Am I Depressed? – Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs & Its Diagnosis:
Well, at times when life is constantly getting you down or you are going through a tough time – it’s pretty normal to feel down for a while. Obviously, the emotions like grief or sadness are quite common and natural. However, if you are persistently feeling sad and miserable, then you might be suffering from “depression“.
According to the reliable statistics, depression strikes millions of people each year, oftentimes with debilitating consequences. Depression or this psychological disorder is nearly affecting 10% of the global population at any given time.
“Am I Depressed?” – if you’re quite concerned about this common psychological disorder, then you should opt for a screening test that will diagnosis your problem and reveal whether you’re showing any warning signs of depression. Now, keep reading the following sections and identify the steps to relieve the symptoms of a depressive disorder.
Am I Depressed? What Is a Screening for Depression?: The estimated prevalence of depressive disorders can be easily revealed through a screening test. The screening for depression is available for the general adult population, including pregnant & postpartum women and older patients. The patient-administered screening tool is typically used as the first step of depression assessment. A quick, efficient, and reliable initial screening test ensures an effective treatment & appropriate follow-up.
The best part is that “depression has a high cure rate”. Yet tragically most of the people are still suffering from this mental illness without having proper diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, an initial depression screening test will certainly help you recognize the symptoms of a depressive disorder and recommend you effective solutions in order to make your life healthy, happy, motivating, and normal.
Am I Depressed? Can I Diagnose Myself with Depression?: As mentioned in the previous section, feeling depressed is a fairly common problem. There can be many symptoms of a depressive disorder, such as low mood, low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, sleeping disorders, and lethargy etc. The more symptoms you have, the more likely to be suffered from depression. But, before visiting a mental health professional, you can actually diagnose yourself with depression. This self-diagnosis process is pretty simple and easy. All you will need to provide accurate and precise answers and complete a short assessment.
Now, ask yourself “Am I Depressed?” Well, if you are still in a dilemma, then you should try providing answers to the following eight questions that will definitely help you understand your mental situation.
Question # 1: Are you feeling little interest and pleasure in doing things?
Question # 2: Do you often feeling down, hopeless, or depressed?
Question # 3: Are you having sleeping disorders? Either you are sleeping too much or you’re feeling trouble staying asleep?
Question # 4: Are you always feeling tired and having little energy?
Question # 5: Are you facing problems with overeating or poor appetite?
Question # 6: Are you feeling bad about yourself? Are you constantly thinking of a failure that has let yourself and your family down?
Question # 7: Are you facing trouble on concentrating things, such as watching television or reading a newspaper?
Question # 8: Are you possessing thoughts of hurting yourself?
In order to diagnose yourself with depression, you will need to provide the most accurate answers to the aforementioned eight questions. To yield the best results, you must answer honestly. If you are mostly getting positive or affirmative answers on the above-mentioned eight questions, then you might be suffering from depression.
Am I Depressed? How Do I Know If I Suffer from Depression?: Depression may vary from person to person. However, there are few common signs & symptoms. The more symptoms you’ve, the longer they have lasted, and the stronger they are – it’s more likely that you are dealing with depression.
The symptoms of depression are classified in a myriad of ways. The consistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest characterizes major depression that can lead to a number of physical and behavioral symptoms. The probable symptoms of depression also include changes in sleep, energy level, appetite, concentration, daily behavior, and self-esteem etc. Depression can be associated with the thoughts of committing suicide.
Also, check, compare, and understand the following symptoms in order to reveal whether you’re possessing the warning signs of depression.
1. Your Mood: You don’t care anymore about your former pastime options, hobbies, and social activities. You have suddenly lost your ability to feel pleasure and joy. Your mood is full of anxiety, apathy, guilt, hopelessness, loneliness, general discontent, loss of interest and pleasure in activities, panic attack, sadness, mood swings, or emotional distress.
2. Your Cognitive Aspects: lack of concentration, trouble focusing, trouble taking decisions and remembering things, thoughts of suicide, or slowness in activity.
3. Your Behavioral Aspects: agitation, self-harm, irritability, restlessness, reckless behavior, excessive crying, or social isolation. You engage in various escapist behavior including compulsive gambling, dangerous sports, reckless driving, or substance abuse.
