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Readers Respond: The Difference Between Clinical Depression and Ordinary Sadness

Responses: 66


Updated September 23, 2011

From the article: Beyond Sadness
Those of us who have clinical depression know that there is a world of difference between what we are feeling and the ordinary sadness that "normal" people sometimes feel -- sadness that passes within a few hours or days. Clinical depression is more severe and lasting, and has a much greater effect on our ability to function in our daily lives.

Let's help those who are seeking to learn just what clinical depression is. Please share your comments below about how your experience with clinical depression has been different from ordinary sadness. Share Your Thoughts

what clinical depression feels like

I'm 50 years old. I have known I was "different" since grade school. The only "person" I felt a connection with was Charlie Brown. When I was younger, it would come and go, that feeling of disconnect. The numbness was better than the "homesick" feelings. I was easy prey for men as I entered my teens. I made a lot of bad decisions because I had no self esteem. When I became an adult and my mom died very suddenly, the panic attacks started. I managed to hide it until it progressed to the point that I couldn't care for myself, let alone my children. I felt like I was buried alive and couldn't get out. A lot of people assume that all depression is about feelings. I've been depressed but I live with clinical depression all the time. I have seen fatigue like I experience when my dad was terminally I'll and undergoing chemo. I'm not trying to minimize cancer and undergoing chemo, I'm just saying that I was surprised at the similarities of the symptoms observing and listening to my dad describ
—Guest trisha

lost and alone

your me except i dont cut myself i have other ways to hurt me im48 divorcived and also have no family all i do is suffer. mybe we can help each other
—Guest zelzel

My depression

I am suffering depression. I am always hiding what im feeling. I have told my mom and talked to the school councilor. But know one is helping. It started at like 7 yrs old? My sister had tried to commit suicide. She ran away 3 times. Almost went to jail. I saw my sister and my dad first fight. My parents keep almost divorcing. I also get bullied at school. I am trying to result in cutting. I just tried it 30mins ago. I did it light but oh well. It burns. I feel like im trapped in a bubble and know one cares about me. I feel worthless. I cry and cry and thats all i do. I feel like a piece of dirty. Yay me....
—Guest Depressed.

Stil Depressed Over Eva Gabor's Death.

I have had emotional problems ever since I was a child back in the 1960's. I get upset very easy if I'm criticized. I also cry over certain songs, emoticons, and some cartoon drawings. But lately, I have been depressed over the death of my favorite actress, Eva Gabor. When she passed away back in 1995, I just couldn't believe it. She had been (and still is] my favorite actress ever since I eight years old, when I first saw her on Green Acres. Thirty years of my life was gone in that one day. A few months after she died, I started listening to these religious programs on the radio. Then in August of '97, my cable company added TV Land to it's lineup, and it was airing the reruns of Green Acres. I was just crying on and off for the next two years. I got over it at first. Then last June [2012], Me TV brought the show back. And now, This TV airs the reruns of Green Acres. Just like I did fifteen years earlier, I have crying on and off. I miss Eva Gabor so much.
—Guest Nanlisa


Iv been crying for the past 2 months there is not one day I don't feel this pain inside me as if I just had a heartbreak or death in my famly but I v had none of those so what's Wrong with me I really want to know I'm angry and mean to my two best friends but I put on a happy face holidays I pretend to be happy but I really don't care for them I just go about my life on a day to day basis do my everyday errands and then go to sleep that's my life wake up do favors then sleep I'm tired of my routine and I don't know how to get out of this rut I am in or make this heartache pain I have inside me stop please can anyone help me I really don't want to feel this way
—Guest Love

I know

I feel every single word that was written here. This pain, this misery is overpowering, overwhelming, and takes over every second, every activity, interaction in my life. I feel attacked when people even look at me. I feel abused just by breathing. There is not a thing harder. Everyone around pays no regard to how this feels, I think they just can't imagine it. Everyone basically deserts you, leaving you to either deal with this alone or let go. The one thing I know is that if I were able to take away the pain, this situation, away from everyone who feels it and have to deal with it alone I would, I swear I would, because I know what it's like! You all matter a lot. You matter to me. Due to you I know I'm not alone, this is not my fault, there's someone who knows what it's like to walk like a ghost that's falling to pieces while others think you're just fine. I love you all, I care, and I pray for you.
—Guest MB

Depression feels like ....

