If a person is clinically depressed, they would have at least two of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
- an unusually sad mood that does not go away;
- loss of enjoyment and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable;
- tiredness and lack of energy.
In addition, people who are depressed can have a range of other symptoms such as:
- loss of confidence in themselves or poor self-esteem;
- feeling guilty when they are not really at fault;
- wishing they were dead;
- difficulty making decisions and concentrating;
- moving more slowly or becoming agitated and unable to settle;
- having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much;
- loss of interest in food or eating more than usual, leading to weight loss or weight gain.
Not every person who has depression will have all of these symptoms.
Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, a depressive episode may be specified as mild, moderate or severe.
The following is a general guide
Mild depression:Four of the symptoms for at least two weeks
Moderate depression:Six of the symptoms for at least two weeks
Severe depression:Eight of the symptoms for at least two weeks.
If you feel that you may have depression it is important that you make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. The sooner the illness is diagnosed and treated the better the outcome.Continue to next page