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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
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.
January 5th, 2016 11:27pm
If you always think of the negative things of life, if you are always blue, if you don't have anything that makes you happy
January 6th, 2016 12:18am
When you're sad it's easier to pinpoint what it's about. When you're depressed you sometimes don't know why. You have a hard time seeing how it could get better & maybe even feel like it never will. You might also feel like nothing's worth working at or caring about. Depressed is when the sad takes over all your thinking. You can drown it out though by filling your life with people & activities that make you happy
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 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 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.
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
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!
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
December 9th, 2017 6:46pm
I need help.
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.
February 7th, 2018 4:45pm
Being sad is a feeling, which is "fleeting", can be remedied easier, and it's usually easy to see the reason why you are sad. For example, you can be sad because you have been planning to go to the beach with friends, but on the day itself, it rained so hard that you had to cancel it. Being depressed has to do with your mood, which is long-lasting and more general. You can say that feelings are like the weather while your mood is more like the season. If it's summer, it is generally hot. However, there is still the possibility of rain. Going back to the example about going to the beach: it would take so much effort to even start planning. You feel like you don't have the energy to think about where to go. You feel like you are being a burden just by asking friends to go out with you. And when it rains on the day itself after months of struggling to make the plan, it just rains and everything is ruined. You feel like you the world is telling you that you don't deserve to be happy, and so it decided to cast rain right on the day you were finally able to plan to go out of your room.
April 24th, 2015 6:32pm
Many times there is a reason for when you are sad. Being depressed is most likely a disease, but I do agree, they do most of the time feel the same.
June 19th, 2015 4:20am
Depression quite nearly sucks the life out of everything. It is constant and obstructive , while sadness is temporary, it does not make your life seem dull and only mildly obtrusive.
June 19th, 2015 5:05am
Depression and sadness can seem similar, but are two different things. When you're depressed, you are sad, but when you're sad, you're not automatically depressed. I would suggest talking to a doctor, they can help diagnose you with depression if necesarry.
June 19th, 2015 7:13am
Depression is something that is constant. It keeps on coming back and it doesn't go away very often.
June 19th, 2015 11:54pm
For one thing, depression tends to last a lot longer than just being sad does. You could also see an expert and they will consider whether anything in the environment in which you live might have just made you sad or not.
June 20th, 2015 9:24am
You feel like you can't function getting out of bed is hard. Never having energy frequent crying sadness
June 20th, 2015 10:03am
Losing all interest in doing the easiest things you used to do prior to an incident, is a clear dead giveaway.
June 20th, 2015 10:22pm
It's becomes very difficult for a normal person to distinguish between depression and sadness. These are two are completely different things, if you're depressed, there are a lot symptoms that are there, sadness is temporary but when a person is depressed, he/she will not be able to stay happy even when he wants to, there will be no reason to be sad. If you're still in doubt, you can even consult a doctor in that case.
June 24th, 2015 1:29am
if you have lost interest in things that typically bring you pleasure and just generally feel down for at least a couple of weeks there is a good chance you are suffering from depression.
June 24th, 2015 4:39am
If you are sad you are usually sad for a short time until you are happy again and you get cheered up. Depression is where you are sad all the time and you can't find happiness and its almost like your in a long dark tunnel and can't find the light
June 24th, 2015 10:14am
I use my brain, and ask myself if there REALLY is something bad, terribly sad happening in my life.... Depression has an all consuming feel about it, a gloomy shroud that covers experience and distorts vision, but always seems to be glaringly true. It isn't. And now what helps me is I always know it will pass.
June 24th, 2015 9:23pm
sadness happens to everybody but usually clears up in about a week, but if your symptoms of sadness last for a few weeks to maybe even a few months then you may have deppresion
June 25th, 2015 1:55am
If your sadness and low feelings persist for a prolonged period of time. It effects your day to day life, and your plans. It doesn't seem to go away; it's constant and heavy.
June 25th, 2015 4:42am
Usually everyone experience sadness at different times in our lives however, depression is a disorder that does not allow you to function as you normally do. If you find difficulties in acomplishing what used to be easy for you, or things that you used to enjoy are not cutting it anymore might be some signs that you are dealing with more than just sadness. The best course of action is to go to an specialist if you are concerned