Defining Depression: Looking At Signs & Symptoms


Defining depression can be a bit tricky at times.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around on the topic.   Is it just a temporary state of mind that makes you feel “a little blue,” or sad?”

Is it just “all in your head?”

defining depression

Well, studies point to the fact that depression is a real medical condition, primarily caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

In fact, there are many things that contribute to depression such as:

  • Genetics
  • Experiencing a difficult/negative life-altering event(s) such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job
  • Stress that does not let up
  • A diet that doesn’t support a healthy mood.

Defining Depression by Looking at Signs & Symptoms

Depression sufferers often experience overwhelming hopeless, fatigue, a loss of interest in hobbies, friends, family, even sex.

Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a deeper well of symptoms.

Much like anxiety disorder, depression affects your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  Can you identify with the following symptoms of depression?

•Angry outbursts




•Difficulty concentrating

•Delusions and/or hallucinations (which can happen in cases of severe depression)

•Withdrawing from people

•Substance abuse

•Missing work, school or other commitments

•Tried to harm yourself

•Fatigue or lack of energy

•Unexplained aches and pains

•Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)

•Changes in weight (gaining or losing too much weight)

Insomnia or do you find yourself sleeping too much.

Does This Mean I Have Depression?

Absolutely not!  Just because you might identify with some of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have depression.

Everyone has experienced some of these feelings at some point in their lives.

This is just part of what it means to be human.

But you might have depression if you frequently experience a cluster of symptoms over a period of two or more weeks.

The best way to determine if you have a problem with depression is to seek help from a qualified mental health professional who can do a thorough evaluation.

From here you and your therapist can work together on a plan of action to help you overcome depression and get your life back.


This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Use of this website is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms of Use.