November 4, 2022 Life

11 Depression Symptoms: The Top 11 Signs You Should Seek Depression Treatment

What is Depression?

Depression is classified as a mood disorder caused by persistent sorrow and loss of interest in daily activities. It may affect how you feel, think, and behave. Clinical depression, at its worst, makes some people feel as if life isn’t worth living.

People experience depression in a variety of ways. It may disrupt your daily work, resulting in lost time and decreased production. It can also affect relationships and some chronic health issues. Major life events, such as bereavement or job loss, can set off depression.

However, depression is different from the negative feelings that a person may have temporarily in reaction to a traumatic life event.

Depression often continues despite a change in circumstances, causing intense, persistent, and out-of-proportion feelings.

Depression is an ongoing issue, not a temporary one. Though there are different forms of depression, major depressive disorder is the most frequent. It is made up of episodes in which the symptoms last at least two weeks.

Depression can last for weeks, months, or even years. For many individuals, it is a chronic condition that gets better and then relapses.

Depression can worsen the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

It is important to realize that feeling depressed at times is a normal aspect of life. Everyone feels sad and has disturbing events. However, if you consistently feel low or hopeless, you may suffer from depression.

Types of Depression

There are different types of depression. The following symptoms are some of the most common ones:

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

People suffering from major depression are in a constant state of sadness. They may lose interest in once-enjoyed activities. Medication and psychotherapy are commonly used in treatment.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, causes symptoms that last for at least two years. A person suffering from this serious condition may have episodes of major depression and experience milder symptoms that may not fit the criteria for major depressive disorder.

People with PDD experience a depressed mood more days than not. Children with PDD, like those with MDD, may look irritated rather than depressed. However, in order to receive a PDD diagnosis, individuals must have been experiencing symptoms for at least one year.

Postpartum Depression

Some people experience a brief sadness or heightened emotions after giving birth, referred to as the “baby blues.” This typically goes away within a few days to weeks.

Postpartum depression, often known as postnatal depression, is more serious.

This form of depression has no single cause and can last for months or years. Anyone who suffers from postpartum depression should seek medical care.

Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern

This type of depression, formerly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), typically occurs during the fall or winter when there is less daylight.

This medical condition appears to be more prevalent among those people who live in such countries with long or harsh winters.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating periods of low mood and extremely high energy (mania). During the low stage, people may experience depression symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, or a lack of energy.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a severe form of premenstrual disorder (PMS). It affects women in the days or weeks preceding their menstrual cycle.

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is characterized by severe depressive symptoms combined with delusions or hallucinations. Delusions are unfounded beliefs in things, whereas hallucinations involve hearing, seeing, or feeling touched by things that aren’t actually present.

Top 11 Symptoms of Depression

explained text: depression symptoms top signs you should seek treatment

Sometimes what you believe are depression symptoms aren’t actually depression symptoms. Substance use disorders, medical issues, prescription medication side effects, and other mental health conditions can all cause symptoms that resemble depression.

While only a trained healthcare provider can diagnose depression, there are several warning signs that can help you determine whether you or someone you care about is depressed.

Loss of interest in activities and low mood are the two core depression symptoms. People may also notice changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, feelings of guilt, difficulty focusing, or thoughts of death.

Depression symptoms might vary from person to person. So, although one individual may struggle to get out of bed, someone else may be able to go to work every day without coworkers noticing anything out of the ordinary.

Depressed Mood

Both major depression and persistent depressive disorder can be characterized by a depressed mood. A person suffering from major depression is depressed for most of the day. Children and teenagers, on the other hand, may look irritated rather than depressed.

Decreased Interest

The second key symptom of major depressive illness is a loss of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyed activities, often known as anhedonia.

Anhedonia symptoms can be classified into two categories:

  • Physical anhedonia makes it difficult to enjoy sensory pleasures. For example, foods you used to like suddenly taste insipid. Sex may no longer be enjoyable to you, or you may lose interest in it.
  • People who suffer from social anhedonia find it difficult to enjoy social interactions. For example, someone who used to like getting together with their friends for breakfast is now uninterested in attending these gatherings or answering phone calls.

Changes in Appetite

A change in your eating habits is another sign of depression. Some people experience a decrease in appetite as a result of this. You may have to force yourself to eat since eating has lost its appeal. Or, perhaps you lack the energy to make meals.

Conversely, sadness or feelings of worthlessness can contribute to overeating. Food is commonly used as a coping tool in these situations. You may discover that food improves your mood temporarily, but once the joy of eating has worn off, you go for more food to hide your depressive feelings.

One study monitored thousands of men and women for 11 years. Those who reported feelings of depression and anxiety during that period had larger weight changes and were more prone to be categorized as obese than those who didn’t.

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disruption is seen in up to 90 percent of depressed adults. It can manifest as either difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia).

The most common is insomnia, which affects 80% of patients with depression. People suffering from insomnia may have difficulty falling or staying asleep.

In approximately 15 percent to 25 percent of cases, people with depression sleep excessively less often. Younger people are more prone to experience this symptom.

Sleep problems may be both a symptom and cause of depression. Thus, improving your sleeping ability is vital for helping you feel better and lowering your chances of a future depression relapse.


Chronic fatigue can be a sign of both persistent depressive disorder and major depressive disorder. This loss of energy, which might result in excessive fatigue most of the time, can impair your ability to function normally.

You may not feel well enough to care for your children or perform housework. Maybe your exhaustion is severe enough that you need to call in sick often at work because you can’t get out of bed. The fatigue that accompanies clinical depression can be overwhelming at times.

