Depression


Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Emotional

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of emotional responsiveness
  • Helplessness
  • Hopelessness

Physical

  • Chronic, fatigue, lack of energy
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Behavioral

  • Crying spells
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Worrying
  • Neglect of responsibilities
  • Loss of interest in personal appearance
  • Loss of motivation

Thoughts/Perceptions

  • Frequent self-criticism
  • Self-blame
  • Pessimism
  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Indecisiveness and confusion
  • Tendency to believe others see you in a negative light
  • Thoughts of death and suicide
All of these “symptoms” need not be present in all persons with depression. You will notice that many of the warning signs of suicide overlap with signs of depression.
 
Periodic bouts of sadness or depressed mood that last a few days are common. The diagnosis of Major Depression is separated from these periodic bouts in duration and severity of symptoms. There are several “types” of Mood Disorders and it is recommended that counselors consult the DSM-IV TR for information on the diagnoses of Depression.

Because situational and chronic depression are so prevalent, and can often be overlooked, it is highly recommended that counselors read literature related to the identification, assessment, and treatment of depression.