4. Your Psychological Aspects: depression and repeatedly going over thoughts. You are having strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness. You harshly criticize yourself for a previously perceived fault and mistake.
5. Your Sleeping Symptoms: excess sleepiness, early awakening, restless sleep, or insomnia.
6. Appetite and Weight Changes: excessive fatigue, hunger, or loss of appetite. You are always feeling sluggish, fatigued, exhausted, and physically drained.
7. Other Common Symptoms: constipation, headache, substance abuse, weight loss, or poor appetite.
Also note, the symptoms of a depressive disorder may vary based on your gender and age, with symptoms differing between women and men, or older adults and young people.
1. Depression in Men: According to the reliable researched data, a depressed man is less likely to acknowledge his feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing. Rather, he will often tend to complain about sleeping problems, fatigue, irritability, and loss of pleasures & interest in his hobbies and work. Depressed men are more likely to experience various symptoms like aggression, sudden anger, substance abuse, and reckless behavior etc.
2. Depression in Women: A depressed woman is more likely to exhibit the feelings of excessive sleeping, guilt, weight gain, and overeating. She may be also impacted by several hormonal factors during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy (if she is suffering from depression). The clinical research data has proved that at least 1 of 7 women will experience the symptoms of depression following a childbirth. In medicinal science, this condition is widely regarded as postpartum depression.
3. Depression in Teens: The most obvious and noticeable symptoms often found among depressed teens include anger, agitation, and irritability. They may also complain of stomachaches, headaches, and any other physical pains.
4. Depression in Older Adults: Older adults often tend to complain about the physical signs and symptoms of depression. The noticeable factors like unexplained pains and pains, memory loss problems, problems in remembering things, and fatigue – are the common symptoms of a depressive disorder that are mostly found among the older adults.
Am I Depressed? Types of Depression: Depression comes in various shapes and forms. Thus, by knowing what kind of depression you’re having, it will certainly help you to get the best and most effective treatment options.
1. Major Depression: This type of depression is less common when compared to a mild or moderate depression. Major depression is characterized by relentless and intense symptoms. This mental situation would last for around six months. Note, major depression is a recurring disorder.
2. Atypical Depression: It’s a common sub-type of major depression. This situation can be cured through proper therapies and medications. People with atypical depression generally experience a sudden and temporary mood lift. Other prominent symptoms of atypical depression are weight gain, excessive sleeping, increased appetite, and sensitivity to rejection.
3. Dysthymia: This indicates a chronic and persistent low-grade depression where you will always feel moderately or mildly depressed. Note, this kind of depressive disorder tend to last for a significantly longer period of time – at least two consecutive years.
4. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD: For a group of people, the reduced daylight hours during the winter season will lead to a type of depression, widely known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder mostly affects women & young people.
The acute symptoms of SAD usually begin during the beginning of winter season (when the days are shorter). SAD will make you feel like hopeless, tensed, stressed, sad, or having no interest in any activities that you normally love.
Am I Depressed? How Do You Test for Depression?: In the previous section, you have revealed the major symptoms of depression. Ideally, you will need to minutely assess your mood, behavioral aspect, cognitive aspect, psychological aspect, sleep changes, and weight changes & compare with the aforementioned symptoms to test yourself for depression.
For your reference, “a quick diagnostic and testing criteria for depressive disorder” is briefly described below.
Am I Depressed? – A Quick Self-testing Criteria for Depressive Disorder
1. Persistent depressed mood.
2. Marked diminished interest and pleasure.
3. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
4. Significant weight gain or weight loss.
5. Retardation or psychomotor agitation.
6. Loss of energy or fatigue.
7. Feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness.
8. Diminished ability to properly concentrate.
9. Recurrent thoughts of suicidal ideation or death.
During any given 2-week period, if at least five of the aforementioned symptoms are observed, then it proves that you are suffering from depression. To cope with depression, a positive lifestyle change or support from family & friends will cure your problems. But, if the overall condition is pretty worse, it’s ideal to seek a professional help who will either opt for a therapy or medication (based on your situation).