You distinguish between different degrees of depression. Below you can read about these distinctions. You can also read more about the different symptoms of depression here.
Despite its name a mild depression is painful. The symptoms of mild depression are the following:
You generally feel sad and lack energy to carry out the chores that you normally do. You might be able to pull yourself together but not for very long at a time.
The things that used to interest you don't appeal to you as much anymore.
You are markedly tired and getting a good night's sleep doesn't help.
You can misinterpret the tiredness and believe that you have got a physical disease.
You can have diffuse physical symptoms. That means that you might feel pain "here and there", feel dizzy and a weight on the chest, etc.
If you have physical symptoms for a prolonged period of time that you cannot explain, they might be caused by a mild depression. You should therefore go to see your GP.
The symptoms of moderate depression are similar to those of mild depression but the symptoms are worse and are present almost all the time. You are only able to pull yourself together for very short periods at a time. You are sad, lack energy and you are not very interested in the people around you. Your thoughts are revolving around low self-esteem and feelings of guilt, even though your family, friends and other people around you find it difficult to understand why you have feelings of guilt.
You also experience a lack of joy about people or things that used to be a source of joy. Your interest in your family and your work is small. Your level of concentration is greatly reduced, and you are no longer able to read books or keep up with reading the newspapers or watching TV and films.
The small decisions that daily life presents seem insurmountable to you. It can be difficult to decide what you should buy for tonight's supper. You don't feel like going out or having visitors and just want to be by yourself at home.
If you are suffering from moderate depression, it is common for you to have a twenty-four-hour variation in your mood. That means that you can feel lousy in the morning and start feeling better towards the evening.
You don't sleep very well and don't feel refreshed. You might find it relatively easy to fall asleep but you wake up after a few hours of sleep and cannot get back to sleep. Many people find lying awake in the early hours of the morning the biggest strain. You are completely alone then with your sad thoughts.
You usually have a reduced appetite in connection with moderate depression. It is not uncommon for you to loose 5-10% of your normal weight.