Symptoms

Feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression are common reactions to disappointment or loss. But feeling depressed more often than not and for weeks at a time is not normal. This is a sign that it's time to seek professional help. Depression does not look the same in everyone because symptoms of depression can vary greatly from person to person. Some common symptoms of depression include:

Sadness

The most common symptom of major depression is a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness that lasts for more than two weeks. In the case of dysthymia, sadness lasts over two years.

Read about other causes of sadness.

Worthlessness

Continual feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness often accompany depression. People with depression tend to focus on personal shortcomings or past failures and blame themselves when things aren't going the way they'd like.

Find out other causes of feeling of worthless.

Irritability

People with depression may get frustrated or easily angered—even over seemingly small or meaningless matters.

Read about other causes of irritability.

Fatigue

Having a lack of energy or feeling tired all the time is common in people with depression. Small tasks, such as showering or getting out of bed, may feel like they require more effort than one can manage.

Find out other causes of fatigue.

Crying Spells

People suffering from depression may find themselves crying frequently for no apparent reason.

Find out other causes of uncontrollable crying.

Apathy

People with depression commonly experience a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that they used to enjoy, including sex.

Read about other causes of apathy.

Restlessness

Agitation and restlessness, including pacing, an inability to sit still, or hand wringing, may occur with depression.

Find out other causes of restlessness.

Lack of Concentration

When depressed, people may have a difficult time remembering things, focusing their attention, or making decisions.

Read about other causes of lack of concentration.

Withdrawal

Many people shut themselves off from the world when they're depressed. They may isolate themselves, not answer the phone, or refuse to go out with friends.

Find out other causes of social isolation.

Sleep Problems

People's sleep habits are likely to change when they're depressed. They may not be able to fall asleep or stay asleep, or they may wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. Other people may find that they sleep all of the time and don't want to get out of bed.

Read about other causes of poor sleep.

Overeating or Loss of Appetite

Depression can often cause a lack of interest in food and weight loss. But in some people, depression might make them eat more and gain weight.

Find out other causes of appetite loss and overeating.

Thoughts of Suicide

Thinking or fantasizing about death is a serious sign of depression that needs to be addressed right away.

Read about other causes of suicidal thoughts.

Physical Pain

Depression can also cause physical symptoms such as body pain, headaches, cramps, and digestive problems. 

Find out other causes of body aches and muscle cramps.