Depression Center

Depression Symptoms

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.  Depression symptoms can also manifest differently by individual or can appear differently in the same person over time.  As depression is a common but serious illness, it's important to note the following signs of depression early so that you or a loved one can seek diagnosis.   

Symptoms of depression

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Feeling fatigued, weak, or energy loss
  • Feeling anxious or "empty"
  • Feeling sad, down or unusual pessimism
  • Feeling guilty, worthless and/or helpless
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in normal daily activities, hobbies once pleasurable, or sex
  • Restlessness
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, suicidal behavior, or suicide attempts
  • Unexplained crying episodes
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain, digestive problems or headaches
  • Unintentional weight gain or loss caused (overeating or appetite loss)

Self-injury or suicidal thoughts
Depression can also trigger thoughts of self-injury or suicide. At first, self injury may make a person feel better, but it ends up making depressive symptoms and the overall illness worse. Severe pain from depression may seem too overwhelming to cope with, but extreme times and severe symptoms of depression don't last forever. People do make it through self-injury or suicidal thoughts.  Common reasons for self injury include:

  • Avoiding, distraction from, or holding back strong feelings
  • Taking away emotional pain and distress
  • Punishing yourself
  • Releasing or expressing anger you're afraid to express to other Stopping a painful memory or thought
  • Trying to feel better

When to seek help
If you are thinking about hurting or killing yourself, please ask for help!  There is nothing wrong with asking for help -- everyone needs help sometimes. Hotlines and centers help you talk through problems, develop a plan of action and identify where to go for more help in person.

If you have thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, you can call:

  • 911
  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • 1-800-SUICIDE

There is help for someone who has depression. Even in severe cases, depression is highly treatable. When seeking treatment for depression, you should first request a medical examination from your doctor, as many symptoms of depression can be caused by medications and/or other medical conditions. To learn more about how to diagnose depression, read more about how doctors can use depression test for diagnosis and clinical requirements here.

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