Signs and Symptoms of Depression: How does Depression Feel?

At some point in our life, we all experience sadness. Depending on what we are going through, we may even feel like we are a failure or have no purpose in life. However, when these feelings become constant or debilitating, you or a loved one may be dealing with depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a state of low mood during which a person feels helpless, worthless, hopeless, or lethargic. Depression impacts how you think, feel, and behave. Depressed individuals are often unable to enjoy the things that once brought them joy and pleasure. These feelings go well beyond feeling sadness or a “case of the blues.” An individual struggling with depression can not simply work their way through it. Depression requires professional help.

Depression is different from sadness or grief. With typical sadness and grief, painful feelings and thoughts come in waves, often mixed with feelings of joy or positive memories. During a depressive episode, feelings of despair remain constant for weeks at a time. For some people, it is something they will need to manage for their entire life. For others, depression may be brought on by a major life event (such as death, divorce, illness, trauma, or the loss of a job).



Characteristics of Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression impacts more than 264 million people globally. Unlike common short-lived mood fluctuations, when left untreated, depression can cause physical and mental health problems.

Although the signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person, depression is generally characterized by the following: 

  • Prevailing feelings of sadness or irritability
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in things that once brought pleasure
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Persistent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Treatment-resistant physical symptoms including chronic pain, headaches, or digestive problems

how does depression feel

Contributing Factors to Depression

Depression can result from a complex interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events, such as physical trauma, divorce, or death of a loved one, are more likely to develop depression. Individuals who have a family history of mental illness or depression are more likely to suffer from depression. Additionally, individuals who suffer from chronic illness, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, may also be more susceptible to depressive episodes.

Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, depressive episodes can present themselves as mild, moderate, or severe. There are also several types of depression, to include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Recurrent Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder

Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression

Depression is diagnosed by a mental health professional, to include psychologists and psychiatrists. Once an individual is diagnosed with depression their mental health care provider will make suggestions for a treatment plan. Treatment plans will vary based on specific needs and severity of depression, and can include a combination of psychological treatments (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy) and medication (such as antidepressant medications). Therapy can take place one-on-one or in a group setting (depending on specific needs).


BE Psychology Center

Whether you or a loved one need help to deal with mild to moderate depression, or require help managing severe depression or a chemical imbalance, our team of mental health professionals can help. The BE Psychology team consists of clinicians and psychologists in Dubai with a wide range of expertise and experience committed to helping your personal development. We understand that asking for help takes courage, and we are passionate about helping our clients find the solutions they need to deal with depression. 

Contact a member of our team today if you are looking for depression treatment in Dubai.


reem shaheen counseling psychologist


Reem Shaheen – LMHC