How does depression differ from sadness?

Sadness is usually caused by a catastrophic event, but depression is a feeling of lingering sadness. Watch Ramesh Ghanta, MD, of Frankfort Regional Medical Center, explain how to handle depression.
Most people are familiar with the concept of depression. It is a commonly used word, associated with feeling blue or simply feeling sad. Sometimes people say, “I feel depressed,” meaning that their mood is low.

Everyone experiences this type of mood fluctuation, which is part of life’s natural changes. However, the concept of major depression refers to something different, one that signifies a more severe mood extended in time. It is among the more painful of human experiences, characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and disengagement from life’s events.

Depressive features can interfere with every aspect of life, including social relationships, work, emotional stability and physical health. Depression could be termed a “democratic” experience, experienced by many people without regard to one’s socioeconomic status, education and general health.

Continue Learning about Depression Symptoms

Depression Symptoms

Depression Symptoms

Depression is more than just a low mood. Symptoms of depression include chronic sad feelings lasting up to two weeks, lack of interest in activities normally enjoyed, sleep disruption, overeating or appetite loss, feelings of guil...

t or worthlessness and a preoccupation with death/suicide. Depression symptoms also differ in men and women; the onset may follow highly stressful events such as physical and emotional trauma. Men tend to be more irritable and act out while women often cry or sleep more.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.