Women's Health Matters

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Signs and symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depression can include:

  • depressed mood
  • loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
  • significant changes in weight (weight gain or loss)
  • changes in sleep (either sleeping too much or too little)
  • changes in energy (either feeling restless or lethargic)
  • loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • problems with concentration
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Women tend to experience depression differently from men.

Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorders are mood disorders characterized by manic or hypomanic episodes and often depressive episodes as well. Bipolar disorders are less common than depressive disorders and tend to effect men and women equally.

What is a manic episode?
A manic episode is a distinct period of time when a person’s mood is particularly elevated, expansive or exceptionally irritable. For the diagnosis, the manic episode must last for at least one week, and there must also be additional symptoms, such as:

  • inflated self-esteem (feeling grandiose, or bigger than all else)
  • little need for sleep
  • very talkative
  • racing thoughts
  • easily distracted
  • engaging in many activities or projects
  • involvement in pleasurable activities without much thought of risk (for example, making risky investments, driving extremely fast, or engaging in sex with multiple partners).

A hypomanic episode consists of the same characteristics listed above, but not severe enough to cause significant disruption in one’s daily functioning. Some hypomanic episodes can, however, evolve into full manic episodes.


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  • Women's College Hospital