Anger and sadness are both symptoms of depression but some people may experience one more than the other.

It’s common to experience periods of overwhelming emotions at differing points in your life.

Depression is a common mental health condition affecting millions of people worldwide. How depression shows up in your life might be different for you than for someone else.

Some people tend to get angry when they’re faced with unfavorable life events. Other people may experience an overwhelming sadness that can lead to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.

No matter how depression presents for you, there are treatment options available.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, you may experience intense emotions such as anger and sadness.

Research from 2018 indicates that those with depression may have difficulty with emotional regulation and often suppress both negative and positive emotions. A depressed mood may make it challenging for you to regulate your emotions.

Anhedonia is a symptom you may experience with depression, making it easier to suppress your emotions.

Sadness and anger are common among depressive disorders but aren’t exclusive to depressive disorders.

Anger is an emotion that can make you irritable or hostile with other people. This can seemingly appear out of nowhere, causing outbursts, or you may try to avoid it, which can lead to exploding at a later time.

Sadness is an emotional state you may experience after a loss or other adverse life events. If you experience sadness, you might find yourself crying or suppressing emotion.

Yes, sadness can be a sign of depression. Especially a deep sadness that leads to feelings of hopelessness.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some common symptoms of depression include:

  • persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • persistent anxiety
  • irritability
  • low energy
  • decreased or increased appetite
  • decreased or increased sleep
  • problems with concentration or focus
  • lack of pleasure in previously pleasurable activities
  • restlessness
  • rumination
  • suicidal thoughts

Sadness can indicate depression, but it doesn’t always mean that is the case.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), these symptoms must be present nearly every day for at least 2 weeks to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Sadness can be overwhelming for many people. But you’re not alone if you experience sadness but don’t experience anger due to your depression.

A 2021 review found that sadness can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • stressful events
  • negative life events
  • experiencing a loss
  • being unable to reach a goal

Sadness can lead to inaction and lack of motivation.

Anger and irritability in depression, on the other hand, may be caused by an inability to regulate emotions and rumination, according to research from 2013.

Everyone experiences depression differently, and your symptoms are unique to you.

If you find that your sadness has lingered for more than 2 weeks and it has started to interfere with your ability to concentrate or go about your daily activities, it may be time to consider seeking professional help.

If you’re reluctant to reach out to a mental health professional, it’s OK. Try talking with family and friends who you trust. They may be able to refer you to someone.

You can also try talking with a healthcare professional. They can evaluate you and make sure there aren’t any underlying medical conditions causing your symptoms. They can also refer you to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment if needed.

Our depression test can also be a good place to start. While this test is not in any way a diagnosis tool, it can be used to track your moods and may be used to show your doctor how your symptoms have changed over time.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, help is available right now

You can:

Was this helpful?

There are many treatment options available for depression. Treatment can involve medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.


Several types of psychotherapy can help treat depression, such as:

Speaking with a mental health professional can help determine the type of therapy that best fits your needs and goals.


Medications are another treatment option available for depression. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications for depression.

Types of antidepressants include:

A doctor will work with you to determine what medication may be right for you. Being honest about your symptoms can help ensure you get the best care.

If you’re experiencing sadness or depression, there are some self-care steps you can take to help manage your symptoms.

Increase social support

Increasing social support when you’re having a rough time can help you cope better.

A 2020 study found a lower chance of elevated levels of depression in people with social support compared to those with perceived lower social support.

If you can find a way to reach out to friends or increase social support through a hobby or activity you enjoy, it may help ease some of the symptoms of depression.


If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, it may be hard to find the motivation to do anything. But a few minutes of exercise a day may help reduce your symptoms.

A 2020 review that examined the effects of exercise on depression across people of all ages found that exercise is beneficial for depressive symptoms, even if it’s low intensity exercise.

Mindfulness practice

Practicing mindfulness has various benefits from helping you sleep better to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. One way to practice mindfulness is through mediation.

Research from 2018 found that mindfulness helped reduce rumination, thereby reducing depressive symptoms.

Depression can bring an array of emotions, including anger and sadness. Some people may feel sadness while others just feel anger.

Sadness can be overwhelming and lead to prolonged periods of depression. But with the right treatment and support, you can manage your symptoms.

You can start by talking with a healthcare or mental health professional about what you’re experiencing. Try to keep track of your moods in a journal or calendar. This will help determine whether you’re experiencing depression or something else is the cause of your symptoms.

Depression can make it hard to stay focused and function day to day, but you can find help. You can check out Psych Central’s hub on finding mental health support for a helpful guide.