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Symptoms of Depression
Depression can be devastating to family relationships, friendships, and the ability to work or go to school. Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Some people have only a few symptoms, while others have many.
Symptoms can change over time and may include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness (less common in elderly adults, children, and adolescents)
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Restlessness, worrying, or anxiety
- Irritability or mood changes
- Trouble sleeping, waking up too early, or oversleeping
- Loss of interest in hobbies, activities, and social interaction
- Feeling tired and generalized complaints, such as stomach ache, musculoskeletal complaints, and chronic pain
- Inability to relax
- Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
- Eating more or less than usual
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Loss of interest in sex
- Physical symptoms that defy standard diagnosis and do not respond well to medical treatments
- Thoughts of death or suicide (with or without suicide attempts)
Depression often coexists with other conditions, such as delivering a baby or chronic disease. The stress of coping with the disease may cause depression. Or depression may be caused by the disease itself or by medications used to treat the disease. Disorders commonly associated with depression include:
- Heart disease
- Neurological disorders, including:
- Chronic insomnia
- Some forms of cancer, including breast cancer
- Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Mental decline or hearing loss (in the elderly)
- Chronic pain
- Mental disorders such as:
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Updated May 2016. Accessed August 24, 2016.
Depression in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Available at: Updated August 10, 2016. Accessed August 24, 2016.
Depression in elderly patients. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 31, 2016. Accessed August 24, 2016.
Major depressive disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Available at: Updated March 31, 2016. Accessed August 24, 2016.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2016
- Update Date: 09/17/2014