A special case of depression is the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), known as "winter depression". The boundaries between sadness, burnout and depression are fluid.
Symptoms – How does depression manifest itself?

Emptiness and dwindling interest in life. Depression is often accompanied by a low-spirit. Some patients also report an inner emptiness and the inability to perceive their own feelings. They report feeling petrified. Depressed people lose interest in things and activities that used to be meaningful to them. For example, hobbies, work or joint activities with family or friends are no longer enjoyable. The interest in these things has been "lost".

According to severity, depression is divided into:

  • Mild depression: Mildly pronounced symptoms that can be treated well and are usually quickly overcome.
  • Moderate depression: Expressed by a wide range of symptoms, usually associated with problems in coping with everyday life at home and at work.
  • Severe depression is a serious illness: everyday life situations are unmanageable and are often accompanied by suicidal thoughts.

Main symptoms and complaints of depression

  • depressed mood
  • Lack of interest and joy
  • Disturbance of drive with increased fatigability, weakness of will and restriction of activity

Additional symptoms of a depressive episode:

  • Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Helplessness and hopelessness, negative and pessimistic future perspectives
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Anxiousness
  • Tiredness, lack of drive, feeling of massive exhaustion
  • Reduced ability to concentrate and make decisions
  • Senseless circling of thoughts (brooding)
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Reduced appetite
  • Decreased emotional life up to the inability to show an emotional reaction,
  • Reduced sexual interest
  • Suicidal thoughts/actions

These symptoms can provide indications of a depressive illness. For a confirmed diagnosis, further measures are necessary in any case.


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Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Centre in Hanover

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