Home Mental Health What Is Depression? – Depression Signs And Symptoms

What Is Depression? – Depression Signs And Symptoms

Depression Symptoms

Depression is intense sorrow or sadness that is prolonged, intense. It may result in physical symptoms, including, a lack of vitality, irregular sleeping patterns, increased weight loss, or discomfort as well as disrupts daily routines.

It is the most common mental health disorder.

Types of Depression and Signs

Major Depression (MD)

It is also referred to as severe, classic, unipolar, clinical, or chronic depression or major depressive disorder. It exhibits severe or debilitating symptoms that persist for more than two weeks.

Symptoms of major depression

  • Sorrow, depression, or grief
  • Lack of energy and exhaustion
  • Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
  • Disinterest or reduced interest in once-enjoyable activities
  • Unexplained pains and aches
  • Lack of focus, memory issues, and difficulty making judgments
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sense of worthlessness or despair
  • Anxiety 
  • Suicidal, self-harming, or dead thoughts

These signs and symptoms may last for weeks or even months. While some people only experience major depression once in their lives, others do so continuously. Major depression can affect your relationships and day-to-day activities no matter how long your symptoms last.

It can be in the form of the following;

Anxiety distress

Most of the time, you feel tense and restless. You feel you might lose control of yourself and find it difficult to focus because you are afraid that something terrible might occur.


You feel awful even when good things happen and go through a period of intense sadness and lose interest in the things you once loved. There is a probability to also;

  • Possess suicidal notions
  • Reduce weight
  • Poor sleep
  • Feel incredibly depressed in the mornings

When you first wake up in the morning, melancholy depression symptoms may be at their worst. Think about asking someone to assist you with your morning tasks. Even though you don’t feel hungry, remember to eat frequently.

Most of the time, you feel uncomfortable. You might also;

  • Talk impulsively
  • Move without a reason, such as by pacing the room and fidgeting with your hands.
  • Talk a lot

Talk therapy is beneficial. A mental health professional will help you come up with strategies for controlling your depression throughout your consultation. Antidepressant medications can also be helpful.

In addition to therapy and medication, your doctor might advise the following:

  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
  • Magnetic stimulation of the brain (TMS)
  • Electroshock treatment (ECT)

TMS employs a certain kind of magnet, whereas VNS uses an implanted device. ECT uses electrical pulses. All of them aim to stimulate activity in particular brain regions. This improves the functionality of the brain regions responsible for mood regulation.

Bipolar depression

Patients with bipolar illness could suffer depressive symptoms such as hopelessness, a lack of energy, or sadness. They often experience depressive and manic mood swings.

Symptoms of the manic phase

  • Decreased sleep
  • Strong energy
  • Irritability
  • Racing speech and thoughts
  • Enhanced confidence and self-worth
  • Strange, dangerous, and self-destructive actions
  • Happy or elevated feelings

Manic episodes must last seven days or fewer, or longer if hospitalization is necessary, for a doctor to diagnose you with bipolar I disorder. Before or after the manic episode, you could have a depressed episode.

The symptoms of depressive episodes are similar to those of major depression and include the following:

  • Emotional emptiness or sadness
  • Low energy exhaustion
  • Sleep issues
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Laziness
  • A decline of interest in once-fun activities
  • Suicidal ideas

Episodes in extreme cases may include delusions and hallucinations. A mixed episode is one in which you experience both manic and depressive symptoms.

When you have hallucinations, you experience unreal sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, and visions. Hearing voices or observing people who aren’t there are two examples of this. A firmly held belief that is demonstrably incorrect or illogical is referred to be a delusion. However, these things are pretty authentic and accurate for someone experiencing psychosis.

Perinatal and postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can linger up to a year after giving birth, while perinatal depression can occur at any point during pregnancy. The “baby blues” are just one sign of anxiety, mild depression, or stress.

Symptoms of perinatal & postpartum depression

  • Sadness
  • Intense worry about the baby’s safety and health
  • Anxiety
  • Wrath or tiredness
  • Thoughts of killing oneself or the newborn
  • Thoughts of injuring the newborn

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)

Chronic depression or dysthymia are other names for it. In comparison to major depression, PDD symptoms are less severe. Some individuals, though, may experience symptoms of PDD for up to two years.

Symptoms of persistent depressive disorder

  • Deep grief or despair
  • Disinterest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low self-esteem or thoughts of inadequacy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Alterations in sleeping habits
  • Low energy
  • Attention and memory issues
  • Difficulties working or functioning at school or job lack joy, even in joyful situations.
  • Social exclusion

Despite being a persistent form of depression, the severity of symptoms can lessen for weeks or months before returning to their previous level. Some people also have major depressive episodes either before or during having a persistent depressive condition. Double depression is the term used to describe it.

