Major depressive disorder affects around 17% of adults in America. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S.

Living with depression can be extremely difficult because it gets in the way of everyday activities. Things that used to be easy everyday activities (like getting out of bed and walking the dog) become difficult to do.

But what are the signs of depression in women? Here are some depression signs to look out for.

Feelings of Guilt or Worthlessness

Guilt and lack of self-confidence are obvious signs of depression. Some of the guilt may not have any reasoning behind it – but she feels it.

Women can exhibit a heightened sense of guilt and blame themselves for past and present mistakes (even the smallest things).

Noticing if someone is blaming themselves more often than they used to is something to take note of when it happens.

Isolating from Friends and Family

Many women who suffer from depression begin to isolate themselves. This is not necessarily because they want to, but rather because social activity becomes overwhelming and can cause even more anxiety to come about.

Most of the time, isolation is a result of not getting the same pleasure out of social activities that one used to get.

This is an early symptom of major depressive disorder. It may start to happen before the person with depression even realizes it, and it may easily be overlooked by others. If it persists for a while, though, she may need help to overcome the depression.

Here are a few ways it may look:

  • She starts staying in on Friday nights when she used to go out with friends
  • She immediately goes home after work instead of socializing or going to work events
  • She foregoes the gym to crawl up on the couch after work

These are just a few examples of what isolation may look like when a woman is depressed.

You can get more information here about some helpful treatment options.


If you have been noticing a loved one (or yourself) is more fatigued these days, that is a sign of depression.

Most people suffering from depression actually report this as being one of their top symptoms.

It’s important to note that the fatigue is not made up, either. This is a real result of chemical imbalances in the body.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Serotonin in the brain is typically responsible for creating feelings of happiness
  2. Epinephrine creates energy
  3. When someone has depression, serotonin and epinephrine levels are suppressed, which can lead to chronic fatigue

Someone with depression may want to stay in bed longer, go to bed earlier, sleep through important events, or complain about being tired.


It’s normal for people to become irritable at random times every now and then. But it is not normal for this to happen a lot.

When someone is dealing with depression, having irritable moments becomes more frequent. Women who are dealing with depression may seem to fall apart at the smallest of moments. When someone is suffering from depression, anything – even the small things – can trigger an irritable outburst.

In fact, dealing with anger and irritability may actually be a more severe form of depression.

Irritability in a depressed woman may look like any of the following:

  • Sending a meal back in a very angry manner because it’s not hot enough
  • Having an outburst that lasts a while after someone takes a parking spot that you wanted
  • Being angry the rest of the day when the grocery store didn’t have an ingredient you wanted

It is hard for someone who is depressed to rationalize these things, which is what makes the outbursts last longer. They also tend to be more dramatic because of this.

Weight Loss or Weight Gain

It may seem weird to have both of these listed, but women are different with how they deal with depression.

Some will gain weight quickly, while others will rapidly lose it. That’s because some binge eat when they are stressed and sad, while others lose their appetite.

That’s why it is important to look out for both if you are noticing other symptoms that lead to depression. If the weight loss or weight gain is happening rapidly, this is a sign that they are dealing with depression and struggling mentally.

Persistent Unexplained Physical Symptoms

Another thing that can be a sign of depression in women is persistent physical symptoms that do not get better with treatment. This could be a chronic condition or chronic pain like digestive issues or ongoing headaches.

This could be a sign that there is something else going on at the root of the issue – like depression, anxiety, and stress – rather than a physical issue.

Signs of Depression in Women

Living with depression is an extremely difficult thing to do – especially doing it alone. That’s why knowing the signs of depression in women is crucial so that you can step in and help if you notice a loved one or friend is struggling.

Now that you know the most common depression signs, you will be better at noticing them early on to help as much as you can. It is better to get the help they need earlier on rather than waiting for the depression symptoms to worsen over time.

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