What’s the Difference Between Feeling Sad and Being Depressed?

It is normal to sometimes feel down for a day or two or even three. And it is even okay if you feel just plain sad for a week. Why? Because there is a definitive difference between feeling sad or upset and having legitimate depression.

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This distinction can be confusing due to the common misconception that the word depression is interchangeable with sadness. Below, are three reasons why depression is more than just sadness.

Depression is a Diagnosis

Though the term is often used casually in conversation these days, depression is a legitimate clinical diagnosis. It requires that you find an expert in psychiatric disorders arlington tx that has experience diagnosing depression.

Depression is a key set of symptoms, not just a transient feeling, whereas, sadness is a feeling that is not necessarily symptomatic of any larger illness.

Depression Lasts Longer

Unlike feeling sad, depression lasts for an extended period of time. In fact, a person will have to report several symptoms as having plagued them for at least three months for a diagnosis.

In a sense, a person who is sad is having an off few days due to a particular and tangible life situation. People who are depressed feel consistently down in all domains of their lives for a very long time.

Depression is More Severe

The symptoms of depression go beyond just regular sadness. They spill out into all other domains of life. People who are depressed avoid being around other people and avoid doing things that they really love. Not just because they feel sad, but because they feel hopeless and even indifferent towards life, no matter how great their life may seem.

At its core, depression disrupts a person’s ability to function in every aspect of their life.

Overall, it is important to know the difference between normal sadness and depression. Depression is a chronic illness that lasts longer than sadness and affects your ability to be your best self each and every day.

If these symptoms sound like something you’ve been experience, it is best to seek help from an expert in distinguishing sadness from depression.