Most of us have heard of depression, know what it is, or at least know someone who has or has had it. But do we know what your symptoms are and how to classify them?
In this article we will know the main types of symptoms of depression according to their nature. These affect: mood, motivation and behavior, cognition, physiology and interpersonal relationships.
5 types of symptoms of depression
Before describing what are the 5 types of symptoms of depression, let’s describe, in a generic way, what this mental disorder is.
Depression (“major depressive disorder” in the current DSM-5) is a mood disorder, which involves a number of symptoms (by DSM-5 criteria, a minimum of 5 from a list). We will explain these symptoms throughout the article, but mention that it is essential that these last at least 2 weeks.
In addition, the person must have undergone a change in their functioning, which results in depressed mood or loss of interest in things or decreased pleasure or motivation.
As we will see, depression it includes much more than sadness or a lack of enthusiasm, As is often thought; thus, it can also lead to feelings of anger, anger, cognitive impairment, irritability, psychophysiological symptoms, etc.
There are up to 5 types of symptoms in depression, depending on their nature, the affected area (person or life) and characteristics. We will see them below.
1. Psychic symptoms
The first group of the 5 types of symptoms of depression are psychic symptoms, which affect mood, and which are perhaps the most famous. These include the following.
Sadness is the central feature of depression. Most (but not all) people with depression feel sad.
Although this is a completely normal and adaptive emotion (we all get sad from time to time), in depression this feeling appears alongside others, so it is not enough to diagnose depression, of course.
Depression, another psychological symptom of depression, is a state in which the person is immersed, characterized by loss of physical or even moral strength, As well as your energy or your mind.
Unhappiness is also a mental symptom of depression, precisely because it has to do with mood; this results in a feeling of not enjoying things, of not being well and, ultimately, of not to be happy neither can it be.
Anxiety is also a very common symptom, usually associated with depression. This can manifest itself in different ways (and to varying degrees), through: feeling of suffocation or submersion, dizziness, nausea, uncertainty, irritability, Stress, discomfort, upset stomach, upset stomach, etc.
1.5. Feeling of emptiness
Another key symptom of depression is a feeling of emptiness (which appears in other disorders, such as borderline personality disorder).
It consists, as its name suggests, in feeling an inner void that is very difficult to fill; it is a feeling linked to the “nonsense” of things and of life, Added to a lack of enthusiasm for everything.
1.6. emotional anesthesia
Emotional anesthesia occurs especially in severe cases of depression. It means feeling nothing: no joy, no sadness, no anger … It would be like being in a state of emotional gloom, where nothing affects us and nothing worries us. This is a really serious symptom because it keeps us from dealing with what is happening to us.
2. Motivational and behavioral symptoms
The second of the 5 types of depression symptoms are motivation and behavior symptoms.
Inhibition means avoiding doing things we used to do; is difficulty in acting, such as when interacting with others. We are like reproaches, closed in on ourselves.
Apathy in depression is a lack of enthusiasm for life in general, and results in a state of generalized disinterest coupled with a lack of motivation to get things done. This makes us indifferent to any stimulus that comes from outside. It is a very common symptom.
Anhedonia, another very common symptom, is the inability to experience pleasure. It is especially noticeable in things which, before depression, whether they produced pleasure or satisfaction..
2.4. Lack of motivation
Nothing motivates us, nothing makes sense. It is very difficult for us to do things (until we get up in the morning).
2.5. Psychomotor retardation
Psychomotor retardation can also occur (our movements are slower: For example walking, moving in general …). It can even appear 1 hour of total immobility.
Or conversely, agitation (state of excitement or exaggerated nervousness) may appear.
Characterized by mutism (not speaking) and / or paralysis. This here decreases our ability to respond to stimuli.
3. Cognitive symptoms
In depression, there are usually no impairments in verbal production or comprehension, but there are impairments in other functions.
3.1. Impaired performance and formal deficits
Performance is affected by the following:
- Attention, memory and mental speed
- Automatic and automatic effort and control (under certain stressful conditions)
3.2. Circular and ruminative thinking
they also appear circular, ruminative and even obsessive thoughts.
3.3. Modification of content
Alterations in the content of thought are also well known and result in:
- Negative Choice (Aaron Beck): Affecting Self, World, and Future View
- Self-deprecation, guilt, Despair, thoughts of suicide
- Illusions of ruin, guilt, nihilists
Make it clear at this point that generally the delusions that appear in depression are consistent with mood (if they are not, the depression is even more severe).
4. Physical symptoms
People with the most somatic / physical symptoms are those who seek professional help the most.
4.1. Sound issues
It is very difficult to sleep well when you have depression. Disorders such as insomnia (very common), nightmares, non-restful sleep, etc. appear.
We feel tired (even if we don’t do anything) and tired.
4.3. Increase or decrease in appetite and weight
Hunger is also almost always impaired, Appearing to have a lot of appetite or little appetite (and even zero appetite). As a result, the weight is also changed.
4.4. Decreased sexual desire
Libido (sexual desire) also decreases.
4.5. Diffuse bodily discomfort
Unpleasant and annoying sensations in the body.
4.6. Nausea, instability, dizziness
Symptoms we mentioned in anxiety, which they can also appear singly.
5. Interpersonal symptoms
Finally, the last of the 5 types of depression symptoms are interpersonal symptoms. These predict a worse course of it, as well as a greater chronification of the disorder.
5.1. Deterioration of social relations
There is a deterioration of relationships social; friendships are “lost” or damaged.
5.2. Decreased interest in people
This decline in interest in people often ends up being two-way (others stop caring about us because we are depressed).
Finally, there can also be a rejection of others, or of others (of us).
- American Psychiatric Association (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
- American Psychiatric Association (2002). DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Barcelona: Masson.
- Ayuso, JL and Carulla, LS (1994). Manual of Psychiatry. Flight. I. McGraw-Hill. Madrid.
- Belloch, A., Sandín, B. and Ramos, F. (2010). Manual of psychopathology. Volumes I and II. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.