People affected by depression may experience a very broad range of symptoms. This means that it is very difficult to compile an exhaustive list and it can also make depression awkward to identify.

Common symptoms include:

Physical
  • Changes in sleeping patterns – difficulty getting to sleep, sleeping more or less, waking early, not being able to get back to sleep, and daytime sleeping
  • Changes in eating patterns or appetite – eating much more or much less
  • Loss of energy, general fatigue
  • Tearfulness
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches, stomach aches or other aches and pains
Behavioural
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Being irritable
  • Putting things off
  • Being busy
  • Lack of motivation
  • No enthusiasm for anything
  • Paranoia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Needing to get away
  • Lack of interest in personal appearance and hygiene
  • Hiding away – avoiding social situations
Emotional
  • Feeling pessimistic
  • Emotional numbness
  • Fear – especially without an identifiable reason
  • Negative beliefs/ideas
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Loss of confidence
  • Feeling worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling anxious and empty

We all experience some of these symptoms now and again, but if you have experienced four or more (to the point that they interfere with your ability to get on with your life) persistently for two weeks or more, you should seek advice from your doctor

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