How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?

331 Answers.
Last Updated: 01/23/2018 at 10:06pm
How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?
★ This question about Depression was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
Top Rated Answers
June 10th, 2016 1:59pm

If you're afraid that your depressed, there are many things you can do to help figure it out. Here on 7 Cups we have a great test tool that will help you possibly figure out if you're depressed or simply sad. Hopefully taking this test will help you figure out something new. Best wishes!

Want to better understand yourself?

Take this emotional wellness test! Less than 2 minutes.
December 27th, 2014 12:32am

You can know if you're depressed because everything makes you feel sad. You feel tired all the time, maybe you don't wanna eat, or by the contrary you eat aaaall of what you see, you cry all the time, you have suicidal ideas, feeling extremely alone and lonely even if you are sorrounded by people. That's being depressed, feeling numb and empty ALWAYS.

June 19th, 2015 7:03am

Based on my experience, I knew I was depressed by lack of motivation, constantly sleeping (or wanting to), rarely eating, messy room, excessive laziness, feeling extremely negative towards myself, and feeling hopeless.

December 21st, 2014 9:37am

There is a clear difference between being just sad and being depressed. But it becomes difficult to distinguish for the person going through this. Being sad is temporary feeling that one overcomes in some time (may take several hours or sometimes days) and the person regains it natural mood after some time. But depression is when the feeling isn't ending, it isn't going away. Depression becomes a part of you, it affects you and your activities. You find it difficult and rare to regain your original moods. Life seems to have taken this road and these feelings have become permanent.

January 22nd, 2018 6:06pm

Looking for answers on the internet...we've all been there. I just want you to know you don't have to figure this out on your own. I know this might not be something you want to discuss with your friends or family, but if you join this site you can get free, anonymous support from trained listeners and a huge support community. Nobody is here to judge.
Create account to explore

How do I know if I think I'm depressed?

December 4th, 2014 10:39pm

Sadness is usually a temporary feeling, that is triggered by some sort of event.. Depression can start out as sadness, but it persists for an extended period of time, and oftentimes, there's no particular reason as to why you feel so bummed out. If it's a prolonged sadness that you just can't get over, it never hurts to talk it out with someone, which is why we're all here. :-)

November 24th, 2014 7:33pm

Depression is a dark cloud hanging over your head constantly, whether you feel awful that second or not. You still have the sense of being separated from everyone. Also when you're sad you know you won't be sad forever, but with depression you can never see the end.

January 5th, 2015 7:37pm

Usually, the most prominent difference between depression and sadness is how long it lasts: if you've been sad for a while, and no matter what you do or when or how, you don't get as happy as you remember yourself being, even if those same things used to make you happy. It remains for weeks on end, sometimes longer.

August 16th, 2015 3:57am

Depression isn't just sadness, It's feeling nothing, Your personality changing a bit and not wanting to be alive anymore for some periods of time. If you have a type of depression, you'll know. :)

January 27th, 2016 10:28pm

Sadness is crying when you want to be happy. Depression is wanting to cry but not feeling the tears come. Sadness is an emotion, depression is a monster.

November 28th, 2014 6:56pm

Sadness is your immediate reaction to bad things that happen to you, these feelings usually disappear when you talk about things or in their own time. Depression is when you feel sad, worthless or useless (and many other symptoms) for a long period of time. It is often characterised by low mood, but you can also lose interest in hobbies, over eat or under eat or see some significant changes in your sleeping pattern. If you have any of those symptoms or are worried, it's always a good idea to see your doctor.

December 14th, 2014 10:23pm

Good question. Online there are many lists of symptoms of depression which can help you get a general idea. Talking to a doctor can help a lot. One major part of depression is how long it is, and how greatly it impacts your ability to function in carious aspects of daily life (concentration, sleep, eating are just a few examples)

November 25th, 2014 3:28am

Many ways to describe depression is a loss of interest in things you usedd to love. Feelings you used to have are now gone, and there's an unnecessary sadness.

