Keira Fulton-Lees
3 min readDec 20, 2022



Great Article!

2. Depression feels more like emptiness than sadness

This one really hit home. I have experienced way more than my fair share of Depression over the years. I survived to suicide attempts. Yet, to this very day, I still struggle with suicidal ideation.


I think Andrew Solomon describes Depression better than anyone that I have heard in a TED Talk. The following are just a couple of excerpts, but definitely give it a listen if you haven't heard it yet:

"People think of depression as just being sadness. It's much, much, too much sadness. Much too much grief, and at far too slight a cause.

"The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality."

Excepts from: "Depression, the secret we share" by Andrew Solomon (Writer, Lecturer, Activist, and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University) at TedxMet.



In Poetic form, I compare sadness and depression like this:

Sadness is an empty chair
Within a crowded room
Depression is you're in that chair
But no one there see's you

Sadness is you say “I'm fine”
Although, “...a little down”
Depression is the same reply
From a soul that's nearly drowned

Sadness is a broken heart
That given time will heal
Depression is an empty heart
That just no longer feels

Sadness is a little child
Standing all alone
Depression is that child is you
Although you're fully grown

Sadness is a burst of rain
On your picnic day
Depression's when the skies then clear
But you're still standing in the rain

Sadness is the mournful horn
Of a train lost in the night
Depression is you're on that train
With only hell in sight

Sadness is a winter's day
Bleak and overcast
Depression is that day turns years
And seems will ever last

Sadness is to look at life
Through a darkened veil
Depression is the veil is gone
And think what you see is real

Sadness is feeling small
And all the world too huge
Depression is a fetal crawl
Back into the womb

Sadness is the day ahead
Seems only but to dread
Depression is those days become
A slower form of dead

– From "Unmade Beds" by Keira


Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and depression is a major factor in suicide. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide each year. That's approximately one death by suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years.

These statistics are shocking, very disturbing, and it was anchors and sickens me when I hear people use the words Depression and sadness synonymously.

Depression, is a serious and often fatal clinical psychiatric diagnosism. It is in the DSM.

Sadness IS NOT a clinical diagnosis of any kind, and it certainly IS NOT in the DSM.

So, to those people who think Depression is the same as sadness? This is what I have to say to you: Shut your f**king mouths and DO NOT use the word Depression when you're just feeling “a little blue." Just say you're “sad” – There's nothing killing you! Stop yourself. Depression is a disease THAT KILLS. Sadness, clearly IS NOT!

Keira Fulton-Lees



Keira Fulton-Lees

Artfully Autistic Advocate for Autism, Writer, Editor, Artist, Musician, Owner of the Medium Publication: Artfully Autistic: