Statistics show that anywhere from 15–20 percent of Americans are affected by depression at some point during their lifetime. Those affected by depression exhibit a noticeable change in their daily activities, eating patterns and concern for quality of life. Many engage in some form of self-harm, including forms of cutting, suicidal ideation or suicide attempts.

Symptoms and Behavior Related to Depression in Adults:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep) or Hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive inappropriate guilt
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Decrease in cognitive functioning
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, possibly accompanied by thoughts of committing suicide

Symptoms and Behavior Related to Depression in Children and Adolescents:

  • Withdrawal from peers and trusted adults
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Engage in self-harm such as cutting, burning, pinching skin to bruise and scratching skin
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Isolation
  • Increased or uncharacteristic tearfulness
  • Noticeable changes in eating patterns
  • Complaints of frequent illness such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Increased irritability, anger or hostility to peers and/or authority figures
  • Difficulty in initiating and maintaining positive peer relationships
  • Frequently making statements of sad feelings: “I feel sad,” “Nobody likes me,” or “I don’t have any friends”
  • Expressions of suicide and self-destructive behavior