There are several different types of depressive disorders. However, common features of all of them are changes in a person’s mood in which a person often feels increased sadness or a sense of emptiness. There can also be increased irritability, changes in bodily function or the perception of energy with the affected person complaining of fatigue or low interest in activities they usually enjoy being quite common. The affected person may also experience subjective changes in their ability to think clearly and make remarks about this. It is also not unusual for persons with depression to increasingly think negatively about themselves and make remarks about feeling helpless or worthless. These are generally signs that the person needs help and support.

While depression can develop simply from changes in the body it much more commonly occurs in association with some significant stressor or combination of stressors in a person’s life.