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Diseases » Depression » Signs
 

Signs of Depression

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

The severity and types of symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Typical symptoms include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and despair that do not go away. Other feelings may include hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, and anger and irritability. People with depression may also experience a loss in interest in activities they once enjoyed, chronic fatigue, trouble focusing, and difficulties with memory or in making decisions. Sleep abnormalities may also occur, such as insomnia or a desire to sleep all the time. Suicidal thoughts or attempts at committing suicidal may also be experienced. Chronic pain is also associated with depression. The two are connected closely because the mood and pain perception centers are both located in the same areas of the brain. Both chronic pain and depression can deplete the body's sores of endorphins and other neurochemical that regulate mood and sensation and result in an exacerbation of the other condition. Seventy-five percent of patients with depression have complaints of physical symptoms, especially chronic pain. In addition, depression occurs in about 30% of patients with chronic pain, and anyone in pain can experience some level of mood change, according to the National Pain Foundation.

Not all of the above symptoms are always related to depression. They and other symptoms can be related to many other conditions. At the same time, depression can accompany other conditions. For example, chronic body aches and fatigue may be due to fibromyalgia, which may or may not accompany depression. Depression also often goes hand in hand with other conditions, such as anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Only a thorough evaluation by a qualified health care professional can determine what is causing your particular symptoms and make a diagnosis of depression. Symptoms of depression, especially suicidal thoughts, should be reported immediately to your health care provider, and 911should be called immediately for any attempt at suicide, even if it does not appear serious....more...»

Symptoms of Depression

The list of medical symptoms mentioned in various sources for Depression may include:

Note that Depression symptoms usually refers to various medical symptoms known to a patient, but the phrase Depression signs may often refer to those signs that are only noticable by a doctor.

Signs or Symptoms of Depression:

Depression: NWHIC (Excerpt)

When a person is clinically depressed, his or her ability to function both mentally and physically is affected, and the trouble may last for weeks, months or even years. Here is a list of the most common signs of depression. If several of these symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, see a doctor.

  • An "empty" feeling, ongoing sadness and anxiety

  • Tiredness, lack of energy

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including sex

  • Sleep problems, including very early morning awakening

  • Problems with eating and weight (gain or loss)

  • A lot of crying

  • Aches and pains that just wonít go away

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

  • Feelings that the future looks grim; feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless

  • Irritability

  • Thoughts of death or suicide; a suicide attempt.

Symptoms vary widely among people and, sometimes, depression can hide behind a smiling face. Donít ignore the warning signs. At its worst, serious depression can lead to suicide. Listen carefully when a friend or relative complains about being depressed or of people not caring. The person may be telling you that he or she needs help. (Source: excerpt from Depression: NWHIC)

Let's Talk About Depression: NIMH (Excerpt)

Sure, everybody feels sad or blue now and then. But if you're sad most of the time, and it's giving you problems with

  • your grades or attendance at school
  • your relationships with your family and friends
  • alcohol, drugs, or sex
  • controlling your behavior in other ways

the problem may be DEPRESSION. (Source: excerpt from Let's Talk About Depression: NIMH)

Let's Talk About Depression: NIMH (Excerpt)

When You're Depressed... (Source: excerpt from Let's Talk About Depression: NIMH)

Depression in Children and Adolescents A Fact Sheet for Physicians: NIMH (Excerpt)

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder Common to Adults, Children, and Adolescents 14

  • Persistent sad or irritable mood
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Significant change in appetite or body weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
(Source: excerpt from Depression in Children and Adolescents A Fact Sheet for Physicians: NIMH)

Depression in Children and Adolescents A Fact Sheet for Physicians: NIMH (Excerpt)

Signs That May Be Associated with Depression in Children and Adolescents

  • Frequent vague, non-specific physical complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches or tiredness
  • Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
  • Talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Outbursts of shouting, complaining, unexplained irritability, or crying
  • Being bored
  • Lack of interest in playing with friends
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Fear of death
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Reckless behavior
  • Difficulty with relationships
(Source: excerpt from Depression in Children and Adolescents A Fact Sheet for Physicians: NIMH)

If You're Over 65 and Feeling Depressed Treatment Brings New Hope: NIMH (Excerpt)

Most people think of depression only as sadness and low mood, but clinical depression is far more than the ordinary "down" moods everyone experiences now and then, and which pass after a visit with a friend or a good movie.