I used to be a really outgoing and happy person. And somewhere in my mind, I felt that depressed people should just suck it up and train their mental strength much like how athletes get fitter by training physical strength. Boy, was I wrong. When every pillar of my life and every belief that anchored my most basic guiding principles were obliterated, I retreated into an ever deepening depression. I felt rejection in everything my friends did for me even if there wasn't any rejection. I suffered insomnia and each waking moment was hellish night time. Eventually, I was no longer functioning as a human should. I just stared blankly into space hoping that I would die quietly, peacefully. By then, death is no longer frightening. The only thing holding me back was leaving my parents alone in this world. Each day melted into the next and all I did was stare into the emptiness. A small part of me really wished a friend would bash my door in and drag me out and make me do things with them.
—Guest TruthBeTold

Bipolar since 16

I was diagnosed with manic depression at 16. Only in my late 20's in utter depression, didnI come to understand what it meant and why I experienced such deep worthlessness alternated by severe happiness and potent ecstacy . I then began a series of treatments and a merry-go-round of psychiatrists treatments. I am now relatively stable although still given to viscious bouts of rage and the bottemless pit visits. Could I possibly be upgraded to major depression instead? I have not experienced those feelings of worthlessness and rabid fear that paralyze me for about a year to date? Can Bipolar ever be "cured"?
—Guest Firmidha

what depression feels like.

It feels like someone almost killed me but left me alive just to see me suffer with all the pain.
—Guest Jenna

feeling all alone

I am 33 years old and have been suffering with depression since I was 14. Nothing extremely dramatic has happened to me so it's depression. It a feeling of emptiness, like all you really want to do is stay under the covers and not get up. I feel ugly and inscure, I feel like everyone I care about is mad at me, I feel like my bf is always upset with me or wants to run around on me. He has given me no reason to think so, he's great at showing me how much he loves me yet I still feel like he wants someone else. I don't have energy to do anything. I want to cry all the time. I am cutter, I have scars on my arm, but I do try to control and do pretty good at it. Now my daughter is 8 and she seems to be suffering with depression as well. all I can think is it's my fault. It's my fault she feels that way. I have already started her in therepy cause I be dame if she is going to suffer like I have. she is going to go ahead and get the help she needs to be able to control it.
—Guest sad1979

use your depression

Nothing in this world can truly cure depression. We can try avoiding the darkness, but even in avoidance a simple thing can trigger the return of the anger and sadness. We hate this darkness but the darkness itself loves us. Once it has chosen you, you cannot escape. I've tried for years to have the light return, but it will never come back. The only resolution is to use the darkness in you to project yourself forward above those who have become spoiled by the light. They are weak. Let your successes feed the unquenchable void in your heart. Aswell with failure let it kick you in the ass to push you further and faster.
—Guest squib

A living Hell

Depression. I've had it for 4 years now. I started feeling down when I was 11, just moved school, left my friends, left everything, started getting bad flashbacks of the passed horrors which made me feel worse. It started feeling like I was falling deeper and deeper through this dark hole and that life just wasn't worth living. There was nothing that could make me happy. My life has been a living hell the entire 15 years I've been alive. I've had 2 suicide attempts, I self harm, and only self harming helps me to at least feel like I could reach out into the light and actually be able to get help for it. I just wish for a relief from this hell but there seems to be none. It seems constant, I barey smile, I feel extremely down as if I'm close to hitting rock bottom... really, depression has been my hardest hurdle. And if anyone thinks they have depression, go see somebody, don't ignore it until it's too late....
—Guest Jayster

just somebody to talk to

I am so lost in a world that doesn't understand me . So many things that I have to hide because i feel ashamed and to sick to talk yet i want somebody to be with me so bad even if we dont talk. because i feel so alone. The sadness is excruciating , I want to sleep and never wake up, or when i do i wish that everything was different. My parents dont want to hear it any more , they think i should have pulled myself together long ago. Abd oh how I've tried and tried but to no avail. I dont think I can go on much longer because the pain is too great. I want to scream and shout and cry until I pass out. Then comes the anger, white hot rage. At myself and why. Am I being punished? is death really my only option?
—Guest zelda

Now i know that am depressed.

I have read every story about people who suffer from depression on this page.....according on how they testify its true am also depressed but all vein i dont know whom to talk to, its just am also alone here i even plan to commit suicide may be i could rest and be free from everything sometime when i hear someone is dead i start envying him and wish that would be me but all in vein i dont even know what to do anymore and sometimes i think about telling my lawyer to draft my will so that my poor kids won't suffer when am gone because am having this strong sound coming in my head telling me that, "dont fear death,its the only way out to escape that mood coz no one will ever understand you"....anyone here please help.
—Guest Him

How It Feels

My depression manifests itself as a feeling of constant dread and anxiety. I feel a pit of anxiety in my stomach, similar to the butterflies you might feel when you know you've done something wrong or are about to take a test in school or something. Because I can literally feel this in my stomach, I can't eat. Along with this anxiety comes absolute dread about the future and self-hatred. I feel like a piece of crap, almost all of the time. It feels like a cloud, a storm, of misery on your shoulders, weighing down your whole life, ruining every single day.
—Guest Hi

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The Difference Between Clinical Depression and Ordinary Sadness

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