Wondering what the Major Depressive Disorder symptoms are?
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also known as major depression and clinical depression.
It’s defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.”
Depression affects everyone differently because there are so many emotional and physical symptoms that accompany it.
The number and severity of symptoms you have when you deal with depression can vary from those of someone you know.
They can even change from depressive episode to depressive episode. Despite this, there is a set of common symptoms medical professionals look for when diagnosing and treating MDD.
Below is a list of signs of depression and examples of what each might look like for you. If you have a major depressive disorder, your symptoms will most likely be persistent and severe enough to impact your daily life.
Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms
If you’re suffering from persistent depression, reach out to your doctor or a psychiatrist right away.
Depression is an isolating condition that can make you feel hopeless, but you don’t need to suffer. There are many types of treatments available to ease your MDD and get you on your way to feeling better.
- Feeling sad, empty, or tearful
- Loss of Interest
- Lack of Energy
- Social Isolation
- Feeling worthless
- Suicidal thoughts
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Concentration or memory loss
- Physical Ailments
1. Feelings of Sadness, Emptiness, and Tearfulness
Some people describe the sadness of depression as a hollow or heavy feeling.
It may feel like you have a literal weight on your shoulders. You might even have a persistent, painful sensation in the center of your chest. Tearfulness simply means you cry more frequently.
If you feel sad, empty, and tearful on a regular basis, independent of what’s going on in your day, you could have MDD.
2. Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Activities You Once Enjoyed
These activities might include hobbies, sports, sex, taking a walk, playing with your dog, and more.
If you have no desire to engage in them or you try and it just isn’t the same, your loss of interest could be a symptom of depression.
3. Tiredness and Lack of Energy
MDD will make you feel more fatigued than usual, even when you’ve had plenty of sleep.
You may also find it hard to gather enough energy for even small tasks, like unloading the dishwasher or brushing your teeth. Tiredness and loss of energy together can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
4. Social Isolation
One key behavioral symptom of depression is pulling away from family and friends. Everyone needs alone time, but if you routinely choose to be alone and avoid or dread being around others, this could be a depression symptom.
5. Anger, Irritability, or Frustration
If you’re depressed, you’ll likely be short-tempered and easily agitated.
You may give up on tasks more easily.
Your friends and family might point this out to you before you notice it yourself, especially since this depression symptom is very apparent in relationships.
Friends and family may even start to pull away from you.
6. Feelings of Worthlessness, Guilt, and Self-Blame
People who are depressed often struggle with ruminating—or thinking about the same past mistake or failure over and over again.
This can lead to persistent feelings of low self-worth and cause depression to worsen.
7. Frequent or Recurrent Thoughts of Death and/or Suicidal
This symptom can occur to varying degrees in different people.
Someone with passive suicidal thoughts may fantasize about committing suicide. Someone with active suicidal ideation creates realistic plans and takes steps toward them.
If you struggle with MDD, suicidal thoughts of any kind can occur when you become so overwhelmed with hopelessness that you see suicide as the only way out of your suffering.
This depression symptom is especially dangerous.
If you think you’re suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
8. Significant Weight Gain or Loss
Weight gain may indicate that you have food cravings, which is also a symptom of depression.
It could also point to your lack of energy to get or stay active.
Reduced appetite is another symptom of depression, leading to weight loss. Negative self-image might cause a depressed person to intentionally skip meals to lose weight on purpose.
9. Concentration and Memory Problems
Are your thoughts slowed down, fuzzy, or confused?
Are you very distracted?
This can lead to trouble staying focused on tasks and remembering things. Even staying engaged in a conversation is challenging when you have a major depressive disorder.
These symptoms often lead to difficulties at work, school, and relationships.
10. Unexplained Physical Problems
Not all symptoms of depression are mental or emotional. Physical problems are very common, including:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
According to data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index℠, “Eighty-five percent of people who are diagnosed with major depression also have one or more additional serious chronic health conditions…”
Depression lowers your immune system’s ability to fight infections.
It also increases stress hormones, which contributes to digestive problems, and it alters your pain threshold, making you more sensitive to pain.
These depression symptoms can dramatically disrupt nearly every day.
If they go untreated, they risk damaging your well-being, your relationships, and your performance in and enjoyment of all aspects of your life.
Letting depression signs and symptoms go unchecked will make them worse, and it will make your depression worse too.
Don’t wait to seek depression treatment!
Many people hesitate to get help because they’re concerned about paying for treatment, the stigma around mental health, and being able to access care.
Whatever your situation, you can find a safe and effective treatment that will significantly improve your quality of life. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about your options, like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy for depression. Reach out to Success TMS to learn more about TMS treatment, and make today your start to feeling better.