Signs of Depression: Depression Symptoms To Look Out For

Last Update on November 23, 2020 : Published on February 11, 2020

In the current era where everyone is striving to achieve happiness and live a happy life many of us might be looking for a friend who could help us through the process. And as the old saying goes… ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed.’ Therefore, as a friend you should check on your mate and look carefully if they are showing any signs or symptoms of depression given below. If yes, then it is time to extend a helping hand rather than just being all ears.


“Depression does not have a face”

 For the ease of your understanding we have divided this write-up in two categories:

1. Signs and Symptoms of Depression as per Age

2.Signs and Symptoms of Depression as per Type

NOTE: Signs and symptoms of any form of depression are not diagnosed via laboratory testing. These are observable patterns that have to be looked after.

signs of depression

So, let us address them one by one:

Signs and Symptoms of Depression as per Age

Generally, the signs of depression on the basis of age can be divided into four broad categories-

Depression in Children

This age bracket encounters the most massive and important changes in their life at this stage of their lives. From being parent-dependent to self-dependent, the journey is likely to welcome tremendous changes at the physical, emotional and psychological levels. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between the ‘growing-up blues’ from the actual signs of depression that a child is likely to show.

1. Early Signs of Depression Among Children:

It is important to observe and make a note of certain early signs among children, which if left unnoticed may result in building depression among them.

Early Signs of Depression Among Children

Find a detailed article on the early signs of depression among children here:

2. Causes of Depression in Children:

The causes that are likely to lead in depression among children vary widely and often it is found that it is the interplay of many causes.

Causes of Depression in Children

3. Preventing Depression in Children:

Parents can focus on following preventive measures if the child shows any early signs:

Preventing Depression in Children

Depression in Teens/Adolescents

Adolescents are the ones who go through a series of hormonal and physical changes during this stage of their life. And with these physical changes come psychological changes as well, which needs to be dealt with utmost care.

1. Early Signs of Depression Among Adolescents:

Here are some of the alert signs that should be carefully looked at:

Depression in Teens

Find a detailed article on the same here:

2. Causes of  Depression in Adolescents:

Depending on the age and social situation that an adolescent belongs to, the causes of depression may vary. Broadly these causes can be classified as:

Causes of Depression in Adolescents

3. Preventing Depression in Adolescents:

Some of the preventive measures that can be taken by teens and their parents are:

Preventing Depression in Adolescents

Depression in Adults (Both Men & Women)

According to statistics adults are most likely to suffer from the symptoms of depression as they go through the phase of mid-life crisis and other related concepts. However, it is important to understand that:

  • Sadness and depression are two different yet closely associated concepts
  • Irrespective of your age and gender sharing emotions is acceptable
  • Depression can be cured

1. Early Signs of Depression Among Adults:

Before the depression develops fully, there are certain early signs that an adult might show. Here are a few early signs to check on for depression among adults:

Depression in Older Adults

Get a detailed description of these signs here:

2. Causes of Depression in Adults:

The causes of depression among adults can vary widely but majorly they are likely to arise from:

Causes of Depression in Adults

3. Preventing Depression in Adults: 

However, before these causes and early signs turn into a depression here are some prevention tips that an adult can consider:

Preventing Depression in Adults

Depression in Older Adults

The age where an individual looks back to gain a sense of fulfillment in his life often ends up bringing many flashbacks. Along with this, with an increase in the age the health is likely to decline, which in turn welcomes various issues related to mental well-being.

The two common forms of depression that older adults are likely to have are:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder

(Detailed description is provided below)

1. Early Signs of Depression Among Older Adults:

Often the early depression among older adults is confused with signs of aging. Therefore, it is important that following signs are carefully observed in them:

Depression in Older Adults

2. Causes of Depression in Older Adults: 

Some of the underlying causes of depression among older adults are:

Causes of Depression in Older Adults

3. Preventing Depression in Older Adults:

The preventive measure that can be undertaken by family and the older adults to fight these early signs are:

Preventing Depression in Older Adults

Signs and Symptoms of Depression as per Type

Often the early signs of depression are not taken care of are under looked thus, resulting in one or the other form of depression. As per the clinical classification, depression is broadly classified in 10 types:




Major Depressive Disorder

Following symptoms are present every day for almost 2 weeks:

  • Loss of energy/fatigue almost every day
  •  Lack of concentration
  •  Loss of interest in almost activities
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia or Hypersomnia
  • Increased appetite
    or loss of it

Generally, these symptoms are triggered by loss of a loved one, a
major life failure or abuse.

