11 Common Depression Symptoms

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Depression is a very common condition. Depression is more common in women then in men.

It's important to remember that depression is an illness that affects both the body and mind. It is not something that we can just wish away or "snap out of," nor is it a sign of a weak character. The good news about depression is that almost everyone suffering from this condition can be helped with treatment, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the main symptoms and signs of depression are the following:

  1. persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  2. feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  3. feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  4. loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  5. decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  6. difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  7. insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  8. appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  9. thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  10. restlessness, irritability
  11. persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

If you have been experiencing several of these symptoms to a degree that they have impaired or affected your life, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you find out whether or not you are suffering from depression and direct you to appropriate resources for treatment and recovery.

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


"Screening for depression"

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