Depression vs Sadness: There’s a Difference

Often when people are feeling down, the word “depression” gets tossed out as a catch-all term for their feelings of anger, sadness, or loneliness, without really understanding the true meaning of the word. This confusion can lead to either overreacting to a normal emotional state, or to neglect truly serious conditions that should be addressed through treatment.


Sadness is a normal human emotion that is often brought on by a certain situation. You are sad because of something that has happened. Triggers for this can be a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. This means that once the emotional hurt fades, the sadness also fades with time.


Depression is an emotional state that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviours in pervasive and chronic ways. Depression doesn’t require you to have experienced anything specifically emotionally challenging, because everything is a trigger for those with depression. A person with depression may have a life that seems completely fine in every way, but their brain chemistry is constantly triggered without cause.

To be diagnosed with depression, people need to have at least 5 of the following symptoms, for a continual duration of at least two weeks. Note: These are only vague guidelines and you should see a mental health professional for a true diagnosis if you believe you suffer from depression.

  1. A depressed or irritable mood most of the time.
  2. A loss or decrease of pleasure or interest in most activities, including ones that had been interesting or pleasurable previously.
  3. Significant changes in weight or appetite.
  4. Disturbances in falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  5. Feeling slowed down in your movements or restless most days.
  6. Feeling tired, sluggish, and having low energy most days.
  7. Having feelings of worthless or excessive guilt most days.
  8. Experiencing problems with thinking, focus, concentration, creativity and the ability to make decisions most days.
  9. Having thoughts of dying or suicide.

Do you think that you may suffer from depression?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues including anxiety, stress, low mood/depression and fears.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing, as well as in-person sessions.

Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.