What Is Depression? Symptoms, Treatment, and More (2021)

If you clicked on this article, you might be searching for answers to help you understand feelings of depression or intense sadness. It can be scary to admit that you’re not feeling your best. It may be even more intimidating to begin wondering if your feelings match the symptoms of depression. 

Below, you’ll discover 11 common symptoms of depression, as well as risk factors and the ways that Mood can help.

11 Common Symptoms of Depression

Depression is more than feeling sad. If you’re experiencing depression, you can’t shake off these negative emotions, and you may find it difficult to manage depression’s physical and mental symptoms. 

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re curious about whether you have depression, we’ll walk you through some common symptoms. Next, we’ll explore ways to help you manage your depression and the first steps of treatment with Mood Health.

Let’s explore a few symptoms that might indicate that you’re experiencing depression. 

1. You’re Feeling Hopeless

Usually, we’re able to self-regulate in moments of sadness. A person who does not struggle with depression might see the silver lining and experience resilience quickly after a negative life event. 

If you’re experiencing depression, you may have thoughts of hopelessness. Your life might feel like it can never get better, or like you’ll always stay in the same place. 

2. The Things You Love Don’t Feel as Exciting

Someone who is sad can distract themselves with the company of loved ones and activities they enjoy. If you’re depressed, your usual activities with friends may not interest you, and going to dinner for a birthday or anniversary could seem like a pointless social gathering to you. 

3. You’re Not Feeling as Interested in Food

If you’re considering a depression diagnosis, you may have noticed that you don’t feel as hungry as you usually do. If you’ve caught yourself avoiding foods that usually sound appetizing, that is a sign that you may be experiencing depression. 

It’s not uncommon for individuals with depression to feel disinterested in food. In severe cases of depression, this symptom can lead to an eating disorder.

4. Your Sleep Cycle Is Irregular

Nights can feel endless with depression. Have you noticed your sleep patterns are unpredictable or irregular? This symptom could look like sleeping for hours and not feeling rested, or it could manifest as sleepless nights. 

Getting too much sleep or not enough are both frustrating signs of depression. 

5. Anger and Irritable Feelings Show Up Unexpectedly

If you’ve been experiencing mood swings or find that small inconveniences inspire large reactions, this may be a sign of depression. Depression can appear as irritability or anger, sometimes out of nowhere.

6. Your Energy Tank Feels Like It’s Running on Empty

There are days when you feel full of motivation to do your chores or work on personal projects and hobbies. When you’re experiencing depression, these days may be few and far between. Many people experiencing symptoms of depression have extended episodes of losing motivation, often driven by feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, fatigue, or a loss of interest in things that once brought them joy. 

If you think you identify with symptoms of depression, you may feel like your energy level is constantly lower than you’d like it to be.

7. You Might Direct Negative Feelings Toward Yourself

Another symptom of depression is self-loathing. This mood disorder can affect your ability to think positively about yourself. You might be thinking self-deprecating thoughts or expressing disdain for yourself to others. 

Though you’re worthy of compassion, you may find yourself endlessly criticizing your every move. 

8. You’re Feeling More Restless Than Usual

While you may feel like your energy levels are at an all-time low, you may also feel a restlessness that makes staying still feel like a chore. 

This restlessness might look like leaving your house to drive around, pacing around your home, or constantly twirling your hair or bouncing your leg. 

9. You’re Acting Reckless

A carefree mindset can be a beautiful outlook to have in the world, but living in the moment is different from acting recklessly or endangering yourself. Reckless actions are something to note as you consider whether you may be wrestling with depression. 

If activities that could harm you or end your life seem appealing, those thoughts are something to discuss with your therapist and psychiatrist. 

10. Concentration Doesn’t Come as Easily

Concentration is something many people take for granted. Having clarity of thought is something that benefits your everyday life more than you know.

If you’re experiencing clinical depression, your focus, mental clarity, and decision-making ability may feel out-of-whack. 

11. Thoughts of Life Ending Seem Appealing

Another symptom of psychotic depression is thoughts of suicide. When all the low moods of hopelessness, restless nights, and self-loathing build up, you might find yourself wishing for an escape from your current reality. If you have experienced thoughts of suicide, reach out to a medical professional immediately. 

We’ll discuss safe ways to start feeling hopeful again shortly.

How to Know if These Symptoms Indicate Depression

After exploring these depression symptoms, it can be helpful to note that multiple outside factors could incorrectly lead you to believe that you are experiencing depression. You should not attempt to self-diagnose depression, but these additional risk factors may help you determine whether you should seek a diagnosis from a healthcare professional:

  • Rule out other medical factors:  Speak with your doctor about whether some of these signs are symptoms of another medical condition such as thyroid problems, menopause, bipolar disorder, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

  • Consider the timeline: Have your symptoms showed up in the previous 24 hours? If so, you may want to wait a little bit longer before seeking out a major depressive disorder diagnosis.

