How do i know if i have depression?

Millions of people worldwide who have a depressive illness experience a recognised range of symptoms. While we may all have days when we experience some of these
symptoms, people with depression experience them almost every day over weeks or months.

If you have experienced many of the following symptoms much of the day, nearly every day over the past two weeks or more, you may have developed clinical depression:

  • Feeling sad or low in mood

  • Reduced interest in daily activities; loss of pleasure in things

  • A significant change in appetite or weight (either up or down)

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

  • Feelings of constant fatigue and low energy

  • Changes in your energy levels – either restlessness or agitation, or being slowed down in your movements or thinking

  • Being disturbed by feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions

  • Thinking a lot about death, or thoughts about suicide

Other common symptoms include irritability, loss of confidence and self esteem and reduced interest in sexual activity. A person with depression may lose their sense of humour and lose interest in other people and relationships; they may worry much more than usual and cry easily.  

Other people may also notice changes, such as that the person looks sad, or appears either agitated or slowed down.

People with depression often do not know what is wrong and may blame their symptoms on working too hard, or getting old. Sometimes, they will start to develop other symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, tiredness and other aches and pains, which are the body’s way of signalling it is not well. These symptoms are often the reason that they see their GP.

Who gets depression?

Anyone can get depression. lt affects young and old, men and women, both single people and those in relationships, and both the unemployed and the employed. It can affect people no matter what their level of education.