Depression Articles

Women and Depression - Symptoms

Symptoms of Depression and Manic Episodes - Information for Women

You should talk to a mental health professional for an evaluation, if you experience several of the following symptom clusters, and the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, or if they interfere with your work or your family life.   However, not everyone with depression experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms also varies from person to person.

Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in your usual activities, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early morning awakening
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain 
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down"
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts 
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain

Mania 

  • Abnormally elevated mood
  • Irritability
  • Severe insomnia 
  • Grandiose notions 
  • Increased talking 
  • Racing thoughts 
  • Increased activity, including sexual activity 
  • Markedly increased energy 
  • Poor judgment that leads to risk-taking behavior
  • Inappropriate social behavior

Some people mistakenly try to control their depressive symptoms through alcohol or other mood-altering drugs.  While such drugs may provide temporary relief, they will eventually complicate the depressive disorder and its treatment, and can lead to dependence and the life adjustment problems that come with it. Many people with drug and alcohol problems have an underlying depression. Additionally, the chronic substance abuse leads to the development of additional pessimistic perceptions of life, and additional stressors that can create depression.