The symptoms ofdepression can be complex and vary widely between people. But as a general rule, if you'redepressed, you feel sad, hopeless andlose interest in things you used to enjoy.

The symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life.

There are many other symptoms ofdepression andyou're unlikely to have all of those listed below.

Psychological symptoms

The psychological symptoms of depression include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having nomotivationor interest in things
  • finding it difficult tomake decisions
  • not getting anyenjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • having Euthanasia and assisted suicide or thoughts of harming yourself

Physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression include:

  • moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • constipation
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • lack of energy
  • lowsex drive( loss of libido )
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • disturbed sleep for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at nightor wakingup veryearly in the morning

Social symptoms

The social symptoms of depression include:

  • notdoing well at work
  • avoiding contact with friends andtaking part in fewer social activities
  • neglecting yourhobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home and family life

Severities of depression

Depression can often come on gradually, so it can be difficult to notice something is wrong.Many people try to cope with their symptoms without realising they're unwell. It can sometimes take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong.

Doctors describedepression by how serious it is:

  • mild depression has some impact on your daily life
  • moderate depression has a significant impact on your daily life
  • severe depression makes it almost impossible toget through daily life; a few people with severe depression may have psychotic symptoms

Grief anddepression

It can be difficult to distinguish between grief anddepression.They share many of the same characteristics, but there are important differences between them.

Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss, whiledepression is an illness.

People who are grieving find their feelings of sadness andloss come and go, but they're still able to enjoy things and look forward to the future.

In contrast, people who aredepressed constantly feel sad. They don't enjoy anything andfind it difficult to bepositive about the future.

These include:

  • postnatal depression some women develop depression after they have a baby; this is known as postnatal depression and it's treated in a similar way to other types of depression, with talking therapies and antidepressant medicines
  • bipolar disorder also known as "manic depression", in bipolar disorder there are spells of bothdepressionand excessively high mood (mania); the depression symptoms are similar to clinical depression, but thebouts of mania can include harmful behaviour, such as gambling, going on spending sprees and having unsafe sex
  • seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as "winter depression", SAD is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern usually related to winter


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 9 Jan 2017