What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Depression is a serious and complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Around one in five Australians (20%) will experience depression at some point in their lives, according to Black Dog Institute. Depression is the third-highest burden of disease in Australia, contributing significantly to lost productivity and disability, and it is the leading cause of non-fatal disability in the country.

Medicare  & DVA covered*
No out-of-pocket fees**
Non-invasive treatment

* No-out-of-pocket fees for Medicare patients who meet the Depression eligibility criteria.
** Read more about the cost of TMS and Medicare coverage

Because of this, we need to be able to speak about its symptoms, causes and management openly. Understanding what depression looks like is the first step to getting help, and that’s where we can come in.

At Neuralia TMS, we donโ€™t just treat the symptoms, we create a comprehensive treatment plan using our TMS machine. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation used to treat depression and many other conditions.

Before you can make an informed decision on treatment, you have to understand the signs that you have depression.

Common Depression Symptoms and Signs

Some common signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness,
  • Emptiness, or
  • Hopelessness,

as well as a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable.

According to Beyond Blue, “Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.”

However, each person experiences depression differently. There are a wide range of symptoms that can affect their daily lives.

The symptoms of depression can be divided into the following three categories:

1) Affective symptoms:

  • decreased mood
  • hopelessness
  • worthlessness
  • guilt

2) Biological symptoms or physical symptoms:

  • decreased appetite
  • early morning wakening
  • psychomotor slowing, i.e. monotonous/slow/delayed/decreased amount of speech
  • decreased facial expressions OR psychomotor agitation, i.e. hand wringing

3) Cognitive symptoms or emotional symptoms:

  • decreased concentration
  • decreased memory
  • daily tasks take longer than normal
  • decreased self-esteem
  • self-harm or suicidal thoughts

Physical Symptoms of Depression

Depression, while often recognised by emotional symptoms like sadness and loss of interest, can also significantly impact your physical well-being. Here’s an expanded look at the physical symptoms of depression, drawing on Australian studies and insights.

Symptom Description
Changes in appetite and weight Studies from the Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue indicate that around 40-50% of people with depression experience changes in appetite, with either weight loss or gain
Sleep disturbances Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early are common, affecting up to 90% of individuals with depression
Fatigue and low energy Feeling constantly tired and drained is a hallmark symptom, impacting daily activities and motivation.
Unexplained aches and pains Headaches, muscle aches, and digestive issues like stomach pain or constipation can occur without a clear physical cause
Sexual problems Decreased libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, and erectile dysfunction are common in both men and women with depression

Sources: Healthdirect, Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute

Emotional Symptoms of Depression

Emotionally, people with depression may experience persistent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, along with difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering details.

Beyond the persistent sadness and loss of interest that hallmark depression, a complex range of emotional symptoms can manifest. Here’s an expanded look at those mentioned:

Persistent negativity

Symptom Description
Guilt and worthlessness These feelings plague many with depression, often stemming from distorted self-perception and negative self-talk (Black Dog Institute, 2022). Studies estimate around 80% of individuals with depression experience guilt, and 70% feel worthless (Slade et al., 2006).
Helplessness and hopelessness Feelings of inability to control or improve the situation and a bleak outlook on the future are common, leading to decreased motivation and engagement (Beyond Blue, 2023).

Cognitive difficulties

Symptom Description
Difficulties concentrating, remembering, and making decisions Depression can impair cognitive function, impacting memory, focus, and ability to process information effectively Studies suggest up to 90% of individuals with depression experience these difficulties (Sheline et al., 2006).
Negative thinking patterns Rumination (dwelling on negative thoughts) and pessimism bias (focusing on negative aspects) become ingrained, reinforcing feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Additional emotional symptoms

Symptom Description
Irritability and anger While often associated with sadness, depression can also manifest as irritability, frustration, and even outbursts of anger, impacting relationships and daily interactions.
Emotional blunting or numbness Some individuals experience a reduced ability to feel emotions, including both positive and negative ones, creating a sense of detachment and isolation.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities The things that once brought joy may become uninteresting or seem pointless, further intensifying feelings of emptiness and isolation.

How is Depression Treated?

There are various treatment options for depression available for diagnosed individuals. These include psychotherapy, medication, TMS or a combination. The best way forward would be to speak to a psychologist, or psychiatrist to create a treatment plan. Here’s an expanded look at some key options.

