Depression is a mental illness that can interfere significantly with life. Because depression is such a broad feeling, it isn’t possible to list every sign and symptom of depression.

Moreover, everyone’s particular experience of depression will vary. However, there are a variety of signs and symptoms that are consistent in a multitude of depression cases.

In general, someone who is depressed feels hopeless, sad, and loses interest in activities that were once enjoyable. For someone to be considered ‘clinically depressed’, they will need to have displayed several symptoms for a few continuous weeks.

Symptoms can generally be positioned in one of two groups – psychological and physical symptoms. But as discussed, it isn’t always as easy as just dividing symptoms into two areas.

Sometimes the signs of depression are quite clear, other times they aren’t

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious illness which can have a profound impact on the day-to-day life of someone who suffers from the illness. While the majority of people go through periods of feeling down or unhappy, those who are depressed feel persistently sad or have a low mood for weeks, or perhaps even months. Depression can make life appear pointless, and often leads to suicidal ideation. Depression is a common mental illness, and is usually classed as either mild, moderate or severe. Clinical Depression is the most common form, though there are a range of types, including Postpartum depression and Seasonal Affective depression. The good news is that unlike many mental health conditions, with the right treatment, support and lifestyle, many people with depression will gain full remission.

Psychological Symptoms

Here are some of the psychological symptoms that are often present:

  • Continuous low mood or sadness.
  • Hopelessness and helplessness,
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of emotion or excessive crying
  • Irritability
  • Concentration Difficulties
  • Numbness
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal or Self-Harm Ideation

Physical Symptoms

Here are some of the physical symptoms that are often present:

  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of libido
  • Losing/Gaining Weight
  • Insomnia or Excessive Sleep
  • Muscle Aches
  • Restlessness

The impact these symptoms have

These symptoms will typically lead to an individual behaving in a different way. For example, due to their low mood, they may avoid social activities and/or hobbies that would normally be enjoyable.

Perhaps they will adopt coping strategies that have the potential to harm them, such as abusing drugs or alcohol. Or their urge to self-harm may result in self-injury. As summarised here, the symptoms of depression can cause significant harm to an individual.

In select cases, mainly with Psychotic Depression, an individual may endure a psychotic episode. This is an episode that would typically involve hallucinations, paranoia, and/or delusions.


As mentioned above, everyone’s experience with depression will differ. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of symptoms, some people will display just a few of these.

But in any case, any of these symptoms can lead to suffering – and it is therefore very important to seek treatment when possible.

See Also


This website should be used purely for informational purposes, and does not intend to, nor should it ever, be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.

We strive to keep all of our pages updated, and ensure that our website is full of factual and in-depth information. However, we encourage you to browse this website with care.

As a reminder, this website and all content within it cannot and should not replace the advice of a trained medical professional. You can read our full disclaimer at this link.


If you are struggling with your mental health, help is available. With the right support and treatment, you can make a recovery. For information on helplines, or if you are in a state of crisis, please visit our crisis page by clicking on the relevant link for your geographical location (United Kingdom), (United States), (International). You can also see how to get mental health treatment and the process involved by clicking this link.