What are the symptoms?

It’s so difficult to describe Depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness
— J.K. Rowling

Depression is not the same as sadness. Depression affects day-to-day functioning, impairs your ability to study, eat, sleep, and may even cause difficulty in continuing daily activities.

The symptoms of Depression can be part of life's ups and downs, and does not automatically mean that you have Depression. Similarly, not everyone who is experiencing Depression will have all the symptoms.

But if you're experiencing five or more of the following symptoms for two weeks or longer, you may be having an episode of major Depression.

Full list of symptoms:


  • Tired all the time/lack of energy
  • Sick and run down
  • Headaches and muscle pains
  • Churning gut
  • Change in sleeping habits/sleep problems
  • Insomnia/ sleeping excessively
  • Loss or gain in appetite/change of appetite
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Restlessness
  • Finding difficulties at school or work  


  • Not going out anymore
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Thoughts of harming yourself
  • Not getting things done at work/school
  • Withdrawing from close family and friends
  • Relying on alcohol and/ or drugs sedatives
  • Loss of interest in usual enjoyable activities
  • Unable to concentrate and think clearly
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Low tolerance
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Pessimism and indifference


  • Helpless
  • Hopeless
  • No motivation
  • Guilt or worthlessness
  • Indecisive
  • Irritable
  • Frustrated
  • Lacking in confidence
  • Miserable
  • Sad
  • Unhappy
  • Overwhelmed
  • Disappointed
  • Angry
  • Anxious
  • Nervous
  • Alone
  • Low mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Restless or easily agitated

You should seek help for depression when it negatively affects one or more aspects of your life, such as your friendships, family, studies or general outlook on life. If you are unsure, there is no harm in getting an assessment just to reassure yourself. If left untreated, depressive symptoms may last for months to years and is more difficult to treat if it is more and more severe.

If you think that you or someone in your life may be experiencing Depression, this checklist can provide a quick, easy and confidential way to give you more insight. The checklist won't provide a diagnosis – for that you'll need to see a health professional – but it can help to guide you and provide a better understanding of how you're feeling. 

Alternatively, you can make an appointment with the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) at *SCAPE for a free and confidential mental health check.