Are you depressed or just sad? Signs and symptoms of depression.


When you’re going through a tough time it’s normal to feel down for a while, emotions like sadness and grief – we all experience it at some point in life, maybe some of us more periodically than others. Sadness and depression have similarities, but they have some eminent differences. When people are sad and express their feelings they might feel better, whereas for people with depression, talking and expressing their pain or feeling may not help. Sadness is generally related to a specific situation, but feeling sad about everything in life can be a sign of depression. For most of us, those sad and helpless feelings come and go. But when sadness persists for a long time and affects your ability to function at work, at home, or in other aspects of your life, it might be a sign of depression. Being sad is perfectly normal and will pass; depression may have a negative impact on your life and needs to be addressed to get you back to a happy, healthy, exciting living. Also, you can check out my other post on living a happy life.


Depression can happen at any age but often begins in adulthood. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Dealing with depression requires action, but taking action when you’re depressed could be hard. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like cooking your favorite food, going for a walk, watching your favorite series or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting.

Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. The following common signs and symptoms could be experienced nearly every day, for at least two weeks – a person suffering from depression:

  • Extreme sadness or emptiness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Lack of energy, low self-esteem, and dwindling excitement.
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • Lose interest in your partner, and bear deep feelings of guilt and hopelessness.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every given symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience other signs of depression that are not on this list. For anyone experiencing this stuckness, it’s important to remember that depression is a very common and highly treatable disorder.


Never allow yourself to indulge in the thought that you are different from or less than anyone else.

Factors leading to the risk of depression:

  • A family history of mental disorder
  • Consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Traumatic childhood experiences
  • Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem or being overly competent
  • Uber success, extraordinary life with lack of time for oneself or family
  • Under extreme pressure to perform well.
  • Serious illness, such as cancer or heart disease
  • Side effects of medication taken for certain illness.
  • Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder or alcoholism
  • Stressful life events, loss of a family member or a broken relationship.
  • Depression after giving birth (postpartum depression)
  • Sudden shocking news.
  • Reserved nature, no friend circle and mostly in an isolation.

People often think that the rich, privileged, and famous people cannot be depressed or suicidal, but depression is a disease that could affect anyone, at any time in their life. Be sure to know the signs if someone is depressed, and never assume someone “can’t” be depressed based on their life circumstances. If you or anyone you know is depressed and thinking about suicide, try to be there to help and support.


There are many different types of depression. Understanding the type of depression a person is experiencing helps doctors determine the treatment procedure better.

Major Depression(Clinical depression): Major depression is a state where one loses interest in regular activities. Common symptoms – trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless, Thoughts of death or suicide may occur. It is usually treated with psychotherapy, Talk therapy, and medication.

Some causes of major depression – Loss of loved one or separation; Physical, mental or sexual abuse; Sudden life changes like job loss, graduation, retirement, shifting to a new place; socially isolated.

Persistent depressive disorder(Dysthymia): A person diagnosed with the persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder. Often, dysthymia can be treated by a primary care physician.

Its causes could be genetical(Family history of depression), stress, chronic illness, medications, and relationship or work problems may also increase the chances of dysthymia in people.

Atypical depression: Depression with atypical features — means that your depressed mood can brighten in response to positive events. It can affect how you feel, think and behave, and it can lead to emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Involves symptoms of Insomnia, Loss of appetite, feeling that your arms or legs are heavy(Paralyzed), and feeling rejected. Atypical depression could be caused as a reaction to external events or circumstances. Treatment for atypical depression includes medication, talk therapy (psychotherapy) and lifestyle changes


Postpartum Depression(PPD): Majority of new mothers go through the baby blues – an emotional state of tearfulness, unhappiness, worry, self-doubt, and fatigue. The baby blues typically begin a few days after delivery and go away on their own in a week or two. PPD can be long-lasting and severely affect a woman’s ability to get through her daily routine, trouble bonding with baby, mood swings, tired feeling all the time. It’s best to see a healthcare provider right away and treatment(counseling, support groups, and medication) can make you feel better so you can take good care of yourself and your baby. Also, it might be helpful to talk things over with someone you trust, try not to be alone and try to rest whenever possible.

