Sadness Vs. Depression

Did you know that sadness and depression are not the same thing?

Sadness is an emotion that occurs in the course of a relatively happy, meaningful and contented life.  We feel sad when sad things happen (we lose our jobs, a friend dies, a relationship ends).

Depression is a mental health disorder made up of lots of different symptoms including trouble sleeping, self doubt, trouble concentrating and irritability.  Sadness, or low mood, can also be a symptom of depression BUT it doesn’t have to be present for someone to be depressed.  Strange, I know.

The whole thing is confusing because many of us use the words interchangeably.  Here are a couple examples:

The Broncos lost the Super Bowl and now my husband is sooooo depressed

He was actually sad – not depressed – in this situation

She’s just so sad all the time, she just stays in bed all day

When someone is sad and has low motivation and energy, it might be signs of depression – something much more than sadness

I recently spoke to Psych Central about the difference between sadness and depression.  Check out the full article here:

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