Symptoms of depression

Learn about depression, its symptoms and possible causes, and how you can access treatment and support. 

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What are the symptoms of depression?

There are many signs and symptoms of depression, and everyone’s experience will vary. 

Understanding the common signs and symptoms of depression

There are many symptoms of depression, and everyone’s experience will vary. However, there are some common signs that you can look out for:

How you might feel

  • A sense of unreality
  • Empty and numb
  • Isolated and unable to relate to other people
  • Hopeless and despairing
  • Guilty, worthless and feeling sorry for yourself
  • Down, upset or tearful
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Angry or frustrated over minor things
  • Finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy
  • Restless, agitated or irritable
  • No self-confidence or self-esteem

How you might act

  • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty remembering or concentrating on things
  • Losing interest in sex
  • Difficulty speaking, thinking clearly or making decisions
  • Moving very slowly, or being restless and agitated
  • Using more tobacco, alcohol or other drugs than usual
  • No appetite and losing weight, or eating more than usual and gaining weight
  • Physical aches and pains with no obvious physical cause
  • Avoiding social events and activities you usually enjoy
  • Self-harming or suicidal behaviour

Self-harm and suicidal feelings

When people are feeling low, some turn to self-harming as a way to help cope with feelings they do not know how to deal with. Self harm can be very dangerous and have life long lasting effects. You might even find youself thinking about suicide, this is not an uncommon feeling so do not feel alone, as this can be a symptom of depression. It is difficult to generalise this, so please consider this as a mental health emergency if you feel you are unable to keep yourself safe.

Samaritans hotline-116 123. You can use this number anytime, day or night.

Remember, these are professionals who dont judge or tell you what to do.

Visit the Samaritan website.

Anxiety

Anxiety often accompanies depression, and it’s not unusual for individuals to experience both conditions simultaneously. Several symptoms overlap between depression and anxiety, such as:

  • Experiencing restlessness
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Facing difficulties with sleeping

Psychotic symptoms

If you’re dealing with depression, you might also experience psychotic symptoms. These could include delusions, like feeling paranoid, or hallucinations, such as hearing voices. When these psychotic symptoms occur as part of depression, they often reflect the depressive thoughts and emotions you’re experiencing, like intense feelings of guilt. You might, for example, be convinced you’ve done something terribly wrong, like committing a crime.

These experiences can seem incredibly real at the moment, making it difficult to recognise them as symptoms of depression. They can be very scary or distressing, but remember, help is available. Samaritans hotline- 116 123. 

The fear of being misdiagnosed based on these psychotic symptoms is understandable. However, openly discussing all your symptoms with a healthcare provider is crucial to receiving the appropriate care and support you need.

Depression and its effects are not to be generalised, everyone can experience different feelings and effects, this is why it is important to seek professional medical help to be correctly diagnosed.

How might depression affect my day-to-day life?

If you experience low mood or suicidal thoughts, this might be the reason you first speak to your doctor about your mental health. And your doctor might offer you treatment for depression without realising that you also experience other symptoms.

If you think you’re experiencing other symptoms, you can talk to your doctor about this to make sure you’re getting the right treatment. Do not feel judged, making the first step is often the most difficult but making the first step is a start.

Having or experiencing depression can affect daily activities. It may affect your relationships, your ability to work, or managing your finances. This can make an already difficult experience more stressful. 

Get support

Talk with a trained professional about your thoughts and feelings with out free counselling and private counselling service for people over the age of 18.

Counselling Private Counselling