'Slowed function' (Psychomotor retardation)

If you are depressed your psychomotor tempo is often substantially reduced although it can also be increased. You think, talk and act more slowly than usual. You may demonstrate physical symptoms such as:

  • Fewer and rare facial expressions
  • Lack of smiles
  • Less eye contact with others
  • Slow and brief speech - you don't know what to say
  • Long silences and long pauses when you do speak
  • Fewer gestures
  • Sitting very still for long periods
  • Moving more slowly and without big movements

You may also have psychological symptoms. You:

  • Think more slowly
  • Find it hard to remember things and to concentrate
  • Have difficulty making decisions
  • Are not interested in yourself or your surroundings and therefore risk being unfit to work.

While slowing down is characteristic of depression, it is also seen in other illnesses such as Parkinson's disease.

Last updated: 17 September 2014