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What are Major Depression Signs?

Written byAmatul Ameen

Last updated on : 08 Mar, 2023

Read time : 6 min

Feeling sad and low and getting improper sleep is normal when facing a difficult situation. It is also expected when the signs mentioned above are present for two to four weeks. But, if the same problem continues for a longer time, it is called “depression.” 

Major depression signs & symptoms 

Major depression can be identified by a dark mood and losing interest in routine activities, including the activities you enjoyed at a time.

The signs and symptoms of Major depression are

  1. Changes in appetite 
  2. Changes in Weight 
  3. Troubled sleep 
  4. Feeling worthless
  5. Thoughts of suicide and death

Depression is usually treated with medicines and psychotherapy. But in severe depression, the above two solutions are not enough; electroconvulsive therapy is also introduced to control major depression.

Types of major depression 

Major depression may happen at least once in a lifetime. But this may have several episodes. Some notable sub-types of significant depression are 

1. Psychotic depression 

When severe depression is associated with delusions(false and fixed beliefs) and hallucinations( seeing and hearing things that are not real), they usually have a theme. A person believes they are poor or sick when they are not. They are inferior and worthless to hear the voices, which is not true. 

2. Seasonal affective disorder

It is characterised by depression symptoms which occur during a particular season. It usually happens during winter when there is no or less sunlight.

3. Persistent depressive disorder

Depression symptoms last for more time (more than two years) but are not severe as major depression.

4. Minor depression 

It is similar to persistent depression and major depression. The difference lies in the fact that symptoms are less severe and may not last for a long time. 

Signs of depression in men 

Different men experience different symptoms; the common symptoms for most men include 

  1. Anger, aggressiveness and irritability 
  2. Feeling anxious, restless or on the edge 
  3. Loss of interest in family, work, or activities once one enjoys 
  4. Problems with sexual interest
  5. Changes in sexual performance 
  6. Feeling sad, hopeless and lonely
  7. Unable to concentrate and focus.
  8. Difficulty in remembering the things that happened in past
  9. Feeling very tired
  10. Sleeping too less or too much 
  11. Overeating or less eating 
  12. Thoughts of suicide or death 
  13. Physical body pains or aches 
  14. Headaches, cramps
  15. Digestion problems
  16. Inability to meet the daily requirements of life 
  17. Lack of Care for family and friends 
  18. Engaging in high-risk activities
  19. Alcohol or drug abuse
  20. Withdrawal from family and friends, becoming isolated 

Signs of depression in women 

  1. Feeling sad or low at times
  2. Sleeping too little or all time
  3. Feel tired all time
  4. Cry a lot
  5. Feel guilty 
  6. Feel hopeless
  7. Trouble paying attention
  8. Think about death or self-killing situations
  9. Things which make you feel happy no longer make you happy
  10. Eat too little or eat nothing 
  11. Feel nervous or cranky 

Depression and pregnancy 

Many women feel sad or cry after the delivery of a baby. It is called “baby blues”. This kind of feeling goes away in a couple of weeks. But some women get depressed after the delivery. This kind of depression is termed “postpartum depression”. It is more severe than baby blues.” perinatal” refers to before and after the birth of a child. The symptoms of perinatal depression are 

  1. Feelings of extreme sadness
  2. Anxiety 
  3. Fatigue
  4. Tiredness, which leads to an inability to carry out routine responsibilities
  5. Lack of care for self, baby and dear ones

Signs of depression in teens

Major depressive disorder is a common psychiatric disorder in childhood and adolescence, but it is very unrecognised as a strict differentiation of depression from adults is absent. The effects of depression in childhood are significant, mainly when it occurs in childhood and adolescence. It causes impaired school performance, interpersonal difficulties during later stages of life, early parenthood, and an increased risk of mental health disorders. 

An age-wise sign and symptom variation of depression seen in adolescents compared to adults is given here. 

1. Age 3 – 5 years 

Difficulty in verbalising the feelings, marked decreased interest in playing, self-destruction themes while playing, thoughts of worthlessness, suicide feelings are the depression signs. 

2. Age 6 – 8 years 

Increase of somatic complaints ( physical/ body /muscle related), trouble in verbalising feelings, crying or shouting outbursts, irritability without reason, anhedonia( Unable to relate to the pleasure related activities) are the major depression signs. 

3. Age 9 -12 years 

Low self-esteem, guilt, hopelessness, increased boredom, running away, and fear of death are the depression signs

4. Age 13 – 18 years 

Increased irritability, behaviour changes, like decreased grades, poor school performance, increased disturbances in sleep and appetite, the tendency to suicide like adults, increased likelihood of progression to the chronic course of depression, a stronger genetic connection.

5. Greater than 19 years 

Symptoms and depression signs are similar to the type of adult depression.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression 

It requires being open about the feelings and behaviours to identify anxiety and depression; here are some signposts.

  1. Apathy: the meaning of life is lost. The things which used to bring joy in life are missing now. This is a classic symptom of anxiety and depression.
  2. Helplessness or hopelessness: there is a feeling that nothing is possible in life. It is another classic depression signs 
  3. Change in habits: eating, sleeping, consuming alcohol all these habits are either not present or present to a maximum extent 
  4. Persistent fatigue: feeling tired at the end of the day is natural. Feeling tired for a whole day without many workarounds shows anxiety/depression. Thyroid disorder can also be a reason for persistent fatigue. 
  5. Difficulty in making decisions: there is a constant worry that their actions will be wrong. This happens and appears as depression signs 
  6. Mood swings: irritability, impatience, and being critical about self are other depression signs.
  7. Unending worry: always being worried and not minding your surrounding situations, like enjoying someone’s company, are also depression signs 
  8. To be alone: If being alone for reasons like reading or doing yoga makes sense. But if you are alone most times with a solid reason where other people enjoy gatherings is a sign of anxiety. 

Read more- Anxiety Attack and Panic Attack: Are They Similar or Different?


Depression signs can be seen in any age group. There are enough symptoms to validate it. The challenge lies in adopting correct measures like medication, psychotherapy, and other therapies like electroconvulsive therapy. Self-will to come out of the situation is also required to come out of this situation. Complete support from family, friends and dear ones makes a huge difference in treatment. 


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