What are the physical findings characteristic of depression?

Updated: Sep 02, 2020
  • Author: Louise B Andrew, MD, JD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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There are no inevitable physical findings of depression, although some manifestations may be seen quite often. Signs of depression may include the following:

  • Psychomotor retardation or agitation, such as slowed speech, sighs, and long pauses

  • Slowed body movements, even to the extent of motionlessness or catatonia

  • Pacing, hand wringing, and pulling on hair

  • Appearance of preoccupation

  • Lack of eye contact

  • Tearfulness or sad countenance

  • Self-deprecatory manner or belligerence and defiance (especially in adolescents)

  • Irritability (especially in high-powered individuals)

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