What Does Depression Feel Like?
To diagnose depression, healthcare professionals often refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which outlines specific criteria for the condition. According to the DSM-5, an individual may have depression if they experience five or more of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
- Depressed Mood: A persistently low mood, particularly noticeable in the morning.
- Fatigue and Lack of Energy: Feeling tired and drained almost every day.
- Worthlessness or Guilt: Experiencing feelings of worthlessness or guilt on a frequent basis.
- Hopelessness or Pessimism: A pervasive sense of hopelessness or pessimism about life.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Finding it challenging to focus, remember details, or make decisions.
- Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or excessive sleepiness occurring almost daily.
- Anhedonia: A significant decrease in interest or pleasure in most activities.
- Thoughts of Death or Suicide: Persistent thoughts about death or suicide, beyond typical fear of dying.
- Restlessness or Slowed Movements: Feeling restless or experiencing slowed-down movements.
- Changes in Appetite or Weight: Significant changes in appetite, leading to weight gain or loss.
Depression in Children and Teens
What are the different forms of depression?
- Unipolar Major Depression: The most common form of depression characterized by persistent sadness and lack of interest.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): A chronic form of depression lasting for at least two years.
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: Occurring in children and teens, this condition involves severe irritability and intense outbursts that surpass typical emotional responses.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): A severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) involving intense mood disturbances before menstruation.
- Substance-Induced Mood Disorder (SIMD): Depression symptoms triggered or exacerbated by drug or alcohol use.
- Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition: Depression resulting from certain medical conditions, such as chronic illness or hormonal imbalances.
- Anxious Distress: Excessive worry and fear of losing control.
- Mixed Features: Experiencing both depression and mania, characterized by high energy, excessive talking, and high self-esteem.
- Atypical Features: Feeling temporarily better after positive events, increased appetite, excessive sleep, and sensitivity to rejection.
- Psychotic Features: Holding false beliefs (delusions) or experiencing hallucinations.
- Catatonia: A state of immobility or uncontrollable movements.
- Peripartum Depression: Depression that begins during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.
- Seasonal Pattern: Symptoms worsening during specific seasons, especially during colder and darker months.
- Depression Coexisting with Other Conditions
Depression and Suicide
Free Mental Health Assessment
Mental Health America recognizes the significance of accessible and prompt mental health support for individuals experiencing potential symptoms of mental health conditions. To aid in this effort, MHA offers free mental health screenings. Through awareness, support, and appropriate interventions, we can work together to build a more compassionate and mentally healthy world for everyone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline988lifeline.org
The 988 Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.
Crisis Text Linecrisistextline.org
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.
Trevor Project Lifelinethetrevorproject.org
Text ‘START’ to 678-678
Or chat online
Trained counselors that understand the challenges LGBTQ people face.