Symptoms and complications of depression

Although we all feel sad sometimes, depression (also called major depressive disorder) is diagnosed when a person experiences depressed mood (sadness), loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, or both, plus 5 of the following symptoms for at least 2 weeks:

  • changes in appetite or weight
  • restlessness or slowed reactions (must be observable by others)
  • fatigue or lack of energy
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping) or chronic oversleeping
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Depression may vary in its severity, and in its extreme forms (i.e., thoughts of suicide) can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of other forms of depression, although generally milder, may still negatively affect a person's daily activities and quality of life.

The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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