How do you recognize the signs and symptoms of depression?

How do you recognize the signs and symptoms of depression

The signs of depression relate to disturbances not only in the mood but also in bodily and cognitive functioning. In order to be diagnosed with depression, you need a number of these signs depending on the type of depression. There are nine major symptoms in depression described by the DSM-IV. Remember that only a medical diagnosis can tell if a person has a depressive disorder.

The 9 major symptoms of depression:

Depressed mood:

It is a feeling of sadness or emptiness present almost every day and all day. This sadness can be accompanied by crying or a feeling of hopelessness. The peculiarity is that this sadness is almost permanent and has no specific reason stated by the person.

Decrease in interest:

This is a marked disinterest in almost all activities and consequently an absence of pleasure in activities that were pleasurable for the person before the depressive episode. Thus, a person with the depressive syndrome will relate all the activities of their day in a monotonous and emotionally detached voice.

Weight evolution:

Eating disorders associated with depression are characterized by significant weight loss in the absence of a diet or, on the contrary, significant weight gain. Weight loss comes from a lack of appetite related to a person’s general lack of interest. Excessive appetite can be one way to fill the feeling of emptiness by swallowing large amounts of food.

Sleeping troubles:

Sleep disturbances in depression are characterized by insomnia or hypersomnia.

In the case of insomnia, it is difficult in falling asleep at the start of the night. Despite their severe fatigue, people with depression have difficulty falling asleep because they tend to think about many things during this time. She may wake up several times a night and for relatively long periods of time before falling asleep again. These cuts in sleep weaken the restorative qualities of sleep.

Hypersomnia is characterized by significantly longer than average sleep time. For the person with depressive disorders, sleep can then be a way to escape suffering.

Evolution of psychomotor behavior:

This sign is most often characterized by a psychomotor slowing down. People with depressive disorders have slow gestures, a slow speech rate. This slowness can also affect certain biological functions such as digestion.

In some cases, the development of psychomotor behavior is characterized more by restlessness.


A person with depressive disorder feels tired almost all the time. She feels a lack of energy that makes it difficult for her to get active. Fatigue is also due in part to the sleep disturbances it experiences.

Feeling of worthlessness:

During a depressive episode, the person feels an excessive sense of self-worthiness and/or possibly a strong feeling of guilt which is most often outside of all reality.

Cognitive disorders:

It is a cognitive dysfunction that decreases the ability to reason. Along with this difficulty in thinking, there are difficulties with concentration and positioning which leads to an inability to make decisions.

Dark thoughts:

These dark thoughts can affect the person with depressive disorder or others. They concern, among other things, recurring ideas of death or suicide. The depressed person may also think about suicide in concrete terms with the imagination of a suicide scenario. One of the major risks of depression is switching to suicide.

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