Sadness Vs Depression: How To Tell The Difference

Health, in general, is a very crucial aspect of every human being. Your well-being plays a huge role in your day-to-day life. For instance, being able to attend to your client’s everyday needs doesn’t only depend on your skills, but also your health status. One area that’s mostly ignored is mental health. But what does it mean?

What Is Mental Health?

Mental wellbeing basically refers to the way people think, perceive, and behave as they confront life’s challenges. Mental health influences how we understand ourselves, others, and the world around us. This health factor also impacts how we deal with stress, relate to others, and make choices. It also affects our ability to learn new things, develop skills, and deal with obstacles and emergencies. Therefore, mental health can take all forms of definition depending on the situation.

Being cautious of your mental wellness gives you an optimistic mind towards life. It also allows you to develop better coping skills and manage or rather overcome obstacles. As such, you can tackle various challenges as they come without falling into depression. Unfortunately, this is sometimes easier said than done.

As a victim, your first step towards dealing with such problems is understanding what you’re suffering from. You can consult experts about this to know more about depression. You can check this link to know the symptoms and treatments available. They also have programs that will help in overcoming sadness and depression.

For that reason, we’ve compiled various distinctive features that differentiate sadness and depression – two of the most confusing terms. Read on to learn more!

What Is Sadness?


Sadness seems like a simple term but defining might be quite tricky, especially considering the confusion surrounding it. As such, it becomes even difficult for some people to deal with it given the fact they don’t know the cause.

So, how can you define sadness? Sadness is a state of being unhappy at something or feeling down in response to disappointment, discouragement, or grief. These feelings can last a few hours or several days depending on the cause and the steps taken to deal with them. It’s worth noting that sadness can be abrupt, which means you can be around a happy person and the next minute their moods change.

Therefore, as you relate with people, it’s important that you read the mood every now and then, especially if you’re communicating something. Inasmuch as it’s something that occurs within seconds or minutes, it can have a huge impact on one’s health. It might also affect your relationship with them if you’re not careful. Similarly, it’s imperative that you understand and know how to deal with your own sadness.

What Is Depression?


Unlike sadness, depression can be quite difficult to deal with. In fact, many people are always advised to visit a depression treatment center as a way of coping with this mental issue. Again, unless you know its definition and understand it, you won’t know if you or your friend is suffering from it.

Therefore, it’s important that we define it before moving on. Depression is an intense and chronic feeling of hopelessness and loss of interest in your day-to-day activities. As such, it has a direct impact on your performance and overall productivity in your line of duty. Since many people aren’t entirely aware of their mental health, it becomes difficult even for them to notice until it becomes a serious issue.

Depression is one word, but the feelings it describes vary from one person to another. Each form has its level of severity and distinguishable symptoms. Major depressive disorder, for one, is when you feel down most of the time and have trouble concentrating on anything. People who suffer from this often find it hard to sleep and also have problems making decisions. It’s a very serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.

Another type of depression is bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness, in which you feel very elated most of the time but have little energy left for doing anything. It normally comes with mood episodes where you have high energy and the next minute your moods are low. These mood swings can be controlled using various forms of medication.

Other types of depression are seasonal affective disorder and schizoaffective disorder. There are several causes of depression and the earlier you understand them, the easier it’ll be to deal with this condition. But how can you differentiate depression from sadness? Let’s have a look!

Differences Between Sadness And Depression

Sadness and depression have a few similarities but they’re two different conditions. Here are some of the distinguishing factors:

1. Causes Of Sadness And Depression


Many things can leave one sad and quite unhappy. For instance, losing a loved one due to life events such as divorce or death can bring a huge cloud of sadness. Other potential causative factors include loss of a job or any other main source of income and private family issues. In addition, when one is dealing with a lot of financial troubles, they can find themselves feeling unhappy. The list is long and depends on one’s life situation. For instance, students are likely to feel sad when they fail exams while married couples, on the other hand, are likely to fall into the same trap either due to financial or social issues.

Causes of depression, on the other hand, can range from circumstantial to biological. For instance, there’s a family history of depression or any other mood disorder, you’re at risk of developing the same. Your brain structure may also play a significant role when it comes to developing depression. Most people whose frontal lobe of their brain isn’t highly active could end up being depressed later in their lives. Of course, this is something that’s still under research since it’s not consistent with everyone.

Early childhood trauma can also lead to depression. For instance, if you experienced some traumatizing events while you were a kid, this could affect how you react to stressful situations. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, insomnia, and chronic illnesses are other factors that can make you depressed if you’re not careful. Finally, if you’re a drug addict or have a history of drug misuse, then you’re at risk of developing this mental condition.

