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Depression Symptoms & Signs

The various types of depression share some common signs and symptoms. If you're suffering from severe, clinical depression, dysthymia, or even just minor depressive disorder, these symptoms may describe part of how you're feeling.

Feeling Sad and Empty


Gloomy, "down in the dumps," or blue? These feelings of sadness' prolonged presence characterize depression. Sensations of a persistent, unfillable void or hole in yourself or your life often accompany them.

Hopelessness, Pessimism, & Helplessness


When you feel stuck and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you may see no point in engaging in activities that will help you feel better, as you believe nothing can really help lift the dark cloud hovering over you. You dwell on the glass' empty half, unable to find any comfort in the half that's full. Additionally, you feel like you have no control over your life.

Anhedonia: Joylessness


Activities you once enjoyed seem tedious, laborious, and boring. Perhaps you enjoyed hiking, getting together with friends, or going to the movies, but you now find yourself avoiding these activities as they no longer seem fun.

Sleep Changes



You're having trouble sleeping. You frequently wake up during the night, and aren't rested when morning arrives.


Some experience the opposite and instead oversleep. Facing the next day is daunting; you'd rather just pull the covers over your head and hide.

Appetite Changes



You are hungry all the time. No matter what comfort food you eat, you want more.


On the other hand, you may have lost your appetite. Maybe everything tastes the same. You don't feel full, but you are not hungry. You eat because you know you need some basic nutrition, but you may sometimes need to be reminded to eat.



You feel tired most of the time. You wake up with it and it persists throughout the day. Everyday chores seem overwhelming and take forever. You just want to rest, trying to recharge your physical and mental energy. This indicates either depression or another medical condition.

Irritability & Restlessness


Significant, negative changes in mood are another sign. Everyone is occasionally impatient with a spouse, child, or co-worker, but being consistently irritated with them despite no major changes in their behavior is not. Restlessness and irritability also accompany anxiety.

Impaired Mental Functioning


Having trouble concentrating, feeling like your head is foggy or in a cloud, and having difficulty remembering things are also signs. Other things to look out for are consistently drifting off mid-conversation, zoning out and staring into space, and having trouble completing everyday tasks or staying effective at work.

Feeling Worthless or Guilty


Feeling like a burden on your loved ones makes you feel useless, worthless, and ashamed of your depression. You feel guilty for imposing your negativity on your family and friends. You think to yourself that you wouldn't choose yourself as your friend.

Suicidal Thoughts or Fantasies


You sometimes think that the only way out of your pain and misery is to put an end to it. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are considering hurting yourself, call 911. You may need immediate help.

You can also call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-274-TALK (8255)