Depression vs. Sadness


Drawing by Aparnna Manoj

Drawing of a girl visibly happy, but is suffering with depression. It shows the contrast between being sad and having depression.

Depression isn’t something you can describe. It’s not something you can show. You can’t use any of the five senses to describe it. But to me, feeling is also considered a sense. A sense that grounds you to your world, your surroundings, even your own brain. Depression blocks that sense. It clouds your entire brain and gives you that gloomy filter to the world.

Sadness is a part of feeling. An emotional feeling. Sadness and depression: often mistaken for each other, people don’t understand how different they are.

This misinterpretation has given me a sense that others compare a mental issue to an emotion, giving it less importance.

Depression is a state of mind; sadness is an emotion.

Depression is not describable for most; sadness is.

Depression is what makes you act like an insomniac; sadness still allows you to sleep.

Depression does not have a time frame; sadness is temporary.

We live in a world where people use the word ‘depressed’ to loosely describe their sad feelings.

People don’t recognize the real definition of the word; they use it in a context that blurs the lines between depression and sadness.

Most students know depression is a medical or mental issue, and yet still seem to treat it lightly. Depression can have physical impacts on you, from changing your hormones or vitamin levels to causing fatigue and loss of appetite.

Some view depression as a trend to be a part of, just to dramatize their lives. Others view it as something they can use out of self pity, in order to get some attention. Rather than trying to cope with their problems and solving them, they put up a label to hide behind.

Everyone has had a day where nothing seems to go well and feels down. This sadness may last a while, but eventually, new events or people will come in and you forget that feeling. We’re all human and we all have the same set of basic emotions.

But depression is different. It’s like having that sad feeling for a long period of time, constantly. Sadness doesn’t prevent you from doing the things you love. Depression is what takes that all away from your life.

Living with depression is like having an unwanted weight on your chest at all times. It makes you question even the simplest decisions you make throughout the day. There’s a constant emotional baggage that you carry every day.

The difference between sadness and depression are the signs. There are obvious signs and factors that correlate with the emotion, whereas depression has vague signs that can’t be used for everyone.

It’s important to see the difference between both sadness and depression. It makes people with depression seem like their mental health can be passed off as mere feeling. This is taking importance from the issue, giving depressed people an apprehensive approach to finding a treatment.

If you haven’t experienced depression, I don’t expect you to understand what it is, just don’t ridicule it as a small issue. Because something that may seem like light rain to you, could be a hurricane to someone else.