Symptoms of Depression

The World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Disease defines depression as:

  • Two weeks of abnormal depressed mood
  • Loss of interest and decreased energy
  • Loss of confidence
  • Excessive guilt
  • Recurrent thoughts of death
  • Poor concentration
  • Agitation or retardation
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Change in appetite
  • Mild depression includes the first two symptoms and at least one other. Severe depression is the first two symptoms and at least five others.

Now for a list of symptoms which may be more familiar..

People with depression experience many of the following for prolonged periods:

sadness, lethargy, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, difficulties with decisions, memory, concentration, loss of interest, energy, changes to sleep patterns – difficulty sleeping or staying awake, changes in weight – either significant loss or gain in weight, relationship problems with partners, friends, family, colleagues, isolation, thoughts of death, suicide, anxiousness, unusual fear or feeling panic.

The degrees of these experiences will vary greatly. If you have many of these symptoms for prolonged period you are very probably experiencing depression, and should see your doctor regarding a professional assessment and treatment.

Importantly, there are also other illnesses which may produce similar symptoms to depression, and that require a very different treatment.  Your doctor will be able to test for these.

If you only have a few of these symptoms and don’t consider yourself to be depressed, treatment for depression, either traditional or alternate, may help.  It is certainly worth speaking with a medical professional you are comfortable with.

Don’t wait until you are really unwell before you do something to improve your mental health & well being!