August 16th, 2015 3:25pm

in my experience depression is inward and sadness is outward. i mean, ifyou think YOU are the reason for your feelings... you feel worthless or you feel hopeless or you feel like no one likes you and those feelings are accompanied by constant tiredness, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, intrusive thoughts and, in particular, thoughts and/or attempts at self harm, and they are over a long period. then its more likley depression. if on the other hand you can look at a situation you feel sad n and identify an outside, one time cause like... a family pet dying or missing out on a spot in a team and none of the other symptoms are present, its likely sadness. if you are sad for a long time or have feelings or thoughts of suicide, you should see a health professional

June 19th, 2015 11:28am

Depression is no fashionable affliction. In it is real, insidious, and when in full bloom, debilitating. Yet far too many people are oblivious to their own deep sadness or simply refuse to recognize it. Many people assume that depression is easily identifiable, manifesting itself as persistent sadness that doesn't lift. In fact, symptoms of depression can take a variety of forms.You may find that you are tired all the time, and all you want to do is sleep. Depression can also trigger insomnia, forgetfulness, and an inability to take pleasure in normal activities.It is not just feeling sad,depression doesn't just occur when something bad happens in your life. It can happen even when things seem fine.Biggest difference is, depression doesn't make you sad all the time.One of the most popular, enduring, and irritating myths about depression is that it means depressed people are sad all the time – and that by extension, people who are happy can’t be experiencing depression, even if they say they are.

November 25th, 2014 11:14pm

Depression is the state of being sad constantly for a period of more than 2 weeks. The sadness is very hard to get rid of and often can have no real cause or reason, or be triggered by certain events rather than sadness which comes and goes, or simply goes.

November 25th, 2014 5:59pm

The difference is that depression is more profound and much more than just a mood. It involves other things such as a feeling of loss of energy, inability to meet a challenge and a negative self image. You are right. It is beyond 'sad'. Although, you may draw no comfort from this fact, that although the condition is very common it is easily misunderstood by those who have never actually experienced it. Yes, she needs help although she will most probably reject it strongly. She needs to receive the kind of counselling that only a true professional in the field can offer. She also needs your help. The help that only someone that loves her can offer. Love is strong and should never be underestimated.

January 1st, 2015 12:48pm

well typically people define depression as when the sadness prolongs, stays with you. the sadness can go up and down, in waves, it can be an extreme low for a while, weeks even, then back to a point where you're just resting or waiting for an ultimate low to hit again. this is something i've struggled with, i have major depressive disorder, also can be referred to as recurrent depression. there are many areas of depression and bipolar disorder that can have the same kind of characteristics. if you feel like there is something wrong, you are unlike yourself or anything is off in the slightest. your best bet is to seek help to get all the support and more that you need to be able to combat whatever it is that you may be feeling and dealing with! :)

June 24th, 2015 3:41pm

You will just know, depression is where you enter a temporary, or permanent state of sadness. Lose interest in things you love, won't want o do anything. If these sort of things occurr, you'll know.

August 18th, 2015 4:11pm

Depression is a serveraty of sadness and other emotions like anger and pain and brokenenss. Sadness is just sadness.

July 5th, 2015 10:51pm

Sadness will pass in due course. But, if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed

July 29th, 2015 5:44am

Depression has specific symptoms that go beyond sadness. Depression includes a lack of interest in things we used to like, fatigue, lack of motivation, feelings of helplessness, feelings of hopelessness, and so forth. While many of those things can also be related to sadness, they are stronger emotions when associated with depression and they last longer than general sadness would last. Additionally, sadness often has a trigger (or preceding event) where depression may or may not have one.

June 20th, 2015 10:28pm

There's a list of official diagnostic criteria, but if you're trying to figure it out for yourself, a good thing to ask yourself is if you can still have fun, enjoy things you've always liked, and be happy when you get good news. If the answer is no, and this has gone on for more than a few weeks, you're probably depressed (although there are also some physical conditions that can cause this so it might help to see a doctor if you can afford it).

