Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Depression: Do You Know the Symptoms?

    What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

    They include feeling several of the following for at least 2 weeks:

    • Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
    • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
    • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
    • Not enjoying things you used to enjoy
    • Trouble with concentration, memory, or making decisions
    • Sleeping too much or too little
    • Appetite changes
    • Gaining or losing weight
    • Feeling restless or irritable
    • Thoughts of suicide or death

    You might not have all of these. Doctors call it "major depression" if you have at least 5 of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks. People with major depression might also have other physical symptoms, such as pain or other illnesses that get worse, stomachaches, headaches, or digestive problems.

    Understanding Depression

    Find out more about depression:

    Basics

    Symptoms

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    Prevention

    In kids and teens, the symptoms may include:

    Depression can range from mild to severe. Doctors used to call the milder forms “dysthymia” if it lasted for at least 2 years in adults (1 year in children and teens). Now, it’s called "persistent depressive disorder."

    Everyone feels sad or blue now and then. Those are normal emotions. Depression is different. If it lasts more than 2 weeks and doesn’t lift, or if you start to notice other physical symptoms such as changes in sleep, appetite, or energy, seek help. You could start with your regular doctor or a mental health professional.

    Call Your Doctor If:

    • You or a loved one has suicidal thoughts.
    • You think you or a loved one is depressed. There are effective treatments.

    It’s also wise to check in with your doctor if you are considering alternative or complementary treatments for depression. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks, benefits, and what’s best for you.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 19, 2016

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
     
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
     
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Slideshow
     
    Pills with smiley faces
    Article
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Article
     
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    Article
    antidepressants slideshow
    Article
     
    pill bottle
    Article
    Winding path
    Article