Did you know?

  • Depression can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life.
  • Women experience depression more often than men.
  • Men with depression are more likely to be very tired, irritable, and sometimes even angry.
  • Older adults with depression may have less obvious symptoms, or they may be less likely to admit to feelings of sadness or grief.
  • Children with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
  • Teens may get into trouble at school and be irritable.


At one time or another we have all felt sadness, a normal emotion. When those feelings are intense and prolonged and include feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness we may be experiencing depression. Depression is a common, treatable mental disorder affecting our mood and emotional wellbeing and can impact our physical health.

Just like stress, depression can be triggered by environmental, biological and psychological factors—trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, strokes, the birth of a child and other stressors.

Depression can be inherited. That’s why some types of depression tend to run in families. Depression can occur because of our brain chemistry, or in some cases, brain structure. Currently scientists are looking for the specific genes and chemicals that may be involved in depression and working towards figuring out why the differences occur.

Knowing the symptoms of depression can lead to early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Different people have different symptoms. Some symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or "empty"
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling very tired
  • Not being able to concentrate or remember details
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

Source: National Institute of Mental Health