August 9th, 2015 6:40pm

Sadness can often be traced back to one specific event or thought, depression is more of a general sadness that you feel weighs heavily on your shoulders, and can make you feel apathetic, or like every day things are really difficult to manage.

July 9th, 2015 7:25pm

Depressed feeling is probably you will feel fatigue, loss of interest on your activities, loss of appetite for more 2 weeks time. But sad will be okay after a while.

December 7th, 2014 7:30pm

If it interferes with your day to day activities and daily life, then you may suffer from depression and will probably benefit from consulting with a doctor.

July 12th, 2015 12:31pm

Depression feels very different to sadness. Every witnesses and sees sadness in their life. Depression is feeling like you are worthless. It is on a much higher scale than sadness and can do much more damage. If you do ever feel like you are worthless or this life just isn't for you, please talk to a friend, parent, doctor or a listener on this site.

July 12th, 2015 4:48pm

Depression lasts much longer. Wait it out. If every morning your feel like you can't get up, and it feels like a weight dragging you down, if you are tired whilst doing everything, with sadness always lurking in your mind, for weeks, then you are most likely depressed. sadness will come and go, but depression stays for a while longer.

June 20th, 2015 4:31am

If it has been a long period of time where you are constantly just going through the motions, then probably probably depressed. If a short period of time, then probably sad. The only true way would be to see a doctor.

June 19th, 2015 6:56pm

Though being depressed or sad can both be upsetting if you fear you may have more than just a temporary case of the blue you may want to consider seeking help from a professional counseling service or your primary doctor. We're always here to listen though!

February 7th, 2016 11:42am

If you are sad, you will hate the cause of your sadness but if you are depressed, you will literally hate everything.

March 19th, 2016 4:44pm

As I've experienced something, it's mostly about time and the effect. Sadness is something that doesn't feel good at the moment, it may weigh you down or even leave you desperate, but you mostly know the reason and a strategy to cope, and you know that sooner or later (maybe sooner) the pain will go away. Meanwhile,depression is persistent, it totally drains your energy, takes your ability to focus, is paired with feelings like guilt, shame or anger. You might not even always know what is causing your depressive episodes, it just happens. And you can't always see a way out either. But believe me, there is a way out, and you can win this fight.

March 22nd, 2015 1:19am

Depression and sadness are often confused. Ultimately, depression is the lasting and pervasive feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and lack of motivation. If your moods are affecting your sleeping and eating habits, your productivity, your work/school life, your friendships, or your life in any way, you may be depressed. Seeing a doctor or nurse could help you identify your feelings, and they could then begin to help you deal with your depression, or if you are just sad, your sadness.

June 19th, 2015 5:46pm

The length of how long you've been like that, if it was caused right after a sad event, any other symptoms and actions

September 30th, 2015 3:47am

Depression is a very strong sadness that last for long periods of time. Being only sad only lasts not more than 2 days.

March 27th, 2016 10:28am

If you don't feel like doing anything, or like anything matters, you could be depressed. If you are sad, you usually feel like crying a lot.

June 21st, 2015 4:03pm

Depression is like a chronic sadness. You'll feel down even during and after situations that usually cheer you up, and this will keep happening over a longer period of time. It becomes difficult to enjoy anything that you usually do. There will be a lack of interest in life, a hopelessness. You'll have more negative views of the world and yourself. Physically, you'll feel tired and sore even if you haven't done any hard activity. Getting out of bed and taking care of yourself becomes difficult.

September 28th, 2015 8:08pm

Sadness is short lived around an hour to a day and has a clear reason to it. Depression sneaks up on you and doesn't always have one clear answer to its occurrence, it'll last a lot longer at a time, you won't cry as such but it'll feel heavy in you chest and head and your brain will just feel flat and under stimulated.

