Depression has many different characteristics apart from the distress and sadness that come with it. It is a mood disorder, in which the predominant feelings are of sadness, and a tendency to see everything around you as negative. Your thoughts and emotions are at an all time low. Nothing you do seems worthwhile. You may feel like you are not good enough, or that all you do is add to the sadness of those around you whom you love. You may no longer find pleasure in hobbies you once enjoyed. You have probably been met with stigma when people around you found out. Your friends might not know what you are suffering from. You  might not know that you are going through depression and might feel alone. At your lowest, you may have suicidal thoughts and carry out harmful actions. Even at this point, it is not too late. You can break away  from this deadly cycle, by accessing therapy.

Diagnostic criteria for depression.

ICD-10 uses an agreed list of key depressive symptoms:


  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Loss of interests or pleasure
  • Fatigue or low energy


Depression is diagnosed by having at least 2 of the above key symptoms plus the associated symptoms below:


  • Disturbed sleep
  • Poor concentration or indecisiveness
  • Low self-confidence
  • Poor or increased appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or acts
  • Agitation or slowing of movements
  • Guilt or self-blame


1) NICE (December 2004), Management of depression in primary and secondary care

2) NICE (October 2009), Depression

3) ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F42 (2015