What is severe/moderate/mild depression?

The severity of depressive symptoms can be divided into three categories: mild, moderate and severe depression. 

Mild depression: In the case of mild depression, all criteria for depression are met, but the depressed person can still keep up with everyday chores, work and social relationships. The depressive symptoms are not always apparent to other people. Even though this is the mildest form of depression, it’s more than just feeling blue temporarily. The symptoms, such as feeling down and lacking energy, don’t disappear like you would expect them too if you were just experiencing ordinary sadness or fatigue. It’s important to try to treat your symptoms because mild depression can progress into more severe forms. 

Read more about 5 medication-free treatments for depression.

Moderate depression: In the case of moderate depression, there are more symptoms present and they tend to be more severe than in the case of mild depression. The depressed person experiences difficulty keeping up with work and everyday life. The symptoms are usually severe enough to cause problems in her/his social life too. If you recognise this level of depression, it’s highly recommended that you seek treatment as soon as possible. 

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Severe depression: In the case of severe depression, the quality of life is greatly reduced and the depressed person can’t keep up with everyday life and daily chores. This is typically a level of depression that makes it a challenge to get out of bed in the morning and very difficult to perform common household chores. It probably affects all social relationships. Usually, it’s associated with an intense experience of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts or plans. If you recognise these depressive symptoms, please, contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible. 

Related questions

What is treatment-resistant depression?

Treatment-resistant depression occurs when a patient has undergone one or several evidence-based treatments for depression (such as taking antidepressant medication) without result. You