Dealing with your mental health

What are the symptoms of depression?

The main symptoms of depression are losing pleasure in things that you once enjoyed and losing interest in people and your usual activities.

People with depression typically experience lots of negative thoughts as well as feelings of guilt and worthlessness. You may often criticise yourself and lack confidence.

How we feel How we behave
Down, upset or tearful Avoiding social events and activities you usually enjoy
Restless or irritable and tired Finding it difficult to speak or think clearly
Guilty, worthless and down on yourself Difficulty remembering or concentrating on things
Empty and numb Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
Isolated and unable to relate to people Feeling more tired and having less energy than you usually do
Finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy Loss of appetite and losing weight, or eating too much and putting on weight
No self-confidence or self-esteem Losing interest in sex; avoiding situations
Hopeless and despairing Moving very slowly, or being restless
Suicidal Self-harming and suicidal behaviour

People may have a single episode of depression but about half of people will have more episodes. Most people will feel better within 4 to 6 months of an episode of depression, while others have symptoms for much longer.

Next: How can I manage my depression? >

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Last medically reviewed: March 2018. Due for review: March 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.