
• Sometimes mild depression is unnoticed and the symptoms are not quite distinctive the general description of sadness is being depressed. (Not a major depression like one that requires medication but one that is a normal emotion of sadness).


Emotions are extremely complex. Our level of sophistication with naming emotions depends largely on the family in which we grew up and the society or community around us. In my family, we never discussed emotions and rarely showed any; anger, sadness, love, depression, all of these and more were suppressed.
Take for instance, you lost a partner and you bottle all the pains and sadness inside, going about your daily activities, then you start having bouts of depression. Everyone says, well what do you expect, she just lost her partner. In fact, if you let yourself grieve, really feel your grief, it would hurt terribly and then you will begin to heal and eventually you would be able to move on but if you keep all the pains and sadness bottled up, it will eventually lead to depression. Our emotions require our attention. We have to listen carefully to what they want us to know. We need to name them.


Darkness Visible: A Memoir Of Madness BY


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I’m Julia Jonathan, I write on relationships, communication and lifestyle advice. I believe there’s always room to improve no matter how incredible you think you are. If you think so too, follow me to see more inspirational stories and articles


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