How to recognise depression

These signs may indicate that you or a loved one is at risk of developing depression.

Older man with mental health problem covering face

Depression is more than just feeling down or flat, but if these and certain other symptoms persist, you or a loved one may be at risk of developing this mental health condition.

Depression can develop over time, so at first it can be difficult to notice. Many people push through their feelings and symptoms without realising they are depressed. As such, it can take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong.

The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people. But as a general rule, if you are depressed, most of the time you’ll feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy. These symptoms persist for weeks or months, and are bad enough to interfere with all aspects of your life, and can include:

  • behaviour – e.g. not going out anymore, not doing things you enjoy and withdrawing from loved ones
  • feelings – e.g. feeling sad, miserable, irritable, anxious, worried and overwhelmed
  • thoughts – e.g. ‘life’s not worth living’, ‘I’m worthless’, ‘I’m a failure’
  • physical – e.g. tired all the time, sleep problems, significant weight fluctuations.

You’ll find a more comprehensive list of depression signs and symptoms at Beyond Blue. But it’s important to keep in mind that we all experience some of these symptoms now and then, and it may not necessarily mean you're depressed. Also, not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.

If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, complete the Beyond Blue checklist to give you an idea. It’s not a definite diagnosis, so you will still need to see your doctor.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    31st Mar 2016
    There is a lot of evidence that depression can be cause by nutritional deficiencies, especially zinc and b vitamins.

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