Though it is a serious condition it is completely curable. Thus,
seeking clinical help is suggested.

It is also known as ‘clinical depression.’

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Following symptoms persists for 2 years or more:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble in making decisions
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Feeling fatigue most of the day
  • Change in eating and sleeping patterns

Earlier it was known as Dysthymia Disorder.

It generally lasts for years and can hamper day-to-day life.

The symptoms are likely to come and go over time, however, they do
not disappear completely.

Bipolar Disorder

Phase specific symptoms are:

Manic phase symptoms-

  • Extreme happiness and excitement
  • Increased sexual drive
  • High level of physical activity throughout the day
  • Restlessness

Depressive phase symptoms will be similar to major
depressive disorder.

It is also known as Manic Disorder.

Depending on whether an individual is in a manic or depressive
phase the symptoms will vary.

Symptoms of each phase can last over a period of weeks, months or
even years.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Symptoms of SAD includes:

  • Hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent oversleeping
    Heaviness in arms & legs

The symptoms of SAD generally begin and end about the same times
each year.

Psychotic Depression

An individual is likely to show a combination of the symptoms of
depression and psychosis like:

  • Disorganized thinking/behavior
  • False beliefs (delusions)
  • False sight or sounds (hallucinations)
  • Paranoia (thoughts that someone might harm you)

It is depression accompanied with episodes of psychotic symptoms,
hence the name.

Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression

Following symptoms can be seen after few weeks of giving birth:

  • Feeling withdrawn from family & friends
  • Changes in sleeping & eating patterns
  • Frequent crying episodes
  • Feeling angry or irritable
  • Hopelessness

The onset is marked after giving birth to a child.

It is a heightened form of ‘baby blues.’

It generally arises from dramatic hormonal changes.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

The following symptoms can be seen at the start of the menstrual

PMDD should not be confused with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Symptoms of PMDD are likely to cause hindrance in the social and
work life of a woman.

Situational Depression

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Lack of enjoyment in daily activities
  • Constant feeling of worrying
  • Trouble concentrating in tasks
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Crying episodes

It is also known as reactive depression or adjustment disorder.

It is short-term and stress related.

It generally gets triggered by a stressful life event.

Atypical Depression

The symptoms include:

  • Overeating
  • Oversleeping
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to Rejection
  • Heaviness in arms & legs

It is often considered a subtype of major depression.

Its ability to improve post a positive event is the hallmark that
sets it apart.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

  • Following symptoms should begin before the age of 10:
  • Irritability almost all day, every day
  • Severe temper
  • Difficulty functioning at home, school and other social settings
  • Increased
    reactivity towards situations

This is typical for children and adolescents.

Immediate clinical help should be taken otherwise various other
mental issues might be triggered.

Usually diagnosed after the age of 6 and before 18.

NOTE: This table is for informational purposes only. Readers are suggested not to self-diagnose themselves or others on the basis of the information provided above. However, if you find the early signs and symptoms are relatable, we suggest you take immediate clinical help from the experts.


Depression is curable!!!

However, it is important to understand that the cure is an outcome of individual efforts and clinical help. Therefore, while your psychologist or psychiatrist is treating you with the best of therapy or medication respectively, you should focus on self.

Here are some fun-filled happy activities that you can do to bring about a change and speed-up your recovery process:

How to Beat Depression

Well, now that you know everything about depression it is time to gear up and fight the battle against the same. And if you know anyone who is going through any of the conditions mentioned above help them in the best way possible. Keep a check on your near and dear ones, they might be fighting a battle you are not aware of, so be supportive.

Recommended Articles: 

1. Best Foods That Help To Reduce Anxiety
2. Step Into The Light- Acceptance Is The Key
3. Change Your Mindset And Reduce Anxiety
4. possible causes of severe Mood Swings
5. 5 Lessons To Be Learnt From Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’

About The Author

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is a content curator in the field of Mental Health. She is currently done Ph.D. in Psychology. Her aim is to light up the world with positive vibes through her words, her idea of life is ‘Grow through what you go through’. Apart from this, she is a big-time pet lover.


  1. James

    Knowing the signs of depression is very important. Thanks for sharing the tips to deal with depression

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