October 9th, 2015 9:29pm

Sadness may last a couple days real depression makes it hard to get up in the morning to work or school You may rearly Feel happy but not long enough to matter and everything just seems hopeless but you can recover

November 6th, 2015 1:51am

Feeling sad or feeling depressed are normal feelings that ALL humans go through! You are not alone. You might be sad because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Often I'm sad or I'm depressed when I'm not getting enough sleep, or exercise, or if I'm consuming too much caffeine, and working in a stressful environment. How do I know if I'm depressed? I talk to my partner, or someone on 7 Cups, let them know how I'm feeling, and in talking to them I can figure it out. I'd recommend seeing a therapist if you think you might be depressed for more than a few days/weeks.

March 11th, 2016 1:21pm

If im sad or depressed i know because i shut my self away from my family and lock my bedroom door. It Sometimes comes along at times when i least expect it...

March 11th, 2016 9:14pm

There are several kinds of depression but the common thing is that you feel sad, sick and empty. If you are watching tv, you would just keep staring at it. Even if you are smiling you aren't actually happy. You feel like lying down all the time and every small task would seem huge. You may even be sleep deprived. You also start avoiding social situations. It may take days, months or even years to come back to normal. If these apply to you then you are depressed and must talk to a councelor. immediately.

May 1st, 2015 12:48am

I too have had the same problem. I would suggest going to therapy to talk about your feelings and they can also help distinguish if you have depression or not :)

May 22nd, 2015 10:02pm

Depressed is when the sadness happens frequently and if you're sad at a certain high level. Depression could also mean that the sadness is affecting your life. You can also try to understand if you have depression with the symptoms or talking about it to a professional counselor or therapist.

May 24th, 2015 8:23pm

If you are depressed, than you are thinking about suicide, you loosing your sene of lfe and you also loosing your apetite, if you are sad than you are just sad..

June 14th, 2015 1:10pm

Sadness usually has a reason behind it, depression can come and go but doesn't need an actual reason to get you down, but it will make you feel like things are going badly so it can be hard for the sufferer to tell. The best way to tell would be to talk to someone who knows, either on this site or a doctor or someone you know who's had depression.

June 20th, 2015 3:09pm

It is something that I can't answer for sure, but depression is generally more constant and debilitating than being sad. If you think you might be depressed it may be a good idea for you to talk to a therapist.

June 20th, 2015 4:21pm

There are differences between being depressed and being sad. Being sad is usually a feeling that is a result of a situation or cause. Being depressed is a constant feeling that occurs without reason. Being depressed takes over your life even when you feel like you should be happy. Sadness is temporary, depression is not.

June 21st, 2015 5:31am

when you're depressed, you had no interest in life or doing anything you actually love to do. but when you're sad, you'll still have interest doing your hobby and actually feel better after that.

June 21st, 2015 4:43pm

When you're sad, it's usually because of something, like a breakup or a bad test grade, but depression is a mental disorder where you're sad with no real reason. Sadness goes away, but depression doesn't if it's untreated.

July 18th, 2015 10:24pm

sadness tends to come in waves. Being depressed sticks around. when you are depressed, you don't want to get out of bed. i've had a sadness that has lasted for 2 or 3 days, but depression lasts for weeks or months.

August 6th, 2015 12:23am

Sadness eventually fades, just like any other feeling. When you are depressed, feelings like sadness stick around way longer then they should. You may have lost interest in things you previously loved when depressed, or don't feel the need to do much of anything. It's important to let someone know how you are feeling, in whatever way is best for you!

December 11th, 2015 8:24pm

When you are sad it is a temporary thing that happens for a reason, something has happened that has made you feel this way, when you are depressed it is an ongoing wave of different negative emotions that sometimes will come for no reason.

February 5th, 2016 1:37am

Time and intensity. Depression is an intense sadness, typically lasting for months to years and often reoccurring without apparent cause.

February 6th, 2016 3:34am

Being depressed is when you withdraw from the things you enjoyed doing and withdraw from spending time with family and friends and having no desire to do anything for an extended period of time. Being sad is usually temporary and doesn't affect our daily routine.