People may get so used to the symptoms that they assume it’s normal.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

It is an extreme premenstrual disorder (PMS). It affects ladies in the days or weeks close to their menstrual period. It can be both psychological and physical.

These psychological symptoms and signs are more intense than PMS-related ones. For instance, some people may experience an increased mood in the days before their period. However, a person with PMDD may deal with depression and sorrow that interferes with day-to-day activities.

Symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder

  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Tender breasts
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Severe mood swings
  • Irritation and fury
  • Binge eating or food cravings
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep issues

Hormonal changes might influence PMDD and perinatal depression both. When you have your period, the symptoms usually start to subside. They frequently start right after ovulation.

Thoughts of suicide are sometimes associated with PMDD, which some individuals dismiss as just a bad case of PMS.

People experiencing extreme pain during periods are advised to be checked for endometriosis.

Psychotic depression

The hallmarks of psychotic depression include severe depressive symptoms as well as hallucinations or delusions. Delusions are beliefs in things that are not supported by reality, hearing, or seeing, while hallucinations entail feeling touched by things that aren’t actually there.

Muscular symptoms of depression with psychosis can also include difficulty sitting still or slowed physical mobility.

Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)

Also known as seasonal depression. It could be major seasonal depression.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective disorder

  • Daily emotions of despair, hopelessness, or unworthiness
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Weight gain
  • Isolation from social situation

Situational depression

It is more akin to a severe depressive episode brought on by a particular circumstance or event.

The circumstances can include;

  • Facing extensive legal troubles
  • Being in physically or emotionally abusive relationships
  • Being unemployed or facing severe financial difficulties
  • Going through child custody or divorce issues
  • The death of a loved one
  • Life-threatening events such as severe illness

It is common to experience sadness, anxiety, or even a desire to isolate oneself from people during such occurrences. However, situational sadness emerges when these feelings seem excessive compared to the initial occurrence and begin to interfere with your daily activities.

Situational depression symptoms often start to show up three months after the initial event.

Symptoms of Situational Depression

  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Frequent crying
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Difficulty sleeping

Atypical Depression

It is neither unusual nor strange. Your doctor can describe it as a severe depressive disorder with atypical symptoms.

Atypical depression is described as depression that briefly improves in response to joyous situations. This makes no claim as to whether this form of depression is more or less severe than others.

It may be challenging to receive an atypical depression diagnosis because you may not always “look” depressed to others (or to yourself). It may also occur if depression persists or during a significant depressive episode.

Symptoms of atypical depression

  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain due to increased appetite
  • Feelings of sensitivity to criticism and rejection
  • Prolonged heaviness for an hour or more than a day in your arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Disordered eating
  • Poor body image
  • Aches and pains

Causes Of Depression


Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse can raise your chance of developing depression later in life.


Depression is more prevalent among older adults. Having insufficient social support, and living alone are factors that can make it worse.

Early childhood trauma

Some experiences in your childhood affect how your body responds to stress and trauma.

Certain medicines

Some drugs, such as the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, corticosteroids, and the acne drug isotretinoin, can increase your chances of getting depression.


For people with biological factors that could trigger depression, conflicts and arguments could lead to it.

Loss or demise

Although it is typical to feel depressed or grieve after losing a loved one, the chance of developing depression can increase.


Depression is typically twice as common in women as it is in men. Nobody is aware of the cause. Ow women experience different hormonal changes over the course of their lives may play a role.


Depression in the family’s past could increase the risk. Being a complex trait, depression is more likely to be caused by a number of small-effect genes than by a single gene that raises the likelihood of getting the disorder. The genetics of depression, like other mental disorders, is not as obvious or uncomplicated as it is in diseases that are entirely genetic, such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s chorea.

Major events

Happy life events like getting married, beginning a new career, or graduating can cause depression. Similarly, divorce, moving, losing a job or a source of income, or retiring can cause depression too. However, a clinically depressed condition is never a “normal” response to stressful circumstances.

Severe ailments

Sometimes, other illnesses or severe illness co-occurs with depression causing depression.

Other personal issues

Clinical depression can be generated by issues like social isolation, rejection by a family or social group, or other mental conditions

Brain chemistry

According to recent research, interactions with the neurocircuits in charge of maintaining mood stability and changes to neurotransmitters’ (organic brain chemicals)  effects may have a significant impact on depression and how it is treated.


Changes in the body’s hormone balance may trigger or be the cause of depression. Pregnancy, the postpartum period (the weeks and months following delivery), thyroid issues, menopause, and various other diseases can all cause hormonal changes.

Misusing drugs

Nearly 30% of people who battle substance misuse also struggle with severe or clinical depression. Drugs and alcohol will ultimately worsen your depression, even if they temporarily lift your mood.

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