What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Depression can be different for different people. Some experience a few symptoms of depression while other people have many. The same person can have different symptoms at different times. In addition, different populations, such as men, women, and the elderly, have different typical symptoms of depression and differing chances of getting depression.

Though there are other types of depression, in this article, we are discussing what doctors call major depression or clinical depression only.

An episode of major depression is characterized by you having five or more of the symptoms below, nearly every day in a two-week period, as a change from previous functioning. (As long as one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.)

  • Depressed or sad mood.
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed (family, friends, hobbies).
  • Change in appetite or weight (either a loss or increase).
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Restlessness and nervousness or slowing of speech and body movements observable by others.
  • Constant fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Frequent feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide.

An untreated episode of depression may last from 6 months to 24 months and people can have more than one episode in their lifetime.

Remember depression is a treatable medical condition, not a personal weakness. In recent years, doctors have made tremendous progress in the treatment of depression — all the more reason for people suffering to come forward and get help from their doctor.