Factors leading to Postpartum depression: Hormonal changes, inadequate diet, genetic factor, stress, Lack of strong support, marital conflict, trouble adjusting to life as a mom, thyroid problem, unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder used to be known as ‘manic depression’ because of the person experiences periods of depression and periods of mania, with periods of normal mood in between, thoughts and activity at higher speed, hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that is not there) or having delusions (intense feeling or worthlessness). Bipolar usually worsens without treatment but can be managed with mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medicines, and talk therapy.

Seasonal depression(SAD): Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that happens during a certain season of the year and it’s most common in winters and falls. During winters people get less exposure to direct sunlight – leads to the brain making less serotonin, a chemical linked to the brain that regulated the mood. SAD sufferers tend to have low energy. Also, they may overeat, oversleep, crave carbs, gain weight, or withdraw from social interaction.

Treatment-resistant depression: Depression is highly treatable with treatments such as therapy, medicine, and lifestyle changes. But, For many people, depression may continue despite treatment. When months or even years can go by without any relief. Coping with a serious chronic disease can be depressing in itself.

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) can leave you feeling hopeless and discouraged. It’s best to, work closely with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments that will help you feel better, never skip the doses and alway’s consult your doctor before you stop taking the prescribed medication, and just don’t give up on the treatment.


Depression can be treated and you can surely rock your life in the best possible way. Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. Also, changing your lifestyle – regular physical activity(yoga, meditation), proper nutrition, and avoiding drugs and alcohol could be of great help to take some control over the situation.

When to seek emergency help: In a situation where you feel like you could hurt yourself or have a tendency to suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Reach out to a close friend or loved ones and make sure someone stays with you during those tough times.

If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, then talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust. Friends and family, especially those who care about you, will appreciate knowing what’s going on in your mind and talking to them may help you feel connected.

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” — Fred Rogers


**I am not an expert and the above facts are all based on my reading and research on this particular topic with a motive to bring more awareness to mental health issues.

I hope this post brings in some awareness about the reality of depression and more power to those who struggle daily and don’t have enough support. Please let me know your views about this post in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Stay happy and healthy.

140 thoughts on “Are you depressed or just sad? Signs and symptoms of depression.

  1. I’ve been battling depression since I was a pre-teen. One of the things that help me push through it from time to time is hitting the trails. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature is good for the soul. Another thing that helps me is free writing.

  2. It always surprises me when people confuse sadness and depression. If someone has ever really experienced depression, I wouldn’t think that they would ever confuse them again.

  3. The information about the different dimensions of depression is quite educative. It will truly help to minimise the error of taking things for granted.

  4. I can match with few of symptoms like feeling guilt , low self esteem , living in past , not able to concentrate .
    But some days I’m totally fine & feel better.
    I’m confused , is this serious?

    1. It’s common to feel that way… depression is much more than that.. depression could interfere with your work, personal relationships and even your lifestyle.. I hope you are doing good in those spheres of life… if so, then it’s all good! 😊

        1. That’s totally normal… your lack of concentration is based on your past experience… and it’s relative… try to get moving..past is gone and don’t spoil your future on something that doesn’t even exist.. 😊

  5. Yep, I have been there. My two cents. Keep getting up everyday. Even when you are down and don’t want to get out of bed, get up anyway. When you want to stay inside, go outside anyway. When you want to be isolated, get around people anyway. Push yourself, I know its hard, but don’t give up.

    1. That’s so true! If one has to fight the depression then the best thing to do is be around more people and be more active… thanks for your great advice..really appreciate 😊

  6. I love that we can now talk openly about mental health. I hope someday thise is something we learn about during biology class at school. We need to consider mental health as important as physical health and end the stigma.

    1. You are so right! Seriously, it should be taught in schools too so that those kids don’t grow up confused and unaware of this very serious health issue… thanks for reading and giving your amazing feedback 😊

  7. Very well put! I deal with depression on a daily basis, some days are better than others . Had my 3 baby and now finally got help the last year or so for depression. Talking about it surly helped me.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and appreciating..I went through a sad phase but not typically depression after having my baby.. and I know most of us suffer from depression post childbirth… It’s so good to know that talking helped you in depression..i hope and wish that you never get into depression phase ever..take care dear😊

  8. A great post. It’s absolutely shocking how many people are committing suicide right now. I’m not saying that all of those people were depressed, but I’m guessing that a good chunk of them were.

