How to Know If You’re Depressed: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

In today’s demanding world, it’s not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed or stressed. Chronic feelings of stress, however, can
If you need help, we’re here for you. Contact us today.
Get Help
100% confidential

In This Article:

Clearview’s Programs
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Residential Treatment
Women’s Treatment Center
Residential Treatment
Outpatient Treatment
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

In today’s demanding world, it’s not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed or stressed. Chronic feelings of stress, however, can signal a more serious condition, like depression. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is a crucial step toward getting help

Continue reading to learn the warning signs of depression, how antidepressants work, how you can find effective treatments, and more.

Understanding Depression

Depression is a serious mental health condition. It’s a mood disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and daily activities. It often causes a persistent sense of sadness and hopelessness. While everyone experiences moments of sadness, depression is characterized by its duration and intensity.1 The first step in determining whether or not you’re depressed is learning the signs and symptoms. 

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

Persistent Sadness

One of the hallmark signs of depression is a pervasive sense of sadness that persists for most of the day, nearly every day. This isn’t just feeling down or “blue”; it’s a profound and enduring emotional state.

Loss of Interest or Pleasure

Often, individuals experiencing depression lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Hobbies, socializing, and personal relationships may become less appealing or feel burdensome.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Sleep disturbances are common in depression. These can manifest as insomnia, where falling or staying asleep becomes challenging, or hypersomnia, where individuals may sleep excessively.

Appetite Changes

Depression can impact appetite, leading to either significant weight loss or weight gain. Some individuals may experience a loss of interest in food, while others may turn to it as a form of comfort.

Fatigue and Low Energy

A person who is depressed may feel tired and lethargic for most of the day. Simple tasks may feel overwhelming, and individuals may struggle to find the motivation to get through the day.

Difficulty Concentrating

Depression often affects cognitive functions, making it challenging to concentrate, make decisions, or remember details. This can interfere with work, school, or daily responsibilities.

Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt

People with depression may experience intense feelings of worthlessness or guilt, even in situations where these emotions are unwarranted. Self-esteem takes a significant hit during depressive episodes.

Physical Aches and Pains

Depression isn’t limited to emotional symptoms; it can also manifest physically. Chronic pain, headaches, and digestive issues are among the physical symptoms that may accompany depression.

Isolation and Withdrawal

Individuals with depression often isolate themselves from friends and family. Social activities become less appealing, and a sense of detachment from the world can set in.

Suicidal Thoughts

In severe cases, depression may lead to thoughts of death or suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing these thoughts, immediately seeking help is crucial.

How to Know If You’re Depressed

Recognizing depression in oneself can be challenging, as the symptoms may be subtle or attributed to other factors. However, if you’ve noticed a persistent change in your mood, behavior, or overall sense of well-being, it’s essential to pay attention and seek treatment

If you’re wondering how to spot signs of depression in yourself, consider the following: 


Take time to reflect on your emotions and behaviors. Have you noticed a prolonged sadness or a significant change in your interest and energy levels? Honest self-assessment is the first step in recognizing depression.

Consult with Loved Ones

Often, those closest to us can provide valuable insights. Share your feelings and experiences with trusted friends or family members. They may have observed changes in your behavior that you were unaware of. 

Keep a Mood Journal

Keeping a daily journal can help you track your emotions, activities, and any noticeable changes in your mood. This can be valuable when discussing your symptoms with a mental health professional.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re unsure about your emotional well-being, consult with a mental health professional. They can conduct a thorough assessment, diagnose you, and offer guidance on appropriate treatment options.

How Do Antidepressants Make You Feel?

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed medications for managing depression.2 They work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, which play a crucial role in regulating mood. It’s essential to understand that the effects of antidepressants can vary from person to person, and they may take some time to become noticeable. 

Some of the effects of antidepressants include:

Gradual Improvement

Antidepressants are not a quick fix; they typically take several weeks to start showing significant effects. During this time, you may experience a gradual improvement in your mood and a reduction in symptoms.

Increased Energy Levels

Many individuals report feeling more energized and motivated after starting antidepressant treatment. The persistent fatigue associated with depression may begin to lift.

Stabilized Mood

Antidepressants aim to stabilize mood swings and reduce the intensity of depressive symptoms. You may notice a more consistent and balanced emotional state.

Improved Sleep Patterns

As your mood stabilizes, you may also experience improvements in your sleep patterns. Antidepressants can help regulate sleep, addressing issues of insomnia or hypersomnia.

Enhanced Concentration

Antidepressants may improve cognitive functions, making it easier to concentrate, make decisions, and engage in daily activities without the cloud of depression affecting your mind.

Reduced Anxiety

Many antidepressants also have anti-anxiety properties, which can be beneficial for individuals experiencing both depression and anxiety. You may notice a reduction in feelings of restlessness or worry.

Increased Interest in Activities

As your depression symptoms subside, you may find yourself regaining interest in activities you once enjoyed. Antidepressants can help lift the emotional numbness often associated with depression.

Better Coping Mechanisms

Antidepressants can provide individuals with the emotional stability needed to develop and implement healthier coping mechanisms. This may include better stress management and problem-solving skills.

Finding Help For Depression

Recognizing depression is the first step toward healing, and understanding the signs and symptoms is crucial for seeking help. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing depression, it’s essential to reach out to a mental health professional for support and guidance.

Antidepressants, while not a cure-all, can be an effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan. How antidepressants make you feel varies from person to person, but many individuals report gradual improvements in mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment method for your specific needs.

Clearview Treatment Programs is a trusted mental health treatment facility specializing in treatment for all types of depression. We offer a range of services and programs that provide a path to wellness no matter where you are in your journey. Find a Clearview location near you.


  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (2022). Major Depression.
  2. 2. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Depression.

If you’re ready to start your recovery, we’re here to help.

Recent Blog Posts

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Get exclusive resources, find inspiration, and grow alongside us. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter now!