Symptoms of depression, or a depressive episode
- lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
- feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
- decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being slowed down
- difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- restlessness or irritability
- sleeping too much, or can’t sleep
- change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
- chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms not caused by physical illness or injury
- thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Diagnosis of depression
Depressive episodes (ICD-10), or major depressive episodes (DSM-IV) are diagnosed by two weeks of low or depressed mood and a decrease in energy, activity, interest, or pleasure.
ICD-10 specifies depressive symptoms as
- mild (when at least four depressive symptoms* are present),
- moderate (when six symptoms and difficulty continuing with ordinary activities), or
- severe (when eight symptoms, which are marked and distressing).
DSM-IV also includes
- repeated thoughts about death (other than the fear of dying) and
- suicide (with or without a plan) or
- suicide attempt as part of its diagnosis description.
* see list above