February 10th, 2016 4:00pm

If your sad, it goes away faster and is not as temporary. Depressed makes you feel like you cant do anything.

February 10th, 2016 5:52pm

Sadness is a normal human reaction however depression is an illness which affects your thinking, learning and other types of things. You will know by going to your GP and telling them about your symptoms, for example crying all night every night. Your doctor will tell you if you're depressed, otherwise you might just be sad. There is no real way of telling if you're sad or not yourself. That is in my opinion anyway.

March 23rd, 2016 12:58am

Sadness and Depression are two different things. Depression is a more serious mental illness where you get to the point that you can no longer eat, your body hurts physically, and you get sad and feel lonely on a series of episodes. Depression is more severe.

April 23rd, 2016 10:38pm

Being sad is usually only once, it can be sad over something, for a few minutes, hours, days. Being depressed is when you are upset a lot, even with no reason and you get tired of trying to make yourself happy. You lose hope a lot and can't be bothered doing fun activities you enjoyed in the past. There is a big difference between being sad and depressed

June 5th, 2016 3:53am

It can be hard to know the difference for sure! The main differences between the two, for me, is 1) how severe the sadness is and 2) how constant it is. If you feel sad after you get a bad grade, or have an argument and emotion hangs round, that ok, we can talk to you about that. However, if you wake up feeling anxious or really down for no apparent reason, if its very hard to lift your mood or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself, this is a clear indication of depression. We here at 7 cups are still here to help and support you always, we will talk to you about possible steps to get you feeling the way you deserve! Either way, feeling said isn't fun, so take a look at the listeners and give one a message, we are here to help!

October 17th, 2016 3:45am

Sadness is controllable. you will feel sad for a small while and you will return to normal. Depression on the other hand drags you so far down that its very heard to get out of unless you surroud yourself with people who care about you, and if need be, get the medication you need

Recent Answers
December 22nd, 2017 5:11am

Sadness is a temporary emotion and is experienced by practically everyone at at least one time in their life. Depression is sadness that is constant (typically 6 months or more), severe and unrelenting and can sometimes have no noticeable cause. There may also be weight/appetite changes, over/under sleeping, thoughts of hurting oneself, lack of interest in hobbies and inability to concentrate. If your feelings match the second definition, consider asking for support and/or professional help.

December 9th, 2017 6:46pm

I need help.

November 9th, 2017 10:34am

I don't know if I'm depressed because I'll feel extremely low for a certain amount of days or weeks but then I'll have like 2 happy days or something then I feel like everything's getting better but then I go back to the way I normally feel (low) or a few more days or weeks. So I'll have really bad days but also really good days but generally I've been feeling low for over 2 years now

September 11th, 2017 1:37pm

If you feel withdrawn from close friends and family and if you do not enjoy your favorite activities you may be depressed. Also a lack of I retest in eating or caring for yourself may also be a sign of depression.

April 16th, 2017 11:42am

for me depression is feeling lonely even though there are people to give you suggestion but you end up doing what you want, and then regret. feeling suicidal wishing no more mornings feeling like crying to the topmost.

April 4th, 2017 6:05pm

You can't really know if you are not diagnosed. I recommend the youtube video "Sadness vs depression" by The Mighty. Depression is like a sustainable weight while sadness is a temporary feeling that is more easily fixed by fun. Do some research and if you are worried, go reach out for professional help!

February 28th, 2017 5:51pm

when im feeling really down and lost hope of everything couldnt bother about anything, when you just feel really numb and emotionless, or when you cry at night

February 1st, 2017 8:24am

Depresion afects every aspect of your life. You are not sad or worried about something in specific but about all at the same time. You don't like yourself, your feelings, your life choices. You might think that nobody valuates you or even that they would be happier without you. It is a mental disease that needs to be treated with suport of others as it isolates you from other people.

September 20th, 2016 11:49pm

The best way is to keep a log of your thoughts and emotions throughout the day and then consult a physician and discuss what you have written down with them.

