Am I Sad or Depressed? What's the Difference?

A guide to your emotions...

Sadness is a reaction to a particular circumstance or experience that causes pain or upset - how you might feel when a family member passes away or when you end a romance. It’s a temporary emotion which will go away over time.

Depression is a deeper, longer-lasting form of sadness. While sadness carries with it lots of big feelings, depression is also associated with changes in your body, energy level, and physical wellness. It is characterized as a mental illness that impacts a person's daily life.

So while many people use these words interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing at all. If you start with a solid understanding of sadness - how it feels and what you might do to make it better - then you can have a better sense of whether you are depressed and need professional help. Reach out to a trusted adult or health professional if you're struggling with your feelings. 

Resources and More Info:

  • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: call 988 
  • Click here for our article on sadness
  • Click here for our article on depression 

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girl sitting in a chair at a wooden desk with a book opened on her face and leaning her head back
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