Depression vs. Sadness: What's the Difference? Learn The Facts

Written by Modern Recovery Editorial Team

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There is a clear and simple difference between depression and sadness:

Sadness, a common emotion felt by us all, is just one of the many symptoms of real depression.

Depression – known medically as major depressive disorder (MDD), or clinical depression – is far, far more than just common sadness.

What is Depression?

Depression is a long-term mental health disorder that seriously impacts a person’s daily life – from doing simple, everyday tasks to those whose normal social and occupational or academic functioning is seriously affected, which is known medically as major depression with severe impairment.

For the sufferer, depression can mean constant, debilitating sadness and feelings of emptiness, severe fatigue, unwarranted feelings of low self-esteem, guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide, which is known as “suicidal ideation.”

Sometimes, even with professional treatment, these thoughts can result in a suicide attempt, and tragically, some of these prove to be successful.

What is Sadness?

Sadness is one of many common human emotions that we all feel at some point in our lives – a perfectly natural response to an event or situation that causes emotional upset or pain.

Although there are varying degrees of sadness, it is just like every other human emotion in that it is temporary, and soon passes, given time.

Keep reading to not only learn more about the effects of depression, but to also learn the signs and symptoms of depression, how it is diagnosed, and how a medical condition so powerful and debilitating can be successfully managed, treated, and eventually resolved.

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