Depression is also more than a feeling of grief after losing someone you love. Following such a loss, for many people, a depressed mood is a normal reaction to grief. And these people may find it helpful to join a mutual support group, such as widowed-persons, to talk with others experiencing similar feelings.

However, when a depressed mood continues for some time, whether following a particular event or for no apparent reason, the person may be suffering from clinical depression--an illness that can be treated effectively.

Clinical depression is a whole body disorder. It can affect the way you think and the way you feel, both physically and emotionally. (Source: excerpt from If You're Over 65 and Feeling Depressed Treatment Brings New Hope: NIMH)

Medications: NIMH (Excerpt)

Depressed people will seem sad, or "down," or may be unable to enjoy their normal activities. They may have no appetite and lose weight (although some people eat more and gain weight when depressed). They may sleep too much or too little, have difficulty going to sleep, sleep restlessly, or awaken very early in the morning. They may speak of feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless; they may lack energy or be jumpy and agitated. They may think about killing themselves and may even make a suicide attempt. Some depressed people have delusions (false, fixed ideas) about poverty, sickness, or sinfulness that are related to their depression. Often feelings of depression are worse at a particular time of day, for instance, every morning or every evening. (Source: excerpt from Medications: NIMH)

What to do When a Friend is Depressed: NIMH (Excerpt)

When that "down" mood, along with other symptoms, lasts for more than a couple of weeks, the condition may be clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious health problem that affects the total person. In addition to feelings, it can change behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance, social activity and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures. (Source: excerpt from What to do When a Friend is Depressed: NIMH)

Depression A Serious but Treatable Illness -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Everyone gets the blues now and then. It's part of life. But when there is little joy or pleasure after visiting with friends or seeing a good movie, there may be a more serious problem. Being depressed for a while, without letup, can change the way a person thinks or feels. Doctors call this "clinical depression." (Source: excerpt from Depression A Serious but Treatable Illness -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Depression A Serious but Treatable Illness -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Many older people have to deal with the death of loved ones or friends. Some may have a tough time getting used to retirement. Others are trying to deal with chronic illness. But, after a period of grieving or feeling troubled, most older people do get back to their daily lives. A person who is clinically depressed continues to have trouble coping both mentally and physically and may not feel better for weeks, months, or even years.

Here is a list of the most common signs of depression. If these last for more than 2 weeks, see a doctor.

  • An "empty" feeling, ongoing sadness, and anxiety.
  • Tiredness, lack of energy.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities, including sex.
  • Sleep problems, including very early morning waking.
  • Problems with eating and weight (gain or loss).
  • A lot of crying.
  • Aches and pains that just won't go away.
  • A hard time focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
  • Feeling that the future looks grim; feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless.
  • Being irritable.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; a suicide attempt.
(Source: excerpt from Depression A Serious but Treatable Illness -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

More Symptoms of Depression:

More detailed symptom information may be found on the symptoms of Depression article. In addition to the above medical information, to get a full picture of the possible signs or symptoms of this condition and also possibly the signs and symptoms of its related medical conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by:

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

These general reference articles may be related to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

What are the signs of Depression?

The phrase "signs of Depression" should, strictly speaking, refer only to those signs and symptoms of Depression that are not readily apparent to the patient. The word "symptoms of Depression" is the more general meaning; see symptoms of Depression.

The signs and symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Depression. This medical information about signs and symptoms for Depression has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Depression signs or Depression symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Depression may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Depression symptoms.

 

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