Is sadness the same as depression?

According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. This is why this disease is considered the “epidemic of the 21st century”.                

What is the reason of high prevalence of depression?

We constantly seek a successful and happy life, we demand a lot from ourselves to reach the standards imposed by society such as being beautiful, slim, smart, young, etc.

We think that happiness is in traveling, having a great job, a good partner, living comfortably.

We set irrational expectations which, rather than bringing happiness, end up generating the opposite. And this unhappiness is due to the fact that we always invent a new need, which leads to frustrations and disappointments, as we fall into the feeling of insufficiency.

When we are sad or when someone else is sad, we usually use the term “I am or he is depressed”. But are we really aware and understand what depression means?

First up, it is important to clarify that sadness is not synonymous with depression. Saying that sadness is a bad thing doesn’t make sense. This feeling allows us to distinguish what is really important to us. When sadness appears, we connect with the loss and then it disappears. In other words, it goes through a period of time and then it’s gone.

When sadness persists for a long time, it may be associated with depression.


Depression is a mood disorder characterised by deep feelings of sadness, loss, frustration, or anger that impact everyday over an extended period of time.

Therefore, we can say that while sadness is an adaptive process that allows us to assimilate different situations such as the loss of someone we love, a separation, etc., depression is a pathological process characterised by a deep sadness or melancholy, loss of pleasure or inability to enjoy things that once brought satisfaction. 

When someone has depression, he/she loses the pleasure of enjoying social relationships and begins to live in a bubble of isolation.

The routines and demands of the day become very difficult to carry out, no matter how small, affecting all areas of his/her life, such as performance at work/school or activities that he/she could previously perform with ease . Negative thoughts about himself/herself, about others and about his/her future constantly appear in his/her mind.



Depression varies depending on each person, however, it is possible to describe characteristics of the signs and symptoms that they have in common:

– Feeling of emptiness

– Thoughts of worthlessness or guilt

– Pessimism

– Feeling of hopelessness or abandonment

– Irritability

– Changes in appetite and weight gain or loss

– Insomnia or hypersomnia (increased or decreased sleep)

– Loss of sexual desire

– Difficulty concentrating

– Isolation


Learning to identify the main signs and symptoms is the first big step in coping with depression. The symptoms that have been described in the article can be useful to detect and identify that you have an illness, but self-diagnosis or self-treatment is not advised.

 It is highly recommended to try psychological therapy with a licensed professional. It’s proven that the results of therapies are effective with an overall positive outcome for people undergoing depression. The therapeutic process provides the mental tools to develop resources that deal with them depression.

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Constanza Canónica
Constanza Canónica

Nuna's psychologist. If you need advice to find a therapist, I can help you choose the most suitable one for you!

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