Difference Between Depression and Sadness

Depression vs Sadness

Depression and sadness are two things all of us experience at some point in our lives. “I am sad and depressed” is a common way of expressing the feeling. However, is it really same or different? Depression in a general definition is a “state of low mood” but sadness is a painful emotion. Depression is a serious public concern and has affected many youth. It is important to know depression in order to fight it.


Depression as mentioned above is defined as a “state of low mood”. Depression can originate from many, but mainly due to certain life events. A death of a loved one, accidents, occupation issues, relationships, family matters are some common life events which may cause depression. It is found through clinical studies that depression may arise from various medical conditions such as hypoandrogenism, hypothyroidism, brain injuries, and sleep apnea. Some medical treatments also cause depression. The common depression is not always a psychological disorder, but chronic depression is defined as clinical depression and may need drugs to be cured. A depressed person shows no interest on things once were interesting. There is a tendency to feel self-disgust and hatred towards life. Usual depression is characterized by low activity, no emotions, no energy, and no motion. The best way to identify depression is the duration. It is likely to stay for longer periods, therefore, disturbs a person’s life style more than sadness.


Sadness, on the other hand, is a “painful emotion”. Feeling sadness and grief is a part of every man’s life. In fact, we start life with a little sadness. When a child is born and separated from the mother, the first insecure feeling causes a little sadness and the child cries. The best way to detect sadness is tears. But it is always not the case. The characteristic features of depression like loss of interest in joyful things, less energy, increased thinking, poor concentration, and loss of appetite can be observed in a sad person as well, but for shorter time durations. Sadness although it sounds very negative is actually a healthy way of dealing with painful situations. A person who does not show any sadness towards painful situations may suffer from severe personality issues in later parts of life.

What is the difference between Depression and Sadness?

• Depression is a mood, but sadness is an emotion.

• Depression stays for a longer period, but sadness is short-lived comparatively.

• Depression can originate from life events, certain medical conditions and some drugs as well, but sadness is mainly due to life events and sometimes due to medical conditions.

• Depression can develop to a mood disorder, but sadness is not a psychological disorder only a natural way of responding to a painful situation.

• A depressed person is emotionally numb sometimes but a sad person is exhausted.

• A depressed person shows self-disgust but a sad person shows self-sympathy.

• A depressed person willfully avoids social interactions but a sad person longs for company but neglects social activities due to the focus on troubles.