Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

What is the difference between sadness and depression?

188 Answers
Last Updated: 05/20/2019 at 9:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2005 with a diverse group of clients, all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
November 19th, 2014 8:23pm
Alot of people feel down and upset because of something that's happened. These people get over their worry and continue with their lives. However, when you are depressed you feel down and tires and worthless, and a lot of the time, you dont even know why. People with depression tend to blame problems on themselves and keep their pain and sadness to themselves.
June 14th, 2015 12:51am
Sadness is just one of the emotions like happiness. Everyone has emotions and its just normal to feel low or high sometimes. But depression is being in constant in sadness state of mind. It effects you negatively. Worsens your abilities. Blocks your thinking and mind. Consequently, it destroys you gradually.
June 21st, 2015 5:16pm
Sadness is a normal emotion that humans experience and go through. It can last a long time, but it doesn't take up every moment of most days of your life. Sadness can be relieved. There can be positivity. However, depression makes it almost impossible to feel positive, even for a short moment. Depression is constant negativity.
December 23rd, 2015 10:30am
I´m not an expert, so I really can explain the real difference, but I found this article that might help you to understand the main differences. Hope it useful:
January 13th, 2016 4:27am
Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental state that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything.
January 13th, 2016 3:48pm
Sadness can be fleeting, depression stays with you for a long time until you can find ways to manage your depression.
February 6th, 2016 2:38pm
Sadness comes and goes, depression is with you all the time
February 11th, 2016 2:42am
Sadness is when you feel hurtful, disappointment because of something and will fade/ over time and is a normal emotion. Depression is when you feel worthless, suicidal, remorse, etc. And it is a mental illness which is abnormal as an emotion, it happen when you experience a great problem that affect the way you think
September 13th, 2014 1:30am
Sadness is something you feel in response to something that happens. Depression might not be that simple for many people. It can be without a reason, and can last a long time. Someone who is depressed may not even feel sad. Some people with depression feel nothing (anhedonia), or a lack of motivation.
September 13th, 2014 10:21am
Sadness lasts shorter than depression and it is usually associated with some specific situation while depression lasts at least 2 weeks and it doesn't depend on our situation.
September 18th, 2014 2:19am
Sadness is something that will come and go but depression is dark and takes a hold of you without your knowledge and consumes you until you seek help.
September 23rd, 2014 7:31pm
Sadness is emotion deppression is something deeper. It's like sick. You can't eat, you don't want to talk and you hide in yourself. Sadness is feeling. You can feel it when you suffer for deppression.
October 2nd, 2014 7:23pm
Sadness is a feeling you get based on an event. Like if a parent dies, or if you fail an exam. Depression is something you live with, something that is part of you, something that you have to battle on a daily basis. Depression is something deep rooted within yourself that makes you sad.
April 4th, 2015 9:42pm
Sadness is an emotion, whereas depression is a type of mental illness that requires treatment. It also lasts longer than sadness.
May 2nd, 2015 10:23am
A sadness will pass, sadness is typically overcome and you can feel happy again relatively quickly (anywhere between a day to a month). Depression is the constant lack of happiness that comes with feelings of worthlessness, that is generally longer than sadness.
August 10th, 2015 12:29pm
Sadness is feeling low, down, probably mildly over-thinking about something but still not interfere too much with your daily life. Depression is a sensation of numbness, beyond sad, and usually constant. Over-think things to the point where it severely interfere your daily functions
August 24th, 2015 10:31am
Sadness is temporary, ephemeral and usually in response to a specific stimulus, while depression is all-encompassing and can be severe.
September 3rd, 2015 11:02am
Depression is sadness towards yourself. Sadness is being upset by another topic.
November 2nd, 2015 7:06pm
I think that depression has more of a numbness or emptiness to it, and sadness is more of a general feeling to it. When you're sad, you want to cry- And when you're depressed you feel more heavy and empty.
November 30th, 2015 3:12pm
Mood: a low intensity emotional state; is duration can be hours or even days. An emotion last only seconds or hours. Sadness can be an emotion or a mood, depression is a pathology; mainly the difference can be notice in: the duration and the intensity. Depression is an often misunderstood disorder and people don't know how incapacitating can be. If you suspect you are suffering from depression, you can do an online depression test , I recommend the "Beck's depression inventory", if you score very high I strongly recommend you seek some form of help. If you want more information you can watch this video:
December 10th, 2015 12:17am
Depression causes problems with regard to a person's functioning. And the symptoms of depression typically last at least two weeks or longer. And then Sadness is one the of the symptoms of depression, but with depression you have more than just sadness.
December 11th, 2015 12:45pm
Sadness is a normal human emotional whereas depression is a mental illness. Lots of people think they're depressed when having a sad spell
December 11th, 2015 9:19pm
In a word? Longevity. Sadness can certainly feel like depression, but it doesn't last nearly as long
December 11th, 2015 11:24pm
Sadness isn't persistent and can be turned around fairly easily than depression. with depression you have appetite changes and sleep pattern changes, you also stop enjoying things that you used to like before and feel extremely drained of energy and fatigued.
December 12th, 2015 2:22pm
As I see it, when you're sad; well you're sad. Feeling down, unhappy maybe you feel like crying. But when you're depressed you don't feel sad in the same way. Sure you might be sad but you can't feel it, in fact depression leaves you unable to feel emotions in some cases. You could say depression is an upgraded version of sadness.
December 12th, 2015 3:19pm
Depression is continuation of sadness that can't be lifted, like atlas carrying the weight of whole world.
December 12th, 2015 4:33pm
The difference between sadness and depression is that sadness is something that everyone experiences as a natural emotion, but depression is something which you feel down and sometimes you can't help it no matter if you have happy things in your life, it is to do with chemicals in the brain.
December 12th, 2015 5:24pm
Sadness is a short lasting normal emotional response to events, depression is more chronic and lasts much longer, and is much more debilitating. Depression makes you think things that aren't real, such as "I'm worthless" or "I will never get anywhere in life"
December 13th, 2015 4:53am
Sadness is a symptom of depression, however sadness is not necessarily depression. Sadness differs in that it is usually related to a specific event or situation, such as losing a pet or breaking up with a romantic partner. Sadness in depression is usually just present, and can be unrelated to anything. Sadness usually 'goes away' and heals with time, part of the natural healing process. Depression is a constant state of sadness which does not lift after an expected healing time has passed.
December 13th, 2015 11:05am
Sadness is a difficult feeling, but it can be fixed and doesn't last long. Depression is that feeling of overwhelming heaviness (and many other symptoms) that won't go away without getting help.