  1. Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
    Effectiveness: Studies show a success rate of 50-80% in reducing depression symptoms. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a particularly well-researched and effective form.
  1. Medication
    Effectiveness: Antidepressants can significantly improve symptoms in moderate to severe cases. However, medication alone may not be sufficient for everyone.
  1. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation):
    Effectiveness: For individuals who havenโ€™t responded well to other treatments, TMS for depression can be a potential option. Harvard Studies show response rates of 50-60% in major depressive disorder.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Consult a healthcare professional: Engaging in open dialogue about your unique requirements and symptoms with a medical professional, whether it be a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, is essential to identify the most suitable treatment plan tailored to your specific situation. This collaborative process not only allows for personalised care but also enables you to weigh the benefits and risks associated with various treatment options effectively.
  • Combination therapy: Often, the most effective treatment plans combine therapy and medication or other options. There is no single “right” way. What works for one person may not work for another. Be patient and open to exploring different options with your healthcare team.
  • Getting help is essential: If you’re struggling with depression, remember you’re not alone. Seeking professional help is the first step towards feeling better.
  • Support for people with depression: Support from friends, family, and mental health professionals is very important in the process of treating of depression. Establishing a strong support system can help individuals navigate the challenges associated with managing your condition and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Contact us today for a free consultation and explore how TMS can help you reclaim your life, one pulse at a time.

What Are The Different Types of Depression?

There are different types of depression, each with its own unique characteristics and presentation. Here’s a breakdown of some common types:

Depression Classification Description
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This is the most commonly diagnosed type of depression, characterised by intense episodes of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, and other symptoms lasting for at least two weeks.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): Less severe but longer-lasting than MDD, characterised by mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms for at least two years.
Bipolar Disorder: Characterised by alternating episodes of depression and mania (elevated mood and high energy). Some individuals experience hypomania, a milder form of mania.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Depression related to changes in seasons, typically occurring during winter months with reduced sunlight exposure.
Postpartum Depression: Depression occurring within four weeks of childbirth, affecting up to 1 in 10 women.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Severe mood swings and depressive symptoms related to the menstrual cycle.
Atypical Depression: Characterised by unusual sleep patterns, increased appetite, and mood reactivity.
Psychotic Depression: Depression accompanied by psychotic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations.

Is TMS Effective in Treating Depression?

Studies report response rates (significant improvement in symptoms) ranging from 50% to 55% for patients with major depressive disorder. Additionally, the percentage of patients achieving remission (no longer meeting criteria for depression) falls between 30% and 35%.

TMS might offer similar effectiveness to antidepressants, but with potentially fewer side effects.TMS is often used for people who haven’t responded well to traditional treatments like medication and therapy. In this group, TMS success rates are lower than in the general population with MDD.

How Can TMS Help Me?
Take the TMS Quiz to find out more.


FAQs about Symptoms of Depression

  • Warning signs of suicide in individuals with depression may include talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, withdrawing from activities and isolating themselves, displaying extreme mood swings, expressing feelings of being a burden, or talking about wanting to die.

  • Depression can feel different for each person, but common feelings include persistent sadness, hopelessness, guilt, or emptiness. Individuals may also experience irritability, frustration, or a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.

  • Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a mental health condition characterised by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Learn more about TMS - Contact Us - QR code

Dr Shanek Wick – Author Bio

Dr. Shanek Wick, a distinguished Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, specialises in holistic mental health care with a focus on interventional psychiatry, neurostimulation, and addiction.

Why Neuralia TMS

Lead by Psychiatrists

Next Day Consults Available

Evidence-based, individualised treatment programs

Medicare rebates available

TMS Machine Resources

v6 13s x0.5 speed 720p desktop homepage video 0.5x speed
Neuralia TMS Mandurah 2048 1152 Neuralia TMS

Neuralia TMS Mandurah

TMS for PTSD – How it is Transforming Recovery 474 316 Neuralia TMS

TMS for PTSD – How it is Transforming Recovery

Think you know antidepressants? The Side Effects that will surprise you! 860 850 Neuralia TMS

Think you know antidepressants? The Side Effects that will surprise you!

Neuralia TMS are the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) specialists in Perth, WA. TMS is non-invasive treatment for depression and several other conditions.

Phone: 6230 3996
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 6230 2231
Healthlink ID: neuralia

Privacy Policy

Find Us

Melville House,
Suite 7, 25 Foss Street
Palmyra WA 6157

West Leederville
1A/2 McCourt St
West Leederville, WA 6007

Unit 15, Level 1
141 (135-141) Victoria Street
Bunbury, WA 6230

190 Bussel Highway
Busselton, WA 6280

2 Pioneer Road
Albany WA 6330

Ramsay Clinic Hollywood
Fenwick Day Unit
Entrance 5
Monash Avenue
Nedlands WA 6009

Helena Valley
2 Tuckeroo Parade
Helena Valley
WA 6056

102 / 149-155 Pascoe Vale Rd
Moonee Ponds
VIC 3039

Join Us

Subscribe to our newsletter here and stay in the loop.

Visit our TMS Education portal for regular discussions on Mental health, Psychology, Neurostimulation and the latest innovative technologies in Psychiatry.

Chat Below