Top 5 Signs Of Depression: Not Only Sadness

Depression & Anxiety Knowledge
Top 5 Signs Of Depression
June 19, 2016

Am I depressed or just sad? Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell. If you show the top 5 signs of depression listed below for at least 2 weeks, it’s a warning sign that you may be suffering from it.

Those of you who tend to always manage everything by themselves perceive depression as weakness and feel too ashamed to admit that they might actually have a mental disorder. But negation of reality doesn’t solve the problem. Depression is a serious illness which in many cases leads to death.


Top 5 Signs Of Depression

1. Persistent sadness or feeling of inner void

While sadness is a normal reaction to loss, you should be concerned if it lasts too long, or if you feel sad for no apparent reason. People trying to cheer you up without understanding make you feel even more down. “Get a grip on yourself” is among the worst things one may tell a depressed person, so it’s understandable that you tend to avoid people or hide your sadness from the world… If you have loving family with no serious health issues and a successful professional life, and you feel guilty about being sad or ungrateful for it, the only logical explanation for persistent sadness is a depression episode.

2. Loss of interest in favorite activities

Among the top 5 signs of depression, this one is often perceived as the worst. Things you were passionate about don’t bring you joy anymore. If something lifted up your mood in the past, now it doesn’t work anymore. You constantly force yourself to do what you enjoyed once, hoping that one day you will feel that spark of joy once again. Functioning on autopilot makes you feel like a robot.

Zombieness leads to despair and loss of sense in life. Why continue, if nothing gives you pleasure and all you want is to be left in peace?

3. Dramatic change in sleeping patterns

Some people can’t find the motivation to get up in the morning. When one is feeling depressed, being awake and aware of everything is sometimes just too painful. Sleeping seems to be a great alternative, but you may feel like you never get enough of it. Constant oversleeping may be a warning sign of depression.

On the other hand, most depressed people have trouble falling asleep or wake up at dawn in spite of being tired. The consistent inability to get enough sleep, called insomnia, is one of the most common signs of depression. And one of the easiest to spot.

4. Change in eating habits and weight

As with sleeping, there are two different behaviors when it comes to food.

Lack of appetite is one of the top 5 signs of depression. Most patients lose lots of weight over a short period of time because they neglect the basic needs of their body. Eating doesn’t give pleasure when even supposedly delicious food feels tasteless.

Others completely lose control over the quality and amount of food they eat. Emotional eating is a way to cope with negative emotions, but works only for a moment. After a bucket of ice cream we are very likely to feel guilty and simply bad once the blood sugar drops.

Also, weight gain may be a sign of thyroid problems, which is linked to depression. A good psychiatrist should ask you to have your blood analysed.

5. Loss of self-esteem

Low self esteem has a double relation to depression. On one hand, feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure are the cause underlying many mental disorders because they make it hard to undertake and complete tasks. On another, depression takes poor self-esteem to its extreme. You don’t feel like you’re smart, pretty, or good enough. You are ashamed of your “weakness” and worried about what people will say, so you choose to avoid them whenever possible. You even feel like a burden to your family.


Top 5 Signs Of Depression


The top 5 signs of depression listed above are only a partial list of depression symptoms. If they match yours, you should consult a psychiatrist to find out.

Depressed people display a great variety of symptoms and sometimes two patients may not even have one in common, but also these symptoms may be shared with other mental illnesses.


Other signs of depression include:

  • social withdrawal
  • procrastination
  • emotional overreaction
  • otherwise unexplained physical pain
  • overall irritability
  • sensitivity to sounds
  • self-loathe and feeling of guilt
  • suicidal thoughts
  • overthinking


If you are observing some of these symptoms in your behavior, consult a specialist. Depression is a treatable illness. The sooner you start treating it, the more successful you will be and the sooner you will get over it. 

Life is beautiful, even if it sounds to you like a cruel joke right now. I know this feeling, but it will pass. It is not your fault that you are depressed. Start doing something about it, before it’s too late.


Take care of yourself!


PS. If you don’t know where to start from, read here about how to fight depression successfully. Once you get over the most painful symptoms of depression, you will see your illness as a source of personal growth and positive changes in your life.

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  1. Wire-Wrapped Jewelry says:

    Hi Marta,

    You have really put a lot of work into your site. Everything is “sectioned off” extremely well. You don’t begin by explaining about the 5 signs of depression and then start drifting into another subject in the middle. Each item you describe is about that item. Not something else.

    The media you have used is beautiful. The pic at the bottom of the page gives the impression that even with depression, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    REALLY nice segway into WA about the perfect profession.

    I guess in a few words to sum it up, IT FLOWS WELL.


    PS I would love some return feedback on my site, though not finished.

  2. Marcus says:

    This was some great, but also “scary” content.

    I personally think that I have some sort of insomnia. I have a hard time to fall asleep at night and I know that I don’t get enough sleep.

    I like to convince myself that it’s just because I have so much things that I want to do that it’s hard to fall asleep.

    And when you don’t get enough sleep you just feel tired for the rest of the day.

    I don’t think that I’m depressed although I am having crazy and destructive thoughts sometime. Does insomnia always have to do with depression or you can have insomnia, like me, and not be depressed?


    • Marta says:

      Hi Marcus,

      thank you for your comment. You see, it isn’t recommendable to diagnose yourself solely on the basis of my articles. If you’re problems with sleep affect your life and performance you should talk to your GP first. Mental illnesses are far more complicated than that and many symptoms overlap.

      As far as i’m concerned, there are days when I can’t fall asleep, and other when I could go to sleep at dusk and not get out of bed for the next 12 hours…

  3. Mike says:

    Beautiful post Marta. I like a good top list, and this one is no exception. I say beautiful not because depression is good, but cause facing it, accepting the issue and healing our inner selfs is something we need to do in said case, and your post is really really helpful. You are right, the second one is probably the worst condition…not enjoying that much your favorite hobbies anymore. But with help, patience and care, it’s possible to get out of it. Thank you so much for your dedication, will take a look at your other articles!

  4. Darren says:

    Depression is one of those things that I think people don’t really understand. Because it’s a disease of the brain a lot of people just think that you just need to cheer up but in reality it’s very difficult.

    Reading this stuff scares the crap out of me because I think we all feel like for extended stretches of time due to life circumstances and it makes you wonder if you’re actually depressed.

    Everybody can get hit with this disease and I’m hoping that in the coming decades we understand the brain better and find new treatments, whether it be psychological counseling or more effective drugs with minimal side effects.

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INFP. A sensitive, yet adventurous soul on a never-ending quest for the meaning of life and the reasons behind human behavior. Sometimes, a I'm frolicking unicorn pooping rainbows. On other occasions, I can be as deep as the Mariana Trench. After some psychotherapy and medication, I am seeing my depression as a source of positive changes and self growth. If I could choose any superpower I wanted, it would be healing.

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