Warning Signs of Depression

Everyone has normal mood swings in which he or she occasionally feels sad. But when that depressed mood lingers for more than two weeks, serious depression could be setting in. If this occurs, it might be appropriate for the person experiencing the depressed mood to seek help by talking to a mental health professional.  Depressive disorders respond readily to treatments such as psychotherapy or appropriate medication. 


Changes in behavior and attitude - these include:

  • general slowing down or sleeping more

  • not sleeping well, waking up early in the morning

  • neglect of appearance and responsibilities

  • trouble concentrating

  • irritability

  • poor memory

Different feelings and perceptions - these include:

  • loss of self-esteem

  • hopelessness

  • emotional flatness or emptiness

  • loss of sexual desire

  • inability to find pleasure in anything

  • extreme self-blame or guilt

  • suicidal thoughts or actions


Physical complaints - these include:

  • sleep disturbances

  • chronic fatigue

  • loss of appetite, or weight gain

  • unexplained headaches, backaches

  • digestive complaints

Warning Signs of Stress


In children, some signs are:

  • accident proneness

  • overly susceptible to illness

  • headaches, stomach aches

  • sleep problems, bedwetting

  • loss of appetite

  • aggressiveness

  • boredom or withdrawal

  • changes in mood or behavior

  • lying, cheating, stealing

  • truancy, failing grades

  • alcohol or other drug usages

In adults, some signs are many of the preceding signs plus:

  • abusive behavior

  • alcohol or other drug abuse

  • depression (see Warnings Signs of Depression ¡V internal link)

  • illness

  • damaged relationships

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