Doctors consider diagnosing someone with "major depression" if that person has experienced most or all of the following symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks:


  • Depressed or irritable mood.
  • Loss of interest in activities you enjoy.
  • Change in appetite or a change in weight (either a loss or a gain).
  • Sleeping too much or not enough.
  • Agitated actions or slowed-down actions.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Difficulty in making decisions or concentrating.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Note that everyone has symptoms like these occasionally without having "major depression." Some people say they are depressed when they are sad about life events or when they are mourning a loss. It is when the symptoms interfere with daily life that the diagnosis of "major depression" can be made.