Depressed Mood Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your depressed mood symptoms, including 9 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 9 Possible Depressed Mood Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

9 Possible Depressed Mood Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced depressed mood. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Depression

Depression is a mental disorder in which a person feels constantly sad, hopeless, discouraged, and loses interest in activities and life on more days than not. These symptoms interfere with daily life, work, and friendships.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, headache, anxiety, irritability

Symptoms that always occur with depression: depressed mood

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder is mood disorder marked by seasonal onset. While summertime sadness is possible, the vast majority of seasonal affective disorder begins in the winter and resolves by summer.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, sleep disturbance

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Holiday blues

The holiday blues is a mild form of seasonal affective disorder.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance

Symptoms that never occur with holiday blues: severe sadness

Urgency: Wait and watch

Substance-induced depression

A depressive episode is a mental disorder in which a person feels constantly sad, hopeless, discouraged, and loses interest in activities and life. These symptoms can be triggered by the use of, or withdrawal from alcohol, drugs or certain medications.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed mood, irritability, anxiety

Symptoms that always occur with substance-induced depression: depressed mood, substance-induced depressed mood

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Pregnancy- or childbirth related depression

Depression is a mental disorder in which a person feels constantly sad, hopeless, discouraged, guilty, and loses interest in activities and life on more days than not. These symptoms interfere with daily life, taking care of your baby, work, and friendships. Postpartum or peripartum depression occurs in mothers or future mothers and is linked to pregnancy and childbirth.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, impaired social or occupational functioning

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Mild bipolar disorder i

Bipolar disorder is a common, lifelong mental health condition of variable severity that can run in families, characterized by episodes depression and mania that last for weeks or months. Symptoms often start in adolescence or young adulthood.

Mania is a state of ele...

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Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) describes a set of severe, debilitating symptoms that appear seven to ten days before a woman's menstrual period begins.

It may be caused by an abnormal reaction to the natural female hormone changes, creating a deficiency in the mood-regulating brain chemical serotonin.

Risk factors include a personal or family history of PMDD, postpartum depression, and/or general depression, as well as cigarette smoking.

Physical symptoms include headaches, abdominal pain and bloating, back pain, and breast tenderness. Psychological symptoms include severe depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Because symptoms tend to get worse over time, medical help should be sought so that quality of life can be improved.

If symptoms persist for a year or more, a diagnosis of PMDD may be made.

Treatment includes improving the diet, adding vitamin and mineral supplements, and getting regular exercise.

Birth control pills to regulate the menstrual cycle may be prescribed, along with anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen. Antidepressants in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class (SSRI) are helpful in some cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, anxiety, depressed mood, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Symptoms that always occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder: impaired social or occupational functioning, symptoms of depression, anxiety and emotional lability

Symptoms that never occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder: constant sadness, disapearance of periods for over a year

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, or "underactive thyroid," means that the thyroid gland in the neck does not produce enough of its hormones. This causes a slowing of the body's metabolism.

The condition can occur due to autoimmune disease; any surgery or radiation treatment to the thyroid gland; some medications; pregnancy; or consuming too much or too little iodine. It is often found among older women with a family history of the disease.

Common symptoms include fatigue, constantly feeling cold, weight gain, slow heart rate, and depression. If left untreated, these and other symptoms can worsen until they lead to very low blood pressure and body temperature, and even coma.

Diagnosis is made through a simple blood test.

Hypothyroidism is easily managed with daily oral medication. The patient usually starts feeling better after a couple of weeks and may even lose some extra weight. It's important for the patient to be monitored by a doctor and have routine blood testing so that the medication can be kept at the correct levels.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a set of chronic symptoms that include ongoing fatigue, diffuse tenderness to touch, musculoskeletal pain, and usually some degree of depression.

The cause is not known. When fibromyalgia appears, it is usually after a stressful physical or emotional event such as an automobile accident or a divorce. It may include a genetic component where the person experiences normal sensation as pain.

Almost 90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women. Anyone with rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more prone to fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep is often a symptom, along with foggy thinking, headaches, painful menstrual periods, and increased sensitivity to heat, cold, bright lights, and loud noises.

There is no standard test for fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is usually made when the above symptoms go on for three months or more with no apparent cause.

Fibromyalgia does not go away on its own but does not get worse, either.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache

Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia: arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Depressed Mood

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Are you having difficulty concentrating or thinking through daily activities?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping?
  • Are you feeling irritable (easily made upset)?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your depressed mood. These questions are also covered.

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Depressed Mood Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced depressed mood have also experienced:

  • 8% Anxiety
  • 8% Fatigue
  • 3% General Anxiety (Stress)

People who have experienced depressed mood were most often matched with:

  • 57% Depression
  • 42% Seasonal Affective Disorder

People who have experienced depressed mood had symptoms persist for:

  • 62% Over a month
  • 13% Less than a day
  • 11% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

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