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Depression Symptom - How to Recognize Depression

Abstract: A depressive episode may be diagnosed if 5 or more symptoms out of the list presented in the text below, last most of the day for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

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Depression Symptom - How to Recognize Depression

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Written by: , lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 30 Jul 2008.

I have been feeling quite miserable/unhappy/distressed for a long time now. Do I have depression?
What are typical depression symptoms?


If someone has the following symptoms maybe they have depression as an illness and they do not simply feel sad or low:
  • Pervasive low mood and tearfulness, unresponsive to and out of keeping with current circumstances.
  • Other mood tensions including tension, irritability and anxiety.
  • Insomnia (typically waking early)
  • Reduction in appetite, weight loss and constipation
  • Lack of energy and tiredness/lack of stamina
  • Loss of libido
  • Loss of concentration/forgetfulness
  • Feelings of low self-esteem, guilt and helplessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
A depressive episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.
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