Signs and symptoms of different types of depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression


Feelings - sad, teary, anxious or irritable, hopeless, negative about yourself and others, alone and isolated, exhausted, guilty and angry


Thinking - ‘my problems are too difficult to solve’, ‘life is too hard’


Experiencing changes in - motivation, ability to find enjoyment and pleasure in things, quality of sleep, appetite or weight, interest in sex, concentration, drinking or use of drugs

Major Depressive Disorder

A major depressive disorder is a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, together with four or more of the following (nearly every day):
1. Significant weight changes
2. Reduced appetite
3. Insomnia or hypersomnia
4. Psychomotor agitation (restlessness) or slowing down of thoughts and reduced physical movement
5. Fatigue
6. Feelings of worthlessness
7. Reduced ability to concentrate
8. Recurrent thoughts of death

Major depression with melancholic features

This type of depression is usually severe. It is marked by a loss of pleasure in almost all activities, or inability to enjoy once pleasurable things (also called anhedonia). Symptoms are usually worse in the morning.
Symptoms include:
1. Despondency, despair, feeling empty
2. Early morning wakening
3. Slowing down of movement or restlessness
4. Significant weight loss
5. Excessive guilt

Psychotic depression

Psychotic depression is a term used when major depressive disorder is associated with delusions, hallucinations and feelings of paranoia. It is less common than other types of depression.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia)

Persistent depressive disorder (or dysthymia) has similar symptoms to major depression. The main difference is that symptoms may be less severe, but go on for a prolonged period of more than two years. Dysthymia is characterised by a persistent ‘down’ feeling for more than two years, together with some of the other symptoms of depression.

Perinatal depression

Perinatal depression is depression that occurs during pregnancy or after the birth of a baby.
Feeling extremely tired, irritable and having less interest in sex is a normal response after childbirth. However, if you think your ‘baby blues’ is severe or has been going on for more than two weeks, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP about it.

Other types of depression


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)


Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)


Bipolar disorder

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