August 26th, 2016 10:55pm

Sadness doesn't usually last for more than 2 weeks. But someone can be depressed for months, or years. Depression usually consists of more than just sadness. There's also the feeling of lost, numb, etc.

August 26th, 2016 2:03am

Technically, depression has a specific set of criteria outlined by the DSM. Sadness can be a component of depression, but it is not a requirement. Some people feel irritated or agitated or angry. Some people feel nothing at all. If you are concerned about how you feel, seek the help of a health professional.

July 16th, 2016 5:25pm

Inside sadness, pain and lonlyness mixed with sense of shame and fear, lack of energy and ideas. It's like some kind of living monster growing inside of the body breathing my oxigen. The biggest problem I ever faced in my entire life. But asking for real professional help made me feel again and I was born again.

July 5th, 2016 12:05am

Sad is when you can actually feel sadness. Depression takes it deeper you sleep longer, start to feel less, start to care about nothing. It catches you so hard you don't realize.

June 10th, 2016 2:16am

Tell someone how you feel, tell someone who can help. Maybe go to therapy to make you feel better so you won't be neither sad nor depressed and be happyyy

June 8th, 2016 10:04pm

Person may feel sad at times when things don't work out as expected but that should finish with time but if this sadness continues it becomes depression which is not normal.

June 5th, 2016 4:47am

Sadness is a temporary feeling, depression is longer term (not forever). I have to often separate the two for myself. Just stop and think to yourself "Okay self, how long have I been sad for? Is this an ongoing feeling?"

June 5th, 2016 4:35am

If you feel unmotivated or can't get out of bed. There is a distinction between sadness and depression. Life seems hopeless and you can't find a way out. That is when you know you must reach out to someone.

April 21st, 2016 5:30pm

Being sad is usually only once, it can be sad over something, for a few minutes, hours, days. Being depressed is when you are upset a lot, even with no reason and you get tired of trying to make yourself happy. You lose hope a lot and can't be bothered doing fun activities you enjoyed in the past. There is a big difference between being sad and depressed

April 1st, 2016 11:48pm

No one on the internet can really give you a real diagnosis, so you should definitely go to the psychologist if you have a serious concern.

March 31st, 2016 7:49pm

Nothing feels important, you feel useless, life feels empty. It's like the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry

March 23rd, 2016 1:05am

Know what you are capable of and know what really saddens you and find out what is your attitude at all when problems come into your life.

March 20th, 2016 3:23pm

If you're sad or depressed, you will find the signs in your routine behavior itself, e.g., having a low self-esteem, worrying a lot, analyzing situations on an 'either or nothing' basis, withdrawal from activities which once looked enjoyable, getting irritated on the slightest pretexts accompanied by, in some cases, appetite loss or binge eating.

March 19th, 2016 8:11pm

When im sad or depressed i lose interest in things i once enjoyed. I normally stay in and not reach out

March 18th, 2016 5:04pm

Feelings of sadness and depression are both normal human emotions. When your feelings of sadness or depression become clinical is when these feelings persist for 2 weeks or more and interfere with your daily life functioning

March 17th, 2016 3:23am

When I start shutting everyone else out and all you can think about is how nobody loves you or that they never care

March 16th, 2016 10:47pm

You could go to your doctor and talk to he/she about it and get a second opinion or see what they think :)

March 13th, 2016 11:32pm

You will know it because you will stay sad for a long period of time or longer and nothing would cheer you up and nothing interests you.

March 13th, 2016 7:25pm

Sadness will feel like any other emotion - no stronger. Sadness doesn't stop you from participating in, or enjoying your usual activities, but depression can. Sadness may come and go, but depression can be a little harder to get rid of.

March 12th, 2016 6:34am

depression is more of a long term feeling. talk to your doctor about how you feel or try 7cups

March 11th, 2016 3:56pm

Feeling down, feeling worthless, feeling like nothing will get better, feeling like you're a burden to everyone including friends and family.