definition of sadness

an original definition by J. E. Brown

  1. A normal emotional reaction to the loss or anticipated loss of access to a valued friend or loved one or cherished possession.

Short Definition: Sadness = Access Lost.

Related: Sadness is sometimes confused with depression. Depression is a wider complex of symptoms (including sadness).

Related Concepts: depression, grief, grieving.

See Also: Victim blamers sometimes pretend that sadness indicates a mental defect in the sufferer. See gaslighting.

Excerpts from my book (in progress)

This “hydraulic” theory of emotions, this notion that tears represent something that is bottled up and has pressure and needs to be released,
has been pretty thoroughly discredited by modern science.
At worst it’s a wives’ tale or pop psychology, and at best it’s Freudian catharsis —
all interesting to study as myths, but not backed up by real science.

People feel sad sometimes. If they feel sufficiently sad, there are tears.
But you may find that the old advice to “let it out” makes no difference in how you feel.
Intense emotions fade on their own — unless continuously re-aggravated.

If you’d like to reduce the intensity of the emotions, I know a more reliable way:
Avoid people who deliberately give you stress.

— J. E. Brown

3rd edition 04 Sep 2014
2nd edition 28 Jun 2006
1st edition 11 May 2006

about the author

J. E. Brown, relationship activist, decided in 1987 that verbal abuse will be wiped off the planet.

He has been working on it ever since.

While writing a book on relationships, he occasionally designs online surveys and writes educational materials for this web site.

Further Reading at Other Sites

  • Sad in Webster’s Dictionary

more Thoughts of the Week


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