How Do I know if I am severely depressed?

Depression affects around 20 million American adults each year.  And the condition is completely treatable and curable.  Although every person goes through those blue periods that we covered earlier, it is so important to realize that the people who are suffering from depression experience the signs above on an ongoing and repetitive basis.  Because of the risk that depression, if left untreated, will get worse until the person hits the point of considering suicide it is obviously much better to catch the condition early than to catch it late.

But how do you know if you are depressed, and not just experiencing sadness or a blue period? Take a look at the list below and understand that if any of the following begin to happen to you that you should consider seeking out professional help for a diagnosis.

  • Sadness that lasts more than a few days, or that keeps returning
  • Unexplained weepiness or crying spells
  • Major changes in sleeping habits or appetite
  • Emotional instability including anger, irritability, worrying, or anxiety
  • Feeling of indifference or increased pessimism
  • Lost of energy, increased lethargy, and no desire to do anything
  • Feelings of unexplained guilt
  • General sense of worthlessness
  • Inability to make a decision rationally if at all
  • Lack of pleasure from hobbies or activities
  • Refusal to be social
  • Undiagnosed physical problems and pain
  • Feeling of exhaustion for no apparent physical reason
  • Suicidal thoughts or obsession with thoughts of death and dying

Finding that you currently are, or have recently been, experiencing five or more of the symptoms listed above – if you notice that you have begun to withdraw from your normal life – may indicate that it’s time for a call to your doctor to rule out physical problems and to get a clear diagnosis of the cause.

An appointment with your doctor at this point should include a complete physical examination in order to rule out any physical causes for your symptoms. There will be questions about your general health and medical history as well. It is extremely important to be completely honest with your doctor so that a correct diagnosis can be given for your condition.

Self-diagnosis of depression is a terrible idea. Also, do not take the word of your friends or family when they tell you that your problem is depression. Only a doctor has the ability to diagnose illnesses – both physical and mental.

There are many self-tests that are available online which will help you to judge the severity and possible cause of your symptoms.  This can be a great way for you to prepare for your doctor’s visit.  The tests should not be used as a diagnosis, but should be considered a good way to put your feelings into actual words. Using the words on the tests may help you to be able to communicate better and more effectively with your medical care providers. There is no replacement for that doctor’s appointment though. Even if the online tests don’t seem to indicate depression – you should still attend your scheduled appointment.

Depression is sometimes a recurring event. It may appear often (monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, daily, etc) or infrequently throughout the persons lifetime.

Depression is a normal condition experienced by many people, and if you think you are suffering from depression you have no reason to be shies, embarrassed or afraid. People from all walks of life experience various types of depression throughout the course of their lives.  Depression doesn’t discriminate based on age, race, or financial status. Depression can strike at any age however people between the ages of 25 and 44 seem to experience a greater number of cases. So, if you suspect that you are depressed know that you are not alone! You are among the millions who suffer from the condition and you are on your way to successful management and treatment if you first recognize the problem.

Finding the best treatment for depression takes time because there are so many possible options to consider. Your doctor will have advice on things that may help your treatment once you have been diagnosed.



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