Recognize signs of depression

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Depression is a serious illness that should be taken lightly. Depression can include a combination of symptoms:

Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness

Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex

Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort

Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people

Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or inability to sit still

Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility

Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Types of depression are nuanced and varied. Some individuals can have combinations of the following:

Anxious distress — unusual restlessness or worry about possible events or loss of control

Mixed features — simultaneous depression and mania, which includes elevated self-esteem, talking too much, and racing thoughts and ideas

Melancholic features — severe depression with a profound lack of response to something that used to bring pleasure, associated with early morning awakening, worsened mood in the morning, significant changes in appetite, and feelings of guilt, agitation or sluggishness

Atypical features — ability to be cheered by happy events, increased appetite, little need for sleep, sensitivity to rejection, and a heavy feeling in arms or legs

Psychotic features — depression accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, which may involve themes of personal inadequacy or negative themes

Catatonia — includes motor activity that involves either uncontrollable and purposeless movement or fixed and inflexible posture

Peripartum onset — occurs during pregnancy or in the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum)

Seasonal pattern — related to changes in seasons and diminished exposure to sunlight