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More Than Sadness: Little-Known Depression Symptoms

Depression affects millions of Americans. It’s a common mental health disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness that you can’t simply shake off.

Although it’s extremely common, depression affects people in different ways. Feelings of sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness are some of the most common signs, but they’re not the only ways depression presents itself.

Recognizing depression is the first step to finding help and feeling better. At Boston Neuro Behavioral Associates, our therapists specialize in diagnosing and treating depression in adults of all ages.

Some of the most common (but lesser-known) symptoms of depression include:

Mood swings

Depression is characterized by sadness and disinterest, but some people with depression experience dramatic or rapid changes in mood. You may feel like crying one minute and laughing the next or have the feeling that you can’t control your emotions.

Many people with depression frequently feel irritable and cranky. You might find yourself snapping at others or losing your temper without meaning to do so. Irritability and anger are particularly common in men with depression.

Changes in sleeping habits

Depression affects your ability to get restful sleep. It can cause changes like difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can also make you oversleep or wake up unusually early.

Having depression can cause insomnia, but it can also make you want to sleep more. Even if you are sleeping more than usual, you might notice that you still wake up feeling tired, no matter how much you slept.


Chronic fatigue could be a symptom of depression. People with depression often find that they feel exhausted all the time, even if they’re sleeping more than usual.

It’s common to feel extremely tired and unmotivated throughout the day. Depression can make even the smallest daily tasks seem overwhelming, requiring energy that you simply don’t have.

Difficulty concentrating

Depression can make focusing on tasks difficult or impossible. If you have depression, you might struggle to remember tasks or see them through to completion, without a clear reason as to why you’re struggling.

Difficulty concentrating, coupled with a loss of interest, can significantly impact your performance at work or school. It may also make your personal life more difficult, particularly if you find yourself withdrawing from loved ones.

Unexpected weight fluctuations

Suffering from depression can cause appetite changes, from constant hunger to complete disinterest in food. Eating more leads to weight gain, while not eating as much as you should leads to unintentional weight loss.

If you’ve noticed changes in your appetite and, as a result, unplanned changes in your weight, it could indicate depression.

Physical aches and pains

Depression is a mental health condition, but it can cause physical symptoms along with mental ones. Physical aches and pains, digestive problems, and more could indicate depression.

If you have physical ailments that can’t be traced to physical causes, or they haven’t improved with treatment, they could be linked to depression.

Depression is a complex condition that includes much more than sadness. If you think you could have depression, it’s important to recognize the little-known symptoms so you can get started finding treatment that’s right for you.

Our team at Boston Neuro Behavioral Associates is here to help. To schedule a consultation with one of our therapists, call the Boston metro area office nearest you or request an appointment online today.

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