Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

March 6, 2003

Symptoms of depression

• Loss of energy and interest.

• Diminished ability to enjoy oneself.

• Decreased — or increased — sleeping or appetite.

• Difficulty in concentrating; indecisiveness; slowed or fuzzy thinking.

• Exaggerated feelings of sadness, hopelessness or anxiety.

• Feelings of worthlessness.

• Recurring thoughts about death and suicide.

If most of these symptoms last for two weeks or more, the sufferer probably has depressive illness. Sometimes, depression alternates with mania and is called manic-depressive (or bipolar) illness. Manic depression causes mood swings, creating periods with the following symptoms:

• A high energy level with decreased need for sleep.

• Unwarranted or exaggerated belief in one’s own ability.

• Extreme irritability.

• Rapid, unpredictable emotional change.

• Impulsive, thoughtless activity with a high risk of damaging consequences (stock speculations, sudden love affairs, etc.).

— From the National Foundation for Depressive Illness web site (

Other recommended sites include: (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention), (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association), (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) and (National Depression and Manic-Depressive Association).

Leave a Reply