Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of Depression

What are some of the symptoms of depression?

Not all of the symptoms listed here will be experienced by someone who is suffering from clinical depression or manic depressive episodes. Some of the symptoms can indicate the severity of the depressive disorder and they may vary from person to person. Pay close attention to yourself or someone else who shows changes in mood, has suicidal thoughts or a general lack of desire in life. There is help available and most patients can be treated successfully.


Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex

Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain

Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

Restlessness, irritability

Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain


Abnormal or excessive elation

Unusual irritability

Decreased need for sleep

Grandiose notions

Increased talking

Racing thoughts

Increased sexual desire

Markedly increased energy

Poor judgment

Inappropriate social behavior

Brain and Mental Health

References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health

last update: February 2009

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