What are the signs of depression?

Depressive symptoms. If you have experienced at least five of these symptoms for at least two weeks, you may be diagnosed with depression:

  1. Depressed mood: Feeling blue most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Loss of interest and pleasure: Markedly reduced interest/pleasure in all (or almost all) activities most of the day.
  3. Changed appetite or weight (eating more or less than usual).
  4. Sleep disturbance (too much or too little).
  5. Moving more slowly than usual or making meaningless movements due to anxiety (for example twisting your hands).
  6. Lacking energy: Feeling tired nearly every day.
  7. Feeling excessively guilty and/or worthless.
  8. Having difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions.
  9. Having repeated thoughts about death, suicidal thoughts, or sometimes wishing you were dead.

Depression criteria. To receive a diagnosis of depression, the following conditions also apply:

  • You experience at least 5 depressive symptoms. 
  • One of the symptoms ‘Depressed mood’ or ‘Loss of interest and pleasure’ is present. 
  • The depressive symptoms have been present for at least two weeks. 
  • The depressive symptoms cause suffering or affect your ability to work, interfere with relationships or other important aspects of life. 
  • The symptoms can’t be explained by a physical illness or substance abuse. 
  • The symptoms can’t be explained by another mental disorder.
  • You have never experienced a manic or hypomanic episode.


Read more about depressive symptoms here: What are the signs of depression?

Related questions

How common is depression?

Around 5-8 % of people are currently suffering from depression worldwide. It’s most common in people aged 18-29.  Depression is twice as common