A common misconception about depression is that it only affects a person's mood. But people with depression may also notice changes in the way they behave and in the way they are able to think and concentrate. These are called behavioural/cognitive symptoms of depression. The behavioural/cognitive symptoms of depression can interfere with your ability to complete tasks or to achieve your work goals.

The table below lists common behavioural/cognitive symptoms of depression and explains how to spot the symptoms in yourself or someone you know. These are some signs you should look out for, however, you should always consult your doctor for a diagnosis of depression.

Behavioural/cognitive symptoms of depression
Symptom What to look for

Difficulty making decisions nearly every day

  • Indecision and self-doubt
  • Avoidance of situations in which decisions must be made

Slowed thoughts, trouble concentrating and remembering, nearly every day

  • Trouble processing or remembering information
  • Trouble concentrating

Withdrawal from social and work activities, nearly every day

  • Not meeting responsibilities at work
  • Avoidance of social activities with family and friends, or avoidance of leisure activities

Reduced personal care

  • Decreased care in personal appearance, such as not bathing or combing hair

Try the Depression Symptom Checker to see if you have the most common symptoms of depression. Click here for more information on how a doctor diagnoses depression based on your symptoms.

For more information on depression and its management, visit www.depressionhurts.ca.