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I feel sad a lot, unmotivated, and I often can't stop crying for many hours. But I sleep and eat decently and I also can smile or laugh sometimes. Am I depressed or just sad?

274 Answers
Last Updated: 01/06/2022 at 8:24am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Catherine Demirdogucu, Level 4 Diploma with Merit. CBT and Mindfulness Practitioner.


It takes courage and strength to seek help. My desire is to help my clients express themselves and grow in confidence, my support is offered in a nonjudgmental manner.

Top Rated Answers
July 19th, 2016 12:33am
You don't have to have all of the symptoms of depression in order to be diagnosed with it. Feeling sad, lack of motivation, and crying are some of the major signs of depression. But many people have depression and are able to smile and laugh. It is important to check with your doctor if you are concerned you may have depression.
October 28th, 2016 4:40am
Author and public speaker Andrew Solomon describes the differences between sadness and depression very accurately in my opinion. He talks of grief, sadness, and depression, and the differences between these three similar feelings. If you have suffered some catastrophic loss (the death of a loved one, the death of a pet, a breakup, moving to another town, etc.) and you feel deeply sad about it, that feeling is grief. If, after a few months, you are still saddened by your loss, but you can still function in normal day-to-day life and still feel happy at times, then you are typically not depressed, and your grief will ultimately resolve itself given enough time. On the other hand, if after a few months of your loss, you are overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, despair, and crippling sadness--so much so that it feels like a struggle just to get through your days--then you are probably experiencing depression that was triggered by your catastrophic loss. I really like this way of thinking that Andrew Solomon presents. It is totally normal to be sad, unmotivated, and alone sometimes. Even crying for long periods of time is normal--often this just means that you're a sensitive person with a big heart. But if such sadness is affecting you in such a way as to negatively impact all aspects of your life, then your sadness may be depression. I understand how hard it can be to distinguish the differences between sadness and depression. In everyday language, we tend to use the word "depressed" to describe both a boy that didn't get the toy he wanted on his birthday, and a girl moments before she takes her own life. Granted, these two feelings are related in a way, but they are related rather distantly. It's comparable to the difference between a house with an iron fence that occasionally gathers some rust that the owner has to polish away every now and then, and a house with an iron fence that is left to completely rust over the duration of many decades, such that the fence looks almost nothing like it once was.
July 29th, 2016 11:59am
If you're generally running on low-energy levels, cannot feel enthusiasm for tasks/hobbies that you would generally enjoy and can't remember the last time you were truly happy or content then you might have depression. You probably should to ask a professional who can know more about your everyday behavior about your symptoms to give you a better answer. I've heard about a term called 'walking depression' which has the symptoms you are portraying. Depression can come in any form and for any reason or length of time. You may have only have mild depression but you can and should treat it. Sites like these also help a lot in that respect.
August 21st, 2016 7:09pm
Being depressed doesn't always mean that you can't feel good sometimes or have a heavy influence on sleeping and eating. These are just symptoms. You might eat more when you're depressed or not eat at all. You might sleep even more than you used to when you're depressed or you might turn into an insomniac. What your description is (sad, unmotivated and crying) can definitely be depression and probably is. Depression may or may not cause any change in your diet or sleeping habits. In fact. some people can be internally depressed while following their normal cycle everyday, so it's more of what happens on the inside than outside.
July 22nd, 2016 4:38am
You have either depression, or bipolar depression. If you need someone to talk to, send me a personalized request! I'd love to help you.
July 31st, 2016 2:25pm
It really doesn't matter if you call it depression or not. What matters is if it is a problem in your life. Do you struggle most days? Is it imparing your everyday life? Than you have a problem. We can't diagnose you trough the computer but if it is imparing your everyday life and/or you have it most days and it's troubling you. Than you should seek help. What it's called doesn't really matter but depression isn't excluded
July 21st, 2016 2:16am
I'd say you're depressed, but you shouldn't take an opinion from me, you should go to a doctor. Depression has different symptoms for everyone. Yours may be mild, but it still looks like it's there.
July 31st, 2016 10:10pm
It depends. If you've been feeling this way for a long time (More than a week) and it isn't in result to a tragic event, you're depressed. If you are sad over a breakup. death, or other uncomfortable change, you're sad. Many depressed people can't seem to find out why they're sad. There's usually no reason...just a chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression is a disease, sadness is a feeling.
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
July 23rd, 2016 2:04am
Depression comes in many forms and change from time to time - its difficult to say you are a depressed or sad without a professional's opinion. You can depressed and still feel joy at times. Everyone has their own unique experiences of depression
July 22nd, 2016 1:47pm
You can sleep and laugh you are happy just don't make your brain feel that you are sad thats what i see just try to feel the happiness it will come for you
July 23rd, 2016 2:16pm
Depression isn't an all or nothing thing. It's common for depressed people to feel okay for certain periods. You can rate your mood on a scale of one to ten, with 10 being the best you've ever felt, and one being the worst you can imagine feeling. If you spend a significant amount of time around, say, 5, and your okay periods are less than 9, then it sounds like you're depressed. In any case, there's nothing wrong with seeing someone to get evaluated.
July 27th, 2016 4:19pm
Wether your depressed or sad usually has to do with how long you've been feeling this way. If your thinking you might be depressed, I urge you to go see your doctor, so that they can properly diagnose you.
