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Symptoms of Depression

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Symptoms of Depression

Depression symptoms differ from person to person. Some may only have a few, while others may have many. Symptoms change over time. The most common are:

  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless—these are less common in older adults, children, and adolescents
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Feeling restless, worried, or anxious
  • Mood changes
  • Problems sleeping, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
  • No desire for hobbies, for social engagements, or to be around friends or family
  • Feeling tired
  • Having general pain in the stomach, head, muscles, and joints
  • Problems thinking clearly
  • Eating habits change
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Thoughts of death or ending your own life—with or without trying it

Depression can interfere with family, school, or work life. It can also cause problems in how a person relates to other people. If you have any of these problems for 2 weeks or more, call your doctor.


  • Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml.
  • Depression in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/depression-in-children-and-adolescents.
  • Depression in older adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/depression-in-older-adults.
  • Depressive disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/mood-disorders/depressive-disorders.
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/major-depressive-disorder-mdd.


  • Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.