Depression Signs and Diagnostics

Signs of Depression

The signs of depression include markedly low or depressed mood, but this may show itself differently in different people. Signs and symptoms of depression include:1

  • Unexplained crying spells
  • Negativity, a bleak feeling about the future, hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping significantly too much or too little
  • Irritability, restlessness; anger flares up over the littlest things
  • Lack of energy, feeling physically drained; unexplained aches and pains
  • Slow movement and thought
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, concentrating; troubles with memory

Depression In Teens

There are some depression signs that are more common in teens. These include:

  • An irritable mood more than a depressed one
  • Poor school or athletic performance
  • Skipping school
  • Anxiety and focus on body image and performance; particularly in girls
  • Behavioral problems; particularly in boys

Diagnostic Criteria for Depression

Depression  diagnosis of depression meets at least five of the following.

  • Depressed mood (For children and adolescents, this can also be an irritable mood. See: Depression in Children)
  • Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in almost all activities (anhedonia)
  • Significant weight change or appetite disturbance (For children, this can be failure to achieve expected weight gain.)
  • Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia) (See: Depression and Sleep Disorders)
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal (See: Suicide, Suicide Thoughts)
  • A pattern of long-standing interpersonal rejection ideation, suicide attempt, or specific plan for suicide
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