Feelings of Guilt and Worthlessness

Depression can have a detrimental impact on everything, including how you perceive yourself. You may have negative and unrealistic thoughts about yourself, such as feeling worthless.

You may have difficulty letting go of past mistakes, which may result in feelings of guilt. You may become fixated on these “failures,” personalize trivial events, or believe that minor mistakes demonstrate your inadequacies.

An example of guilt and worthlessness would be a relationship that ended because you had a dispute with your spouse and said some unflattering things.

This might lead you to blame yourself for the breakup while neglecting other problems in your relationship, such as a partner who is a poor communicator or abusive.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by excessive, unwarranted guilt and feelings of worthlessness.

In certain cases, the feeling of guilt may be so strong that it leads to delusion, which is the inability to perceive things for what they truly are, resulting in the holding of false beliefs.

Difficulty Concentrating

Depression causes trouble concentrating and making decisions. People suffering from depression may recognize this in themselves, or those around them may notice that they are having difficulty thinking clearly.

This effect has been observed particularly in older adults. They may notice that they are having difficulty processing thoughts quickly and ascribe their symptoms to cognitive impairment.

Recurrent Thoughts of Death

Major depressive disorder is accompanied by recurring thoughts of death that go above the fear of dying. A person suffering from major depression may consider suicide, suicide attempt, or devise a particular plan to kill oneself.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than nine million adult Americans have suicidal thoughts each year. People who reported experiencing these thoughts the most were between 18 and 25 years old.

Unexplained Pain

Depression affects more than just a person’s mental health. It can also be harmful to a person’s physical health. For example, physical symptoms such as unexplained aches and pains are common warning signs of depression.

According to a recent study on depression symptoms, 69% of those who fulfill the criteria for a depression diagnosis initially go to their doctor for unexplained aches and pains.

Other common symptoms include joint pain, bloating, and backaches.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Those who suffer from mood disorders may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, or hopelessness.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about one in every five people in the United States who have anxiety or a serious mood disorder, such as depression, also have an alcohol or substance use disorder.

The same proportion of people with a drug or alcohol use disorder also have a mood disorder.

Low Sex Drive

When diagnosing episodes of depressive symptoms, some medical professionals believe that changes in sexual desire are a significant sign.

According to a 2018 study, more severe depression was linked to more severe sexual dysfunction. This disorder was characterized by difficulties with sexual function, desire, and enjoyment.

When a person is depressed, their libido may decrease for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities, such as sex
  • Low self-esteem

Depression Symptoms by Age

While poor mood and loss of interest are typical in those suffering from depression, other depression symptoms are commonly age-related.

Depression Symptoms in Children

Children who are depressed are prone to lose interest in hobbies and interactions with family members and friends. In children, anxiety and depression often co-occur.

For example, your kid may exhibit signs of anxiety or panic in ordinary circumstances.

Depression symptoms in children are often misdiagnosed as a natural part of growing up or “hormonal changes.” However, if your child exhibits any symptoms of depression, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider.

Depression Symptoms in Teenagers

Depression in teenagers often emerges as self-blame, rage, pessimism, and a negative outlook on the future.

Changes in their academic performance are likely, and they may even skip school altogether.

Teens may also begin to self-harm, use drugs or alcohol, change their appearance, and ignore their personal hygiene.

While it is true that kids go through various transformations and, at times, emotional ups and downs, it is critical to speak with your child if you suspect they are depressed.

Symptoms of depression will be persistent, and your teenager will feel overwhelmed or incapable of dealing with life.

Depression Symptoms in Older Adults

In older people, sadness may not be the predominant sign of depression. Instead, older people may suffer emotional numbness. It can sometimes be harder to tell whether an older adult is sad since they are less inclined to express their feelings.

In other cases, a loved one or mental health professional may misinterpret an older person’s depressive symptoms as a reaction to life changes.

Unfortunately, older people are more likely to develop depression; their symptoms should be appropriately addressed so they can get effective treatment.

Depression is Treatable

Although depression might make you feel hopeless, there is hope for individuals who seek a diagnosis and follow the treatment plan. Depression is one of the most treatable types of mental illness, with 80-90% of patients responding to treatment.

Treatment is more than just taking medications for the rest of your life. Therapy and lifestyle changes are also crucial in controlling symptoms and preventing relapse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the key symptom of depression?

Depression is a mental condition characterized by chronic sadness and loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities. Depression affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves and can result in various mental and physical problems. The key symptom of depression is extreme sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, or hopelessness.

What are the five effects of depression?

In the short term, depression is likely to cause weight loss, lack of appetite, and other physical symptoms. You will feel lethargic and fatigued if you develop insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much).

In the long term, you can get obese from eating too much and experience malnutrition from not eating enough. You may also experience a drop in short-term memory, making it easier to forget information. Long-term depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

How can I help someone with depression?

Helping someone who is depressed can take many forms. However, you can help by encouraging them to get treatment, listening with compassion, helping the person with daily activities, being attentive for symptoms of suicidal behavior, and making sure you are caring for yourself.

How do I know I need help?

Depression symptoms are long-lasting and can impact many aspects of your life, including your relationships, career, hobbies, and how you sleep, eat, and feel the majority of the time. Seek the advice of a healthcare expert if you’ve observed changes in your mood or behavior that are interfering with your daily life.

What are the 11 symptoms of depression?

The most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities
  • Angry outbursts
  • Sleep issues
  • Lack of energy
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating