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

339 Answers
Last Updated: 11/19/2020 at 9:56pm
How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?
★ This question about Depression was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
January 3rd, 2016 6:13am
You can tell you have/getting depression with these symptoms: *NOTE* These are just my symptoms, depression is different for everyone, meaning it can be completely different for you. Find it hard to enjoy hobbies you regularly do Wanting to spend more time alone than usual (Even if you're an introvert like me, you can still not want too speak to others even more than usual) Less appetite A lot of tiredness, pretty much all the time Feeling empty, or as if you dont have a meaning or purpose Feeling as if you have an anchor in your chest, weighing you down all the time. Forcing yourself out of bed, instead of wanting to get out yourself. Wanting to cry a lot more Nothing makes you happy Distancing yourself from others Feeling completely alone, even if you are talking to someone, or in a room with others. Feeling hopeless. Some severe cases: Wanting to hurt yourself. Wanting to end yourself.
January 3rd, 2016 1:36pm
If you are depressed, you will feel tired a lot, and sad all the time maybe you just want to cry all the time. You might have suicidal feelings and feel extremely lonely
January 3rd, 2016 3:29pm
When negative, sad emotions have lasted for longer than it feels they should do, and they are getting in the way of every day life, that's depression. Sadness is actually a small part of depression. Depression often entails little pleasure and interest in doing things, hopelessness, and the feeling that you can't escape. There also tends to be physical symptoms, for example over or under appetite. A good indicator of your emotional wellbeing is the 7 Cups Emotional Wellness test, which you can find at Note that none of this is substitute to a licensed practicioner.
January 5th, 2016 6:37am
Honestly? I have no idea lol. sorry for the unhelpfulness..
January 6th, 2016 4:47am
I won't eat or do anything. I'll just sit in my room lost in my thoughts crying my eyes out. It's and empty feeling I can't get rid of
January 6th, 2016 10:24pm
Sadness and depression usually go hand in hand but there will be a reason why you are sad, which as a result will make you feel depressed.
January 7th, 2016 11:02pm
Everyone experiences sadness at one point or another. It is completely natural to cry in the face of intense emotion or tragedy, or sometimes for little reason at all. However, when sadness is accompanied by other symptoms such as isolation, weight gain/loss, and lasts for at least 2 or 3 weeks you could have depression. Don't be afraid to reach out for comfort and help when you're sad, and especially if you're experiencing depression.
January 8th, 2016 2:52pm
Well, in my opinion theres a huge difference. Being sad is normal, everyone gets sad now and then like maybe something happened and that upset you but after a while you'll go back to feeling okay again. Being sad will last a little bit but you'll be fine afterwards but depression (from my personal experience), it's like, this dark cloud is constantly following you around. You have no motivation to do anything, you feel down for no reason, life feels like it has no type of meaning anymore, sometimes you'll cry and you won't know why and you feel like its impossible to ever be happy again, you really feel like your life is hell.
January 8th, 2016 8:00pm
For me, when I'm sad, it's more of an emotional symptom, whereas depression is more of a mental symptom. When I'm sad, I feel it in my gut, my emotions, my memories. It's a visceral feeling of remorse, whereas when I feel depressed it is usually because I am processing from my past and it seems to originate more in my mental state of being. In other words, when I am depressed, it is because a part of my mental character is being re-calibrated and when I'm sad it's because I'm clearing old emotions.
January 9th, 2016 3:52am
Sadness feels specific- you are sorrowful about something that happened or something you are thinking about. Sadness is something that can improve fairly quickly with support from friends and enough time to let whatever is making you sad diminish in its scope. Depression, on the other hand, is a lackluster often nonspecific feeling that overtakes the entire experience a person is having their life. It is hard to find any joy in anything, there is a feeling of hopelessness, sometimes suicidal thoughts. Depression often does not respond to well meaning friends who try to "cheer you up".
January 9th, 2016 8:12am
some days you may feel like your sad or upset when a lot of good things are happening. some days may seem cloudy but just remember, you WILL get through it!
January 9th, 2016 7:44pm
Sadness happens to a lot of people, but depression lasts longer and occurs over several weeks. Individuals who are experiencing depression have a hard time getting out of bed and don't enjoy things they normally would.
