Natural Health Remedies for You

Major Depression Symptoms
Physical Symptoms of Depression

This pages focuses on major depression symptoms - What are the physical symptoms of depression? How can you tell if you have depression or not? Read on to find out.

To learn how to use natural remedies such as herbs and nutritional supplements to treat depression, please visit our page on Natural Depression Treatments.

We all have depressive or sad feelings from time to time. In fact, feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to events in life, such as loss of a loved one, life's struggles, and so on. However, when this depressive feeling continues intensively for weeks or even months, then it is likely to be a case of "major depression", also known medically as "major depressive disorder" or "clinical depression".

Depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world. About 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from depression that requires medical attention.

Major depression can affect anybody - adults, teens, children, and the elderly. For some reason, women are twice as likely to develop depression as men.

Depression is not a weakness; it is a chronic medical condition that affects the mind and the body. Major depression requires long-term treatment, just like any other chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The good news is, with proper treatment, major depression symptoms can be alleviated and depression is curable.

So how can we tell if our depressive feelings are just "the blues", or if we are actually suffering from clinical depression? Check below for some typical major depression symptoms.

Major Depression Symptoms

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, you have depression when you have at least five of the following nine symptoms at the same time. In addition, to distinguish your condition as major depression, one of your symptoms must be either depressed mood or loss of interest. Also, the symptoms must be present for most of the day every day or nearly every day for at least two weeks.

The nine major depression symptoms include:
  • A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
  • A sense of restlessness or being slowed down
  • Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)
According to research, men suffering from major depression are less likely to seek help or even talk about their experience. As such, it is more likely that men with depression go undiagnosed and untreated. In men, sometimes depression can manifest itself as feelings of irritability, anger, or drug and alcohol abuse. Suppressed feelings of anger may lead to violent behavior.


Depression Physical Symptoms

Besides the above symptoms, people suffering from major depression also show some physical symptoms, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or gain due to appetite disturbances (eating too little or too much)
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Decreased sex drive


Causes of Depression

It is not known specifically what causes depression. As with many mental illnesses, it is believed that depression is caused by a variety of biochemical, genetic, physical, and environmental factors.

There are, however, some common "triggers" that can cause a person to sink into depression. These include:
  • The feeling of grief - from losing a loved one through death, divorce, or separation.
  • Major life changes - for example, job change, moving to an unfamiliar place, graduation, retirement, etc.
  • Personal conflicts - for example, a rocky marriage, or disagreements with a superior.
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Related Topic

Natural Depression Treatments


Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
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