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You are here:DisordersDepressionWhat are the symptoms of depression?

When someone is depressed at least two of the following three symptoms will be present for at least three weeks:

  1. An unusually sad mood that does not go away
  2. Loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that used to be
  3. Lack of energy and tiredness

People who are depressed can also have other symptoms including:

  1. Loss of confidence in themselves or poor self-esteem
  2. Feeling guilty when they are not really at fault
  3. Wishing they were dead (suicidal thoughts)
  4. Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  5. Moving more slowly or sometimes becoming agitated and unable to settle
  6. Having difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much
  7. Loss of interest in food or eating too much
  8. Changes in eating habits may lead to either loss of weight or putting on weight

It is always more reliable to get a confirmed diagnosis from a mental health profession.

Speak to your GP in the first instance, who may or may not refer you to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis. However, if you are unable to unwilling to see your GPs, you may wish to note this guide:

  • Mild depression: 4 of the 11 above symptoms over the past two weeks.
  • Moderate depression: 6 of the 11 above symptoms over the past two weeks.
  • Severe depression: 8 of the 11 above symptoms over the past two weeks.

Some people experience depressive symptoms during the winter months when there is less natural light and this is called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Physical signs of seasonal affective disorder

  • Lack of energy and tiredness
  • Moving more slowly or sometimes becoming agitated and unable to settle
  • Having difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest in food or eating too much
  • Changes in eating habits may lead to either loss of weight or putting on weight

Mental signs of seasonal affective disorder

  • Loss of confidence in themselves or poor self-esteem
  • Feeling guilty when you are not really at fault
  • Wishing you were dead (suicidal thoughts)
  • Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Moving more slowly or sometimes becoming agitated and unable to settle
  • Having difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest in food or eating too much
  • Changes in eating habits may lead to either loss of weight or putting on weight

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