Depression manifests itself in many ways. Here you will find some of the typical signs of depression that are good to keep an eye on. When browsing the list, remember: You can easily have one or more of the signs without having a depression.

  • You feel depressed and sad: Some days are good; others are not good at all. That is how it is in life. It goes up and down. We are all hit by adversity and downturns: Boyfriend brakes up, you fail exams or lose your job. However, as a rule, we know well (deep down) that we will probably will be ok again - eventually. With a depression, it is different. Here the sadness is experienced bottomless and endless. You feel that you cannot do anything to change things. Sometimes it is something specific that triggers a depression - for example, that you lose a person you loved very much. Other times, depression hits out of the blue without you knowing why.
  • You do not feel the same joy about things: You just lost the desire for everything. You could not feel anything. Why should I go to school/work? Why should I live at all? Everything seemed indifferent and meaningless. Do you find that things that used to make you happy now feel empty and indifferent? Many also describe it as a feeling of emptiness inside. If you look at your life from the outside, you may well see things that you - on paper - should be happy about. You just cannot feel it. Things do not mean the same to you anymore.
  • You feel drained, out of energy: You just cannot do nothing. You could not brush your teeth or take a shower. The only thing you could do is lie in your bed. Your body felt insanely heavy. A typical sign of depression is precisely that even small things in everyday life feel challenging. Many people therefore experience that they just want to sleep or lie in bed all the time.
  • You feel worthless: I can never figure anything out. People would feel better without me. Nobody likes me. Do you know those kinds of thoughts? Maybe from inside your own head. Many who struggle with depression are super tough on themselves and feel unsuccessful and worthless.
  • You sleep bad: Do you have difficulty falling asleep at night? Are you sleeping restlessly? Or do you wake up with a twitch at 4.04 and cannot fall asleep again? Sleep problems can be a sign of depression. Maybe you cannot calm down because thoughts and worries are constantly grinding around in your head. Or maybe your sleep rhythm is disturbed because you lie in bed a lot during the day.
  • You eat more or less than you usually do: Like your sleep, your appetite also says a lot, about how you feel. Some people with depression find that they lose their appetite for food. Others eat more (and perhaps more unhealthily) than they usually do. Because the food gives them a short-lived feeling of calm and contentment in the body.
  • You have a hard time remembering things and concentrating: Do you constantly forget things? Do thoughts rise in all directions when you do homework or want to read a book? Many people know that. However, if it happening a lot for you, then it could be a sign of depression.
  • You blame yourself for feeling bad: "If only I had acted differently or been different, I would not feel this way." Do you know those kinds of thoughts? Many people with depression blame themselves for feeling bad. Maybe you also feel guilty because you do not have the surplus and energy to be there for others right now. Or maybe you go with a constant feeling of being in trouble. It is quite common to feel this way. But keep in mind: It's not your fault if you have depression. It is not something you have chosen yourself. And it's not something you deserve at all.
  • You worry a lot: People with depression often find that their worries run wild. That they drive around day and night - and take up much more space than usual. Others keep returning to certain situations in the past, pondering things they have done or failed to do. ‘Why did I say or did that too?’ Or: ‘Why did I not seize that opportunity?’
  • You have a hard time making choices: We all make strings of choices every day. When should I get up? Which sweater should I wear? What should I eat for breakfast? etc. And typically it just runs. We make decisions lightning fast and almost without thinking about it. A typical sign of depression, on the other hand, is that you have difficulty making decisions. You feel paralyzed. Even if it is only a tiny choice. Maybe because fear of choosing the wrong thing. Maybe because you simply cannot overlook the options and gather thoughts right now.
  • You withdraw into yourself: Think about: Have you started keeping more and more to yourself? Do not have the same surplus to be with friends? Or can you not bear to be with people at all? We all have periods where we need time to be alone. This is perfectly normal. But it can be a sign of depression if your interest and desire to be with others have changed a lot lately.
  • You get angry and annoyed more easily: It is perfectly normal to get angry and annoyed from time to time. But try to notice if you have changed. Do you get angry more easily or do you react more violently? We are all different: Some turn sadness and frustration inward and blame themselves for feeling bad. Others direct the frustrations outward. Do you have wild outbursts of anger. It may also be that you feel grumpy and easily get annoyed at people around you without showing it very clearly.
  • You have thoughts about suicide: ‘It would be easier if I was not here.’ Or: ‘I do not want to live anymore.’ This is how many people struggling with depression think. This kind of thoughts can feel wild and scary. It is therefore important that you talk to someone if you have this kind of thoughts. It could be your relatives or a good friend, for example.

If you consider that, you or anyone you know have more than “few” of the signs described above it is extremely important to seek professional help. Depression is not just a state of mind. It is not something you can "think” away and it should be evaluated and addressed by professionals.

Dra. Gloria Baquero
Division of Medicine
Dra. Gloria Baquero
Adults and people of advanced age
Languages: English, Danish and Spanish
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