10 common signs and symptoms of depression

Everybody experiences feelings of sadness on occasion, but this does not mean a person is depressed. If your feelings of low mood or sadness persist over time and cause other symptoms, this could be depression.

Depression is a medical condition that affects approximately 280 million people world wide.

The main symptoms of depression vastly vary between people, but commonly they can include:
  • Low mood / Sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Anger or irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Changes to appetite
  • Thoughts / feelings relating to death or suicide
  • Anxiety
Read below to find 10 commonly experienced symptoms of depression.

Feeling of hopelessness​

Depression can make people feel hopeless, like there is no end to how they are feeling. A person may also feel like nobody can help them or that they are not worth supporting.

Feeling sad / low mood​

Mood changes are possibly the most common symptoms of depression. A person struggling with depression may feel sad or low for extended periods. It is also possible to feel "empty" or void of happiness.

Feeling worthless​

A person struggling with depression may feel like their lives are worthless, with little or no meaning. They might also feel like a burden to others, or that their loved ones would be better off without them.

Little or no interest in previously enjoyed activities​

If you are struggling with depression, it could be that you lose interest in, or struggle to complete activities and hobbies that you once previously enjoyed. You might turn down invitations to spend time with others. You may also lose interest in sexual activity. Losing pleasure in previously enjoyed activities if also known as Anhedonia.

Anger or irritability​

Anger, irritability and other mood problems are common with people who are suffering with depression. Men are more likely to experience anger or irritability when depressed. Children and adolescents are also more likely to expression depressive feelings this way.

Sleeping problems​

A person with depression may struggle with sleeping, staying asleep or having nightmares. This can often develop in to insomnia and other sleep disturbances.

Problems concentrating or carrying out tasks, making decisions​

Depression can interfere with a persons cognitive ability. They may have trouble concentrating and carrying out once achievable tasks. Additionally, they may find it hard to make decisions, including things that may be seemingly minor, everyday choices.

Memory can also be effected - people with depression often struggle to remember things. Appointments, meetings and commitments can often not be recalled as easily.

Difficulty eating or lack of appetite​

It is common for people suffering from depression to lose their appetite. It is also often to think of eating as pointless and go long periods without food.

Physical symptoms such as aches and pains​

Depression can be physical as much as mental. Quite often depression presents itself as aches and pains. This can include:
  • headaches
  • aches and pains
  • stomach ache / other digestive pains

Suicidal thoughts and feelings and otherwise intrusive thoughts​

A person with depression may think about suicide, death or dying. It is important that people struggling with suicidal thoughts reach out for support immediately.

Sometimes a person may communicate these thoughts to others. If somebody you know is talking about death or suicide, this could be there way of asking for help. It is vital they seek out appropriate, urgent medical help.

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About author
34 years old, proud father to three daughters and one son.

Battled with mental illness for most of my life - at least since early teens.

Electrical / Controls / Automation Engineer by trade, can often be found talking about programming or mental illness. Sometimes both!


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