Depression can vary in severity. It may range from mild, moderate, or severe. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless, helpless, or worthless. You may feel anger, self-hate, restlessness, irritability, and inappropriate guilt. You may experience a lack of interest or pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy. You may withdraw from others and become inactive. You may feel tired and have a general lack of energy. You may have problems sleeping. It may be difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or you may oversleep. It may be difficult to concentrate. Your appetite may significantly change, and you may lose or gain weight.
In some cases, people may have unusual symptoms, such as hearing voices that are not really there or delusional irrational thoughts. People with severe depression may think about death a lot or feel suicidal or feel like harming others. If you experience such symptoms, you should contact emergency medical services, usually 911, or go to the nearest emergency department.
There are several different types of depression including major depression, minor depression, dysthymia, atypical depression, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder. A major depression involves the presence of more than six symptoms of depression that last for at least two weeks, but the depression lasts for more than six months. Minor depression consists of less than five depressive symptoms that last less than five weeks. Dysthymia is a mild form of depression that lasts a long time, usually about two years. Unusual symptoms, such as hearing things and delusional thoughts, characterize atypical depression. Postpartum depression is a rare but very serious condition that women may experience after childbirth. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is likely related to the amount of sunlight. It occurs during the fall and winter seasons and resolves during the spring and summer.