    1. That’s so true… suicide normally comes from being in a not so good state of mind.. when people are helpless and give up on their life already, leading to depression sometimes… life is precious and we should try to fight every battle of life!.. I hope and wish, suicide doesn’t occur in anyone’s mind..ever..

    1. I totally agree and depression is much..much more than just being sad..I am really glad that you liked my post..thank you so much😊

  9. Great post, as recently I have been trying to understand if I myself am depressed or have just been having some very bad days mentally this past year. This helped tremendously!💕

  10. I loved this so much!! I have been battling depression for a while. My blog has helped me overcome a lot of that. Also, time… time has helped get rid of a lot of that. Thank you so much for liking my post. I’ve read through some of your posts and I’m enjoying myself a lot here!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for appreciating… I can totally understand what depression could lead one through as I, too have been having periods of depression since childbirth… I really appreciate your kind words and it really feels good, knowing that my endeavor to reach people is not wasted..thanks again 😊😊😊

      1. Thank you!
        Usually comments will be submitted to me for approval, but I don’t have any pending comments. Hmmm… I don’t know what’s going on there.

  11. Great post! Keep writing … I love the way you come across and I love reading it! Depression is horrendous …. I fight it and blog about it and attack it on every level. I’m pretty much better now apart from the occasional blip but the best thing for me is writing most days. It’s such a outlet. Looking forward to reading more from you! Katie x

    1. Thank you so much for appreciating…it really helps me to keep motivated…I read your posts and have an amazing blog with great, inspiring contents.. 😊

  12. Very thorough intro to this difficult subject. I hope it’ll help some people to realize that they can and should get help for their depression.

  13. I feel like it’s such a coincidence that I’ve come across this post today of all days when I’ve been feeling some symptoms the most. Very informative, i didn’t know about atypical depression.

    1. I wrote it, when I too was feeling very low and depressed… we all go through those days..I guess! I hope you would be feeling better now… it’s good to talk and sometimes it helps to vent out your emotions..😊

  14. I acknowledge all sign but to know depression is of sin. we should not be in such pain that God paid a price for all of us. I pray that anyone that may be facing or dealing with depression that God comes in and remove anything that is not of him and cleanses the bodies and souls with a new and refreshing spirit in Jesus name Amen🙌

  15. Thank you for writing this! I just lost a friend to suicide 5 days ago. This post means so much to me. I’ve definitively been in this situation myself, and it can be very hard to pick yourself back up. I’m sadden that my friend couldn’t find hope/help. Hopefully, your posts helps another person to realize that it can get better ❤️❤️

    1. I feel so bad to hear that you lost your friend.. I think most of us go through it and we think it’s just, we are sad and it gets more worse.. mental illness is really very important for us to take it seriously ..there are so many people suffering and it’s sad that one can even lose their life because of depression..

    1. I read your post and honestly..I had tears in my eyes… you seem to be such a good have kids and please be strong for them..there are so many people who undergo even the worst in life but they stand strong for the people whom they really matter… if you ever think of suicide, just keep in mind what your family will have to go through… just for what your wife did to you, you shouldn’t stop giving your life a second chance… if you ever feel like you need someone to talk to.. there are so many people to hear..count me in..hope you understand and would appreciate your response..

  16. Thanks, Rachna. That’s a very useful post and hopefully it will help out people. I actually didn’t know about atypical depression and I suspect I might have some of those symptoms. I’m going to look into it.

    Love xxxx

    1. Thanks dear… hey! If you feel like anything sort of depression, please talk about it with someone, so that you could figure out what it is? Even I got postpartum depression and I still suffer from it in episodes but it’s not kind of severe or harmful… the good thing is, I am very talkative, and I vent it out..🙂 talking could really help and now you have your blogger friends too! 🤗 yess..hii😊

  17. very well written and its something that’s not taken seriously .. great post..

  18. Excess of everything is always bad.
    We can’t stay happy and motivated 24×7 hours, so sad and negative feelings are natural as they come and go. But when we get familiar with them, it is called depression…..
    You explained it very well and in complete detail. It’s useful and wonderful to read……
    Keep it up 👍
    Very well written 👏👏👏👏👏❤❤❤❤

    1. You are so right… it’s not possible at all to stay happy the whole time like everyday… thank you so much for taking out time to read my post… I really appreciate..😊😊

      1. You’re most welcome.
        Actually I woke up at 5.15 a.m. today, so that’s why I have some extra time and reading the posts on WordPress…

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