    In most cases of depression, symptoms of a major depressive episode last for at least two weeks. For persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), a depressed mood lasts for at least two years.

Lots of Factors Can Impact Depression

It’s not your fault that you have these emotional and physical symptoms. If you’re wondering why you’re experiencing depression, external triggers such as genetics, family history, your upbringing, and your environment may have contributed to the development of this condition.

Your Genetics and Family History Can Contribute to Depression

We pick up a lot of things from our parents and other family members, like dimples, hair color, and facial features. Sadly, you may also have inherited a family history of depression. 

It might feel uncomfortable, but a conversation with your family could help you determine whether depression might be affecting you as well. 

How Your Upbringing and Environment May Play a Role

Many external factors impact our lives every day, like traffic, weather, and politics. Similarly, your early upbringing and your current environment can affect your mental health. If you have experienced violence, trauma, or poverty, you might be more prone to experiencing symptoms of depression. 

Here’s How Your Treatment for Depression Might Look

If you believe you are experiencing the symptoms of depression, there’s hope beyond this moment. Between 80 to 90 percent of people with depression respond favorably to treatment. 

With a treatment intervention, you can access quality care to benefit your mental health. Let’s look at some of the options you should consider today to start feeling like yourself again. 

Talk therapy can be a very effective treatment, as can antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) 

Talk Therapy Can Help Ease Mild Cases of Depression

If you’ve never tried going to therapy, you may feel intimidated by it. It can make you feel vulnerable to meet with a new person to discuss your experience with depression. 

Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, is an intervention that benefits many people in their mental health journeys. The opportunity to speak candidly about your symptoms with a trained professional therapist is one you should seriously consider. Taking these first steps is easy with Mood, and we’ll show you how below.

Medical Interventions Are Highly Reliable in Relieving Your Symptoms 

As you meet with your clinician, they may suggest that you see a psychiatrist to discuss your medical needs. After your evaluation, your psychiatrist may decide that adding a prescription to your treatment plan is in your best interest. 

Talk therapy and medication are valuable resources to try as you seek support in your mental health journey. 

How We’re on Your Team at Mood

We know depression. Though this mood disorder can be difficult, we also know there’s hope. Everyone deserves access to high-quality mental health care. 

For that reason, we developed a new way to approach therapy and psychiatry. With our services, there are many providers available to you which can help you get a jump start on your mental health from the comfort of your home. 

We make it incredibly easy to begin your treatment so that you have one less obstacle on your road to healing. 

We Offer Talk Therapy That’s Accessible

At Mood, we offer services for talk therapy and psychiatry to manage depression and anxiety. Talk therapy is an excellent intervention for many people experiencing depressive symptoms.

Traditional talk therapy may charge up to $150 or $200 to see a skilled professional therapist. We want better for you. Our talk therapy sessions start at $39 for your first session. After, they’re only $89 per session going forward so that you can access mental health care without breaking the bank. 

Our Psychiatry Subscription Helps You Get Medicated Easily

At Mood, we want to make it easier for you to get the medicine you need. With our psychiatry subscription, your first visit is only $49. After that, you’ll pay just $95 per month for a personalized monthly check-in with your Mood clinician to ensure your treatment plan is working well for you. 

We also ship your medications straight to your door without extra fees for your convenience. 

We’re More Affordable Than Traditional Talk Therapy and Psychiatry 

Unfortunately, not all insurance plans cover mental health expenses. For those who need to seek care without help from insurance, affordability is everything. We know money should be the last thing you should have to worry about. That’s why our talk therapy appointments and psychiatry subscriptions are a fraction of traditional costs. 

We’ve Been There

We aren’t strangers to the experience of mental health struggles. We know how difficult getting started with seeing a new provider can be, whether in person or virtually. 

Mood exists to provide you with a better way. To us, mental health care done right means you get to meet with experienced clinicians who are real people with compassion for your story. You deserve quality, genuine care for your mental health.

How to Get Started With Mood

Here’s a brief rundown on how to get started at Mood:

  • Let us get to know you: Fill out a quiz to help us learn about your unique challenges.

  • Book your appointment: You’ll have the ability to book your appointment with a clinician within the same week as your quiz.

  • Begin your treatment plan: You and your provider will discuss the treatment that suits you most, which might include medicine.

  • Track your journey: Keep up with your appointments and your progress to evaluate how they’re serving you. 

In Conclusion

Depression shouldn’t rule your life. Though it can be hard to seek help, asking for help is a sign of strength. At Mood Health, we make it a breeze to set up your first appointment with the clinician of your choice so you can start feeling supported. We’re on your team as you begin your journey towards feeling good again. 



NIMH » Depression | NIMH

Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs | Help Guide

What Is Depression? | Psychiatry.org