Emotion Review
Vol. 7, No. 3 (July 2015) 216­–222

Guido Bondolfi, Viridiana Mazzola, and Giampiero Arciero

Since Kraeplin and Kretschmer, the clarification of the limits between ordinary sadness and clinical depression has been a major
concern. Much of the controversy has focused on whether and on which bases can be fixed a boundary in the continuum from the
experience of sadness to major depressive episode. The new emphasis on the role of clinical judgment introduced by DSM-5 can be
regarded as a way to address these issues, though leaving several questions open. After examining the implications of the main
topics raised by this still ongoing discussion, we will argue that in a clinical reality both mobility and intensity of emotional states
may account for the discontinuity between ordinary sadness and clinical depression.

bereavement, depressive personality disorder, major depressive episode, sadness.