Signs and symptoms of depression

The signs and symptoms of depression can be seen as two separate lists. The signs of depression may be noticeable by those close to the individual, such as family, friends and co-workers. Symptoms of depression may be more noticeable by the person experiencing the disorder – they can relate to the emotions and motivations within their minds and bodies.

Define Depression

Depression is not simply feeling sadness or disappointment for short periods of time. Depression is defined by a range of emotional and other symptoms that persist for longer spans of time, and more often that not, disrupt the individual’s work and home life, and their relationships.

Causes of depression

Typical causes of depression are prolonged occurrences of life events such as unemployment, work stress, abusive or dysfunctional relationships, isolation or loneliness. However, some individuals experience depression due to short term or recent events, such as the loss of a loved one, health issues or job loss.

Certain factors can increase an individual’s risk of depression. If a family member has or had depression, it may increase the risk of another relative developing the condition. It is by no means a certainty, however. Certain personalities can be more prone to developing the condition, such as those who have a tendency towards worrying, perfectionism, self-criticism, or have low self esteem.

Serious medical conditions can also trigger depression, either as a result of the stress and worry associated with the medical condition, or it may be a more direct result of the original illness.

Alcohol and drug use are often associated with depression, either in terms of causing or resulting from depression. Many individuals with depression have alcohol or drug problems at the same time.

Symptoms of depression

Depression symptoms are extensive, and can differ between individuals. Signs of depression may include:

  • Lowered mood
  • Sadness
  • Feeling emptiness
  • Lack of interest in socialising, participating in activities or hobbies
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Feeling restless
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Change or loss of appetite
  • Noticeable weight gain or loss
  • Feeling irritable
  • Frustration
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Limiting or negative thoughts (e.g. “I’m a failure”)

Types of depression

  • Clinical depression
  • Melancholia
  • Psychotic depression
  • Antenatal and postnatal depression
  • Bipolar disorder

Depression treatment

Overcoming depression alone may seem like an impossible task. At Red Hill Psychology, Elizabeth will assist you to make a plan and take steps to change negative thought patterns and deal with the stress of everyday life. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a useful treatment for depression, as it teaches individuals to identify and examine the thoughts, behaviours and limitations causing the depression, and then modify these unhelpful thoughts and behaviours in order to improve your mood and quality of life.

Book an appointment

If depression is interfering with your life and relationships, contact Elizabeth at Red Hill Psychology to book an appointment. Appointments with Elizabeth are available in person in the inner city Brisbane suburb of Red Hill. Telephone and online counselling sessions are also available.


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