Top 5 Depression Symptoms

To start, there is no set cause or set reason as to why people become depressed. Depression can affect everyone between different ages, gender, race, and economic standpoint. Anyone can become a victim. Some reasons that people become depressed are due to biology (genetics), environment you put yourself in and environment you can’t control, society, stress, hormones, and any combination of these.

Nonetheless, there are very noticeable symptoms of depression in which I will cover here. I will give you the top 5 depression symptoms that seem to be the most popular among patients. I will also state the top 5 depression signs. This helps those who are unsure about their depression state and for those who are looking out for their friends or family.

Top 5 Depression Symptoms

  1. Insomnia or sleep impairment 
    • Loss of sleep is very common among patients of depression. This may attributed to a couple of reasons. When we are in a state of depression, it seems that our minds are constantly revolving around negative thoughts and impulses and it is extremely difficult to battle this negativity in our head. So this keeps us up late at night. We find it difficult to just shut off our mind and go to sleep. You may be thinking of what happened today and re-running it over and over in your head. Or, you may be thinking of what’s going to happen tomorrow. You may also be thinking about everything and everyone including yourself in a negative-like manner. Depression thoughts are wondrous and anything negative can fall into your head at anytime. 
    • These negative thought patterns ultimately keep us up and when we do fall asleep, it may be very early we wake up and the thought process occurs again, thus keeping us up for the day with a very little amount of sleep. Or, you may find that you over-sleep in the morning because of the fear of entering reality again and starting your day.
  2. Decrease Energy
    • This one is definitely one of the top depression symptoms. Everyone who has fallen victim to depression has at some point experienced a high decrease in energy whether it be for a day, a week, or even a month. Decrease of energy can be strongly related to the first symptom of sleep impairment. Without a good night’s sleep, it is more difficult to function during the day, leaving us fatigued with little to no energy.
    • Decrease energy can also be attributed to the ongoing symptoms of little to no motivation when it comes to depression. When we are depressed, it seems like there is no point in getting anything done. What is the point of doing your daily chores, cleaning your room, cooking, school-work, exercising, and so on when you are in a state of depression. You feel nothing and no sense of motivation or dedication. It seems like it is impossible to gain any sense of drive to get anything done. This unhealthy state of mind ultimately decreases our energy levels leaving us with the mindset to just not do anything. 
  3. Anxiety
    • This is a huge symptom of depression. I find depression and anxiety fall hand in hand all the time. When depression hits, you may feel like your anxiety goes away for a bit. But then on the other hand, when your anxiety hits, you may feel like your depression goes away for a bit. It’s like an endless cycle which is hard to get out of. And of course, you may feel like you experience both depression and anxiety at the same time. For me, mine will come in wave-lengths alternating sometimes months at a time. It is so weird.
    • But overall, anxiety is a symptom of depression and depression is a symptom of anxiety so it makes sense both fit together perfectly. Depression may make you fall into such a low state that you feel complete darkness. Life doesn’t exist for you and you can’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may feel worthless and hopeless. This is very scary and our minds along with the negative impulses flick into a state of fear or panic, generating this terrible anxiety.
  4. Isolation
    • I find this symptom to be one of the top 5 depression symptoms because those who are depressed feel the need or desire to be alone. This is understandable because depression or any other mental illness seems to have a stigma revolving around them, in which those with a mental illness are seen as not normal. So why would you want to be around people when you are depressed? You don’t want to reach out for help in the fear of opening up about your mental illness, so we isolate ourselves from family and friends. You would rather experience your depression alone and battle it yourself than by doing it with someone else. 
    • On the other hand, isolation occurs because depression puts people into such a dark state, that there is no point of being around other people. There is literally not one desire to want to be with other people. You are in dark battle with your mind even when you are with people, so the thought of being alone comforts you. Interacting with people may seem pointless, not fun at all, and even scary when you have ongoing battle with depression. Isolation seems like the best thing to do.
  5. Hopelessness
    • This is a huge symptom of depression. This is one I find relates the most to suicide. When you lose all hope, what is the point anymore? Depression takes over you completely and you seem exhausted by it. There is no one out there to help you. You feel completely alone. You feel broken and destroyed. You may have ongoing thoughts like, “what is the point?” “life is not going anywhere?” “I will never be happy.” When you are depressed for so long, it is hard to remember what happiness even is.
    • This is a scary battle and depression does take all hope away from people,which is why it is a huge symptom and a cause of suicide. Hope to many people is one of the biggest drivers in life. It can bring prosperity, happiness, and even a reason to live. So when someone loses hope, you can ask yourself, what really are they living for? With depression, it seems like living means experiencing this pain forever. You don’t see a cure and you don’t see yourself getting better.

