Signs of depression

The signs of depression can be difficult to recognise for those experiencing it and for those around it (such as family and friends). While it is rare for individuals to have the exact same set of symptoms, there are a number of common signs that do indicate a person is experiencing depression.

In some instances, two people can experience a depressive disorder in very different ways. This makes it confusing for those who are living with depression or for family and friends. For example, one person with depression might not be able to sleep, wakes up early and has lost their appetite, while another might start sleeping excessively and will be continuously munching while awake

Every person’s experience of depression is different:

  • Intensity level – Some people who suffer from depression will experience severe symptoms, while others will only suffer with mild symptoms
  • Number – Some individuals will show a number of symptoms, others might only show a couple
  • Frequency – in many cases, depressive episodes are recurring throughout life. The rate at which these episodes recurs can differ vastly amongst individuals
  • Length – depressive disorders are partly defined by the duration of episodes, with each person experiencing this characteristic differently
  • Individual – depression is complex and the causes consist of a combination of factors. For this very reason, the individual’s experience and the signs of depression will be significantly different
  • Stage – the stage of the depressive illness will also, in part, determine the symptoms and signs.