The following are the symptoms of depression (also called a major depressive episode) as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV):
- Depressed mood for almost every day and for the majority of the day.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
- Considerable weight loss or weight gain.
- Difficulties falling asleep or sleeping too much.
- Feeling constantly on edge and restless or lethargic and "slowed down."
- Feeling worthless and/or guilty.
- Difficulties concentrating and/or making decisions.
- Thoughts of ending one's own life.
According to the DSM-IV, to be diagnosed with a major depressive episode, a person must experience 5 of these symptoms all within the same 2-week (or longer) period.
Depression is different from just feeling unhappy or sad. Everyone feels sad from time to time. However, depression is more intense, lasts longer, and has a large negative impact on a person's life.