What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

People who are depressed have some (but not necessarily all) of these symptoms:

  • Negative mood: Depression causes a sad, hopeless, or grumpy mood that lasts for weeks or longer. When people are depressed, they can also seem easily annoyed or angry.
  • Negative thinking: People who are depressed might mistakenly think they are worthless, unlovable, or bad. They might think things will never get better.
  • Negative attitude: People who are depressed might feel like nothing is worth trying, nothing’s any good. This can make them feel like giving up.
  • Low energy: People who feel depressed often feel too tired to do things they normally do, like play, go to school, or go to work.
  • Not enjoying things: Depression can ruin enjoyment of the things someone normally likes, such as being with friends, enjoying family, or having fun.
  • Trouble concentrating: Depression can make it hard to concentrate on schoolwork, reading, or what people say.
  • Sleeping or eating problems: Depression can cause someone to sleep or eat too much or not enough.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by problems: Depression can make it seem like every problem is too big to deal with.

When these problems last for weeks or longer, it is most likely a sign that the person is depressed. Some people who have depression may not even realize it. Often it’s a parent, teacher, or family member who notices behavior changes like the ones in the list above.


Helping Yourself

In addition to getting help, there are things people can do to help themselves get better. Eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, daily exercise (such as walking or playing), and taking time to relax can do a lot to improve depression.

Sharing your sad feelings with someone who cares can help, too.There is always somebody to talk to when you are sad or depressed. You feel better when someone knows what you’re going through. Plus, the other person can help you think of ways to make the situation better.

But don’t spend all your time talking about what’s wrong. Be sure to talk together about the good things, too. Paying attention to the good stuff (especially during sad times) can help turn your mood in a positive direction. It may seem simple, but it’s another powerful way to help yourself if you’re dealing with depression.



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