Those are the top 5 depression symptoms in my eyes. Depression is dark and painful. It is real and it kills. But one thing is for sure, it is completely treatable. Remember this. There is always hope. You are never alone. It is okay not to be okay. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Suicide should never be an option.

Millions suffer from depression. It is okay. It is a disease and should be treated the same as a physical disease. If you know someone who is battling depression, or you are looking out for someone who is battling depression, or you yourself may be depressed and you are unsure the state of it, then here are the top 5 depression signs. Look out for these. They are very important. 

Top 5 Depression Signs to Look Out For:

  1. Isolation. Does this person not socialize like they used to? Do you not see them as much? Are they avoiding you for no apparent reason? Are they staying in their bedroom for most hours of the day and night?
  2. Loss of Joy. Is it difficult to get this person to do things, especially things you used to do? Do they have a lack of motivation to do anything anymore? Would they rather sit at home and do nothing then go out and about? Are there things they like that don’t seem to bring them joy anymore?
  3. Drugs or alcohol. Is this person using drugs or alcohol at an abnormal amount or frequency? Do they seem to want to do drugs or drink at odd occasions or unusual times of the day? Do they seem to be in a state of happiness when on drugs or alcohol? What state are they in when they are not on drugs or alcohol?
  4. Unusual socializing. Has this person changed their way of talking? Do they talk in a manner like there is no hope? Do they constantly complain? Do they ever talk about how life is unfair and that life is going nowhere? Have they mentioned anything about it would be better if they did not exist?
  5. Overeating/Under-eating. Has this person changed their eating habits as per normal. Have you noticed a weight change? Do they hardly eat? Do they eat too much? What is their eating schedule like? Are they ever up to getting food with you?

There you have it. The top 5 depression symptoms and top 5 depression signs. This is very important information. If you have depression, then I would strongly recommend you take action sooner than later. If you do not have depression, then please always keep these symptoms and signs in the back of your head to look out for others. Depression is a silent disease. It goes unnoticed very often which is why many people are so successful with committing suicide. If you suspect you have a friend or family member suffering, you may not be sure what to do. Here are things you should know on how to help a friend with depression.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave me a comment below.

Suicide Hotline:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

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Robert Sherwood


  1. Thanks for the outline of symptoms to watch out for. Do you have any recommendations on what to do if you recognize a friend or family member with these symptoms? What’s the best way to engage with that person?

    • Of course. I wrote an article specifically on how to help those with depression, what to do, what not to do, how to engage etc. Click here for the article.

  2. Great post Rob. I have to add that feeling of explainable emptiness that can sometimes arise.
    One major step can be labeling these symptoms when they arise and trying to accept them as symptoms only and not another episode.
    The trouble for me was when symptoms would arise, so would the dark thoughts. I then trained myself to know thoughts aren’t facts unless you make them.

    • Thank you Vince. Yes, I agree with you. It is important to recognize our symptoms and that symptoms can be beat! One of the major symptoms of depression is negative impulses and thoughts that keep us from doing anything. That is why it is important to use cognitive approaches which are techniques to battle these negative thoughts such as filtering them out by distraction as an example. You are right, thoughts are thoughts and only that.

  3. I have depression but I help it but doing things that I want to do that I feel better and not so down music also helps when I have a bout of depression im glad I read this post I had no idea these could be warning signs thanks for sharing and have good night.

    • Good to hear you treat your depression naturally by doing things that keep you distracted and things you enjoy. You are welcome and thank you for reaching out Casey.

  4. Thanks for the list of signs of depression and the symptoms. Depression is a serious illness and it needs to be treated as one. I am glad you provided the suicide hotline number. You may save someone’s life.

    • You are very welcome. Depression is way more serious than some people think. I am more than happy to get this kind of information out there.

  5. I have been looking for help with my girlfriends seemingly endless mood swings and some of the points you elude to, certainly seem to pertain. All your points and possible solutions have to be tried and I will certainly have her read your site. Thank you !

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