Depression is a serious mood disorder that can take the joy from everyday life. It is normal to be moody or sad from time to time. You can expect these feelings after a breakup, the death of a pet or a move to a new city. But if these feelings last for weeks or months, they may be a sign of depression.


Depression symptoms are often subtle at first. They may occur suddenly or happen slowly over time.

Physical symptoms

  • Unexplained aches and pains, such as headaches or stomach pain
  • Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Changes in eating habits that lead to weight gain or loss or not making expected weight gains
  • Constant tiredness, lack of energy 
  • Body movements that seem slow, restless, or agitated

Mental or emotional symptoms

  • Irritability or temper tantrums
  • Difficulty thinking and making decisions
  • Having low self-esteem, being self-critical, and/or feeling that others are unfairly critical
  • Feelings of guilt and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal, such as lack of interest in friends
  • Anxiety, such as worrying too much or fearing separation from a parent
  • Thinking about death or feeling suicidal

How is depression diagnosed?

To diagnose depression, a doctor may do a physical examination and ask questions about how you think and feel.

Some diseases can cause symptoms that look like depression. Your doctor may run tests to help rule out physical problems, such as a low thyroid level or anemia.

If you think you might be depressed, please ask for help.

If you are looking for some help regarding a mental health issue or addiction, please contact the confidential, 24-Hour Crisis line # 403 – 266 – HELP (4357)

Depression in Children and Teens (2015). My Health Alberta Website. Retrieved September 5,2019 from