2. The Timeframe

One of the biggest differences between the two is the amount of time it takes time before one gets back to their usual senses and moods. Sadness, as earlier mentioned, is something that can occur abruptly and then go away within no time. Sadness is an immediate reaction to disappointment or grief. Within a few minutes or hours, one will have already found relief. In rare circumstances, though, it can take a day or two to regain those positive moods.

Depression, on the other hand, is quite complex. Unlike sadness, this mental condition develops over time. In fact, it’s sometimes a result of prolonged sadness. If you or your friend has been in a sombre mood for more than a week or two, that’s no longer sadness. One thing about depression is that it has an overpowering impact on one’s daily operations. Although some people can be able to overcome it on their own, it’s always a good idea to seek the services of a professional. It can take you anywhere from a few weeks to months to fully recover from depression and its effects.

3. Symptoms Of Sadness Versus Depression


Sadness and depression share some symptoms but others are very different. Basically, the main symptoms of sadness include being unhappy or disappointed at something or someone. One may also feel tearful and ready to cry out their feelings. Being easily irritated by small actions and a lot of frustrations are other signs of sadness. Sometimes this might escalate to a point where it affects your sleeping routine.

Depression also shares some of these symptoms, but they get worse with the severity of the mental condition. Apart from prolonged sadness, other behavioural characteristics that point towards depression include extreme discouragement, hopelessness, and lack of interest in your daily operations. Some people may also feel suicidal, which can be very dangerous, especially if they have no one to take care of them. It’s important to seek treatment from a professional.

4. The Recovery Process

The time it takes for you to overcome these mental issues is one thing, but how you accomplish that objective is another factor worth noting. When it comes to sadness, the recovery process is quite simple. This feeling usually passes with time depending on your environment. Some of the simple things you can do to help accelerate your recovery process include speaking your mind out.

If you’re frustrated about something, don’t hesitate to vent your feelings. However, this should be done in moderation because you might ruin your relationship with some people, especially those who don’t understand what you’re going through. Crying can also help relieve your stress and the mental burden that you’re carrying. Of course, other people find it easier to cope with sadness by channel their energy to tasks like singing, cycling, or any other hobby. Whichever option you choose, just make sure it helps you accomplish the primary objective, which is to regain your positive moods.

As stated earlier, if you try all these and there are no notable changes, then it’s time to reconsider your approach. At this point, you might be suffering from depression. This mental condition can be mild or chronic depending on the period of existence. Because of that huge feeling of discouragement and hopelessness, it can be quite difficult to cope with depression individually. You might need the help of a professional to enhance your recovery process.

Once you visit a psychiatrist, they’ll assess your situation and determine the ideal level of treatment. Counselling is the most popular form of treatment given to any victim of depression. The aim here is to help the person to overcome the feelings of hopelessness and become more optimistic again about their life. Other forms of treatment include medication and psychotherapy.

How To Cope With Depression

Sadness is a lot easier to cope with as compared to depression. Provided you know what pushed you to that sad moment, you can overcome those feelings if you want. The best way of coping with such issues is to talk them out. Find someone you trust and discuss with them or, better yet, find time to speak to the one who frustrated you. At the end of the day, the aim is to ensure that you don’t build up a lot of negative feelings and thoughts within you.

Coping with depression is a whole different case from sadness. Keep in mind that this is a condition that builds up over time, which means it could be a combination of different causes. For instance, you might have lost your loved one and opted for drug abuse and misuse as a way of coping with the situation. By doing so, all you did was mask your frustrations and disappointments rather than addressing the real issue.

The best way of dealing with depression is by first accepting that you have a problem then seeking help from a professional.  A Kind Place has experienced counsellors that provide depression counseling services in Singapore. Check them out now and start your journey to better mental health.  Regardless of the treatment options recommended, always remember that you have more power over depression than it has over you. Of course, you might feel overpowered but changing your perspective can make a lot of difference in your recovery process.

Also, keep in mind that the psychiatrist can only do much. The success of your treatment lies squarely in your decisions after that. It’s always recommended that you do the things that you love to enhance your recovery process. For instance, if you like playing football, then do so as much as possible. Listening to inspirational music can also help in achieving your goals.

Final Thoughts

Mental health is an issue that has raised a lot of concerns in recent years. Depression, for one, has become very rampant, with many people having their lives destroyed. Others have even given in to suicidal thoughts which come when the condition is severe. Unlike depression, sadness isn’t regarded as a mental condition. It’s just a form of reaction that one has when they’re disappointed in something or someone.

However, if enough care isn’t taken, sadness can easily lead to depression. As such, both of these aspects need to be addressed as soon as possible. If you or your friend is exhibiting any of the symptoms discussed in the article, don’t hesitate to take appropriate measures.

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