Symptoms of Clinical Depression

Please note up front that if you are experiencing some of these symptoms of clinical depression you must seek professional help as soon as possible.

In the field of psychiatry there is a manual that functions as the bible for diagnosing psychiatric disorders. It is known, in short, as the DSM IV. In that book we find a list of the symptoms of clinical depression.

Lets look at the definition first.


Depression is a mood disorder which causes long periods of sadness and a loss of hope or confidence. It should last for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed as depression.

People often feel depressed in the sense that they are blue. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep may feel depressed the following day or two. People who experience a loss of some type may feel blue for a few days. But clinical depression is a sadness and loss of enjoyment that lasts for at least two weeks. It often lasts longer before a person realizes he or she is depressed.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, please seek immediate medical help.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

  • Saddness: perhaps this is stating the obvious – you feel depressed!
  • A desire to hurt self and/or others: A depressed person often has suicidal thoughts and even thoughts of harming others.
  • A loss of enjoyment: you no longer feel like doing the things that used to make you happy.
  • Actual attempts at self-harm or suicide.
  • A loss of energy: one of the reasons that you lose interest in doing things you used to enjoy is that you just don’t have the energy to do them. You feel like you just want to hide away because you can’t do the things you once did.
  • A change in appetite: you either overeat or under-eat. This is often accompanied by either weight gain or weight loss.
  • You feel hopeless and/or worthless: you feel like things will never get better. You feel like your life is meaningless.
  • Aches and pains: your muscles hurt for no reason. You get frequent headaches. Your stomach is frequently upset.
  • You have a hard time concentrating: you find it hard to read – you have to re-read sentences because you didn’t get it the first time. You frequently have to ask people to repeat what they just said. Your work suffers because you make mistakes or have mental errors.
  • A decreased sex drive: this may be accompanied by difficulty in getting aroused or a lack of full enjoyment.
  • You find it hard to make decisions: you are indecisive about what to order at a restaurant. You don’t know what to do about your finances. You can’t make simple choices like which movie to see.
  • Your sleep habits change: you frequently can’t get to sleep at night but for some reason you can sleep all day.

Your doctor will be able to help you diagnose your state of mind better than just going through these symptoms of clinical depression on your own. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, please seek medical attention.


Now that you know the symptoms of clinical depression, you might want to look at clinical depression treatments.

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