January 9th, 2016 10:23pm
Because I've been acting strange lately and not the same,I feel very low and I feel sad and upset all the time
January 9th, 2016 10:24pm
"Ugh. I'm depressed." We've all said it, and even the most happy-go-lucky among us will have an occasional bout of the blues. Sometimes it's the big stuff that triggers it—like getting fired, losing a loved one, or splitting up with your spouse—but often enough, feeling low can come from things as simple as a Grey's Anatomy rerun, crappy weather, or a rough night's sleep. But does that mean you’re actually depressed? Quite the fine line between these two states of being.For most of us, these feelings come and go. But when sadness persists for more than two weeks and affects your ability to function at work, at home, or in other aspects of your life, you may have what's known as major, or clinical, depression.
January 10th, 2016 1:22pm
i recommande to have a talk with yourself . why am i not happy ? ask yourself ... if you find an answer(i just broke up , familly problems..) then you're sad .. and since you found the problem it's easier to find a solution now ...if you're had hurts and you found no reason why you're feeling that way .. you're mostly depressed and you need someone to regenerate your cheerfullness that's all
January 10th, 2016 8:59pm
Your activity, your sleeping schedule, your lack of sleep. Your eating habits. Your conversations. Your absence from everyone, friends. The lack of taking care of your own self, all things related to that.
January 13th, 2016 2:46am
Everyone gets sad every once in awhile. Its just apart of life. Depresseion is the feeling or sadness over a long period of time, beng lethargic, having little to no motivation to do anything.
January 13th, 2016 10:59am
Sadness is normal human feeling which you have when something in your life isn't going right (if you had an argument with your best friend/gf/bf, or if you lost someone close to you etc.). Depression usually follows after experiencing something that made you feel sad but that feeling doesn't seem to go away and soon you become sad even though everything might go right in your life and you might be successful. So if you're experiencing constant feelings of sadness without any explanation you might have depression.
January 14th, 2016 11:26pm
Its a feeling you have. Depression last longer. Its a lack of motivation. Sadness is about a specific thing that happened.
January 16th, 2016 5:44am
Sadness happens to everyone, but it usually passes given time. If your feelings of sadness linger, are excessive, or interfere with your work, sleep, or recreation, if you’re feeling fatigue or worthlessness, or experiencing weight changes along with your sadness, you may have depression. Get a proper diagnosis by a health professional to be sure.
January 16th, 2016 4:24pm
Well.... If you are sad a lot and thing offend make you sad easily then I would defiantly consider it. But mainly if something is really getting to you all the time and you always think of it e.g stress or a person. But try to notice mood changes and to ask people if you have acted or been different
January 17th, 2016 4:35pm
Sadness and depression , two words to be mixed with each other most times , but what the fact is sadness can only be a PART of depression , as depression itself comprises more than one feeling like sadness , guilt , hopelessness , anxiety also can accompany the term " depression " ...Both depression and sadness can come from events that may have negative impacts on that person ,but what should be considered is that sadness can only last for a short period of that event as how its impact diminishes on that person , but depression , can last for a longer period , also depression if had significant affects on the daily life of the sufferer and was characterized with continuity it may turn to a disorder known as " MDD " major depressive disorder .
January 18th, 2016 4:35pm
- Struggle to complete activities - Always feel like I'm not good enough - Loses interest in favorite past times
January 21st, 2016 11:43pm
When you're sad, you're... well, sad. But when you're depressed, it's another story. When you're depressed, you hate yourself, you want to get away from people, you feel empty, and angry.
January 22nd, 2016 5:55pm
You're going to feel tired, like the whole world is against you, maybe even like you need to hurt yourself. If this is the case, just know that hurting yourself isn't going to numb the pain, it'll make it worse. So, talk to somebody (a counselor, parent, adult, friend, etc) .
January 23rd, 2016 7:29am
Depression is not sadness. Depression is feeling everything then nothing all at once. Its hating yourself every second of every day. You don't think of yourself as you, you think of yourself as your flaws. Depression takes away all hope and self esteem. Sadness and depression are very different.
January 23rd, 2016 6:25pm
if you are ssad or depressed you will know you will sit alone, never go out cant concentrate stop eating properly crying for no reason.
January 23rd, 2016 10:56pm
To me,being "sad "only happens for a short period time and being "depressed" is like you feel you have no energy to do whatsoever everyday and you lock yourself up from outside.
January 23rd, 2016 11:29pm
If you have been sad non-stop for a long period of time, then you are in depression and if you felt sadness for one day or so, it means you are sad, not depressed
January 24th, 2016 11:02pm
Depression is not a choise, its a complex of medical disorders. And sadness is a fleeting thing, when you remember something sad. Think of good, do something that will cheer you up.