July 8th, 2018 1:45pm
Is there something that has happened recently? Something that might be made you feel that way? Because I've felt that way too and the reason why I did was because I didn't like what I was doing. I was forced to join a course that I had no interest in doing and that made me very unhappy. But please do know that being depressed doesn't always mean you have to cry all the time, or starve youself, etc. You can still smile and laugh from time to time. Now I wouldn't go as far as to say that you're clinically depressed, because I'm not qualified to answer that. But you can talk to one of us, and we could perhaps help you out.
September 8th, 2016 6:33am
I cannot give a solid diagnosis, but you're sounding more sad than depressed. Although, you do sound like you get upset very easy and it may be worthwhile to go and see your local doctor.
June 5th, 2020 8:55pm
It depends, if you have been feeling this way for a long time or just a little bit. Also there are different types of depression, situational and persistent. Persistent means you've had it for very long and it wasn't caused by a certain event or factor, and it generally lasts for very long. Situational is caused when you have gone through some sort of hard event that is making you upset. It is important to note that situational depression also lasts for a while. In order to diagnose you you would need to know how long you have been feeling this way and if you know why.
July 24th, 2016 10:01pm
It's difficult to answer your question. I'm sorry you feel that way. The best person who can advise you is a GP or medical professional. If you need someone to talk to; please do not hesitate to speak to a listener in the meantime.
July 31st, 2016 11:17am
Depression is more of continual sadness, one which the person feels trapped. Depression is usually an extended diagnosis of a set period of weeks. Depression doesn't mean you will be deprived of sleep, nor does it mean you can't laugh. I hope this helps you, good luck.
November 5th, 2017 2:29am
First, anyone who does have a diagnosis of depression can (and some do) laugh and smile at things. Second, I am not a diagnostician or a psychiatrist or even a medical/family practice doctor. So I have no solid way to *know* if you are depressed or often sad. However, in my experiences, those with a diagnosis of depression, it can overtake their lives. Depression can make very simple, every day tasks seem unbearable; things like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, choosing what to have for breakfast. Depression, I think, can be classified as "please, friend, go talk with your doctor about this" when it affects your daily life. There are so many variables to consider! So unfortunately from just your question here, it would not be prudent for me to answer depressed or just sad. Perhaps you could check out the Depression Sub Community we have here at 7cups or get in touch with the certified therapists here or at your home.
April 27th, 2018 10:04pm
you very well could be depressed. now, that may be a bit difficult to hear, but help is available in many forms. online and in book stores you can ind many self help books that specifically address depression. therapists can also help you in this regard
April 29th, 2018 9:29pm
Hey,Symptoms of depression vary from person to person.even though you seem to be getting proper sleep and food patterns are still the same it still could be depression if you cry randomly,feeling unmotivated or lose of joy in activities you once enjoyed,numb feeling even when the day seemed to be okay then there is a high chance that you are suffering from clinical depression. there is a fine line differentiating depression and sadness depending upon how long you are feeling this way. if it was for few days its just sadness but if your feeling this way for more than two weeks its depression Hopefully i cleared your doubt. Take care.
June 9th, 2018 12:09am
Not all symptoms of depression (such as poor sleeping and eating habits) are found in all people with the disorder. I am no doctor, and it would be irresponsible for me to tell you as such, however, you do have some of the potential symptoms. Depression, does not always affect someone 24/7 as well; you can still feel joy at times, although it is usually with friends. If you are concerned, I recommend you ask your doctor or a professional.
June 20th, 2018 7:59pm
When you're depressed you are not always sad all the time. Some people's depression is worse than other's. If you really want to know if you are actually depressed, I suggest going to a therapist and asking them for help. Good luck!
June 29th, 2018 11:27pm
It sounds like you’re going through a tough time. I used to feel the same. Don’t worry you will get through it. Being sad sometimes is completely natural.
July 28th, 2018 9:48am
Depression is something that lasts over a long period of time while sadness is temporary. However, there could be other things that could cause this, such as bipolar, hypothyroidism, and more. The best thing to do if you are ever questioning if you have depression or any other mental illness is to talk to your doctor.
March 9th, 2019 1:18pm
The first part of the question refers to some true emotional pain. Sleeping and eating decently show that it's not very severe but more moderate. Although do remember you do not need to fit all the criteria to be depressed but it does beg the question and it also depends on how long you've had these happening, is there a trigger or not etc Factor these in, depression stops you from living a fairly normal life with daily activities such as studying, concentration, enjoying things you like to do (hobbies for example), going out with friends... Sadness can be intense but it doesn't last for really long, every day and doesn't stop you from having a fairly normal life Hope this helped you!
July 21st, 2016 2:48am
well think of it like this depression is a genetic disorder and symptoms may appear at an stage in life. i used to have the same issues but they soon passed so maybe you are just sad.
July 24th, 2016 11:18pm
You are you, and that's okay. Labels are exhausting, so why place them upon yourself? As long as you're healthy and unharmed, you're okay. Setting positive goals is a great way to try and motivate yourself.
July 28th, 2016 3:14pm
Can be either. Depression manifests itself in many different forms and its symptoms may change by the individuals personality.
July 29th, 2016 7:36pm
Depression comes with all different symptoms, so it's important to go see a doctor for a true diagnosis. Taking quizzes online could maybe sway you into considering seeing a doctor but will not give you a full diagnosis.
July 30th, 2016 10:23am
i think you are just sad because if you would be depressed you couldnt laugh or smile and sleeping well or eat decently.