The Difference between Sadness and Depression

Posted on October 3, 2015

Photo: flickr

Because we associate depression with its primary symptom of pervasive sadness, many of us struggle to tell the difference between these two common psychological states. And that is a huge problem.

Sadness is a normal human emotion, one we’ve all experienced in our lives and will experience again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or a situation. As the situation or event changes, the experience of sadness also fades away.

Depression, however, is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, our emotions, our perceptions and our behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. Depression often occurs in the absence of any triggers.

It is absolutely crucial that we can recognize this distinction, as recognizing if we (or a loved one) are depressed has huge implications for our long-term mental health, physical health and even for our longevity.


Source material from Psychology Today