Signs of Depression: Depression Warning Signs


Signs of depression should be taken seriously. Initially, there may be mild signs of depression, but if left unchecked, the symptoms of depression can lead to significant home, work and social dysfunction.

About one-in-eight people deal with depression at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many don't seek depression treatment, which leads to this unfortunate statistic: depression is a factor in half of all suicide attempts and suicide is estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death across all age ranges. (Extensive information on suicide and suicide thoughts.) Signs and symptoms of depression should always be addressed as soon as possible, as early intervention gives the best chance for a complete recovery.

Signs of Depression

The signs of depression include markedly low or depressed mood, but this may show itself differently in different people. Signs and symptoms of depression include:1

  • Unexplained crying spells
  • Negativity, a bleak feeling about the future, hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleeping significantly too much or too little
  • Irritability, restlessness; anger flares up over the littlest things
  • Lack of energy, feeling physically drained; unexplained aches and pains
  • Slow movement and thought
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, concentrating; troubles with memory

Depression Warning Signs in Children and Teens

While child and teenage depression signs are similar to those of adults, they can be harder to distinguish from the moodiness typically associated with adolescence. The best way to know if a child or teen is depressed is to know what is normal for that child and note marked changes from that norm. (More on Teenage Depression- Signs, Symptoms, Antidepressants)

There are some depression signs that are more common in teens. These include:

  • An irritable mood more than a depressed one
  • Poor school or athletic performance
  • Skipping school
  • Anxiety and focus on body image and performance; particularly in girls
  • Behavioral problems; particularly in boys

Signs of depression in children may be even harder to detect. In children, too, an irritable mood may be present instead of a depressed one. Depressed children may show a failure to gain weight appropriately, rather than showing the weight gain/loss seen in teens and adults.

Knowing the signs of depression in women and men, and child and teenage depression signs, is critical to spotting depression early. Info on signs of depression.

Signs of Depression in Women vs. Signs of Depression in Men

Diagnostically, depression symptoms are the same in both women and men, but how each gender shows depression tends to differ. Women tend to outwardly express emotion and talk about their emotional difficulties while men often take a more stoic approach. Women may show more signs of depression due to social upset whereas men are more prone to depression due to work-related difficulties.

The signs of depression in women include:

  • Increased weight and appetite, particularly for carbohydrates
  • Hypersomnia (increased sleep)
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Seasonal depression

Signs of depression in men tend to include more outward behaviors including:

  • Working longer hours
  • Retreating from family and friends
  • Substance use
  • Controlling, violent, angry or abusive behavior
  • Risky behavior including infidelity

article references


APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2014, January 1). Signs of Depression: Depression Warning Signs, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 20 from

Last Updated: May 15, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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