Difference Between Sadness & Depression… A Common Mistake!

What’s the difference when it comes to depression and sadness? What do we need to know about these two emotions? Many say that depression is the illness of our time. With the technology and freedom people have at present time, you’d assume people would be happier. However, various studies show that on average, around 1 in 6 women and 1 in 8 men will experience some level of depression, making over 3 million Australians living with depression or anxiety.

Due to the high incidence of depression, the term has come into our daily speech, with many saying that they “fell depressed” from various small mishaps that happened to them. On the other hand, some who suffer from depression may deny it with persistence. It is therefore important to explain the difference between normal sadness and depression.

Sadness is a normal human emotion, nothing more, nothing less. Depression is a mental disorder with the main symptoms of mental pain and a sense of unhappiness. There is a marked lack of interest and pleasure, even for activities that were previously desirable. The person feels intense guilt for various events, great anxiety and has a very low self-image and self-esteem. In its mild forms, depression takes the form of the person’s inability to laugh and joke and has a general tendency to break out in tears, especially when the interlocutor shows understanding. A characteristic symptom is a constant sense of fatigue, while other physical symptoms include loss of appetite, lack of sexual desire and the existence of sleep problems. Most depressed people have ideas related to death or suicidal thoughts. Men can express their depression through antisocial behavior or alcohol, so that initially the disorder is covered. All the above symptoms should last for several months without any signs of improvement.

No matter how strange, most of the time natural regret is literally the opposite of depression. Sadness is the natural reaction of the body to some loss. Distress and mental pain are the result of accepting the unpleasant event, while the lament for loss is part of the process necessary to relieve pain and restore nervous balance. But when, for various reasons, the individual cannot withstand the pain, he oppresses and instigates his existence, while denying the existence or gravity of the event that caused him that feeling. For example, sadness from the death of a loved one is so unbearable that man says: “No, he did not die.” This refusal is initially useful because it gives the body time to prepare for the shock of the pain. But if oppression and denial lasts for a long time, then depression comes, which prevents the normal process of mourning and “traps” the feeling of sadness internally. And because unfortunately it is not possible to repress only the negative emotions, it finally suppresses all its feelings and so we have the symptoms of depression I described above. Apart from oppressed sadness, several times the cause of depression is oppressed anger. Although at first sight this may seem contradictory, in fact the process is exactly the same as in the case of regret.

Image result for mental health

The latter case also offers the “key” of dealing with depression, but also of maintaining our mental balance and health. And this is nothing more than the recognition and expression of our emotions. At this point I would like to point out that there is no good or bad feeling for the simple reason that we do not have the neurological ability to control what we will feel. It’s like saying that it’s a bad thing to thirst. No matter how much we say it, we will continue to thirst, and if we believe it, we will also feel guilty that we are thirsty … There is only good or bad practice and only for these people should be judged!

I am not an expert nor a professional in psychology, neurology or any other related industries. However, I have always been fascinated when it comes to the human mind, cognition, desires and passions. Which is the reason why I have been reading and researching fair a bit on related topics. I believe this could be useful and help some of you, even if it’s just one.

I have previously spoken about Mental Health on my blog and given recommendations on who to contact if yourself or someone you know is suffering from depression. It can all start by visiting your GP and admitting that you require help.

World Mental Health Day 2017 will be in October,10. Visit their site to learn more, contribute in the society, help fight Mental Health and bring Awareness.

Some hotlines/website you could visit:


13 11 14 – www.lifeline.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service

1300 659 467 – www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Help Line

1800 55 1800 – www.kidshelpline.com.au – A counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.



  1. August 20, 2017 / 12:33 PM

    A complex condition, to be sure, Eirini.
    Depression can literally keep us in bed, unable to engage with life. Whereas, sadness, although at times debilitating, follows us about with a heavy heart as we move through our daily chores/routine.
    Both conditions need understanding and, hopefully, a listening friend/counsellor to help us vocalise our thoughts.

    • August 20, 2017 / 11:07 PM

      So true Carolyn. We got to be a little bit more sensitive towards other people’s feelings whether they are mental illness related or just a normal feeling.

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