Are you wondering if you are depressed?
Take this depression self-assessment to see whether you have symptoms of depression
If you are feeling suicidal…
When you’re feeling extremely depressed or suicidal, problems don’t seem temporary, they seem overwhelming and permanent.
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Learn about depression, including the signs and symptoms, causes, and the many ways to help yourself or someone you care about.
When you are depressed:
- You may feel overwhelming sadness or hopelessness.
- You may feel that the future holds nothing of value for you.
- Things that were meaningful to you and enjoyable previously, no longer seem important, whether it be your work, family, friends, hobbies, or interests.
- You may feel negatively about yourself and be preoccupied with feelings of guilt, worthlessness and self hatred.
- You might not see the point in going on and feel that the world would be better off without you.
- You could find that you suffer from more physical aches and pains along with your down mood.
- You may be sleeping too much or you may have trouble sleeping altogether.
- Your appetite may have changed and you might find that you are gaining or losing weight without trying to do so.
- You may feel tired and low on energy a lot of the time.
- You may feel that you are going through the motions of living and hiding your feelings from those around you.
- You may have difficulty concentrating or doing things and often sit for long periods of time feeling in a fog.
- You may find that you are preoccupied with thoughts about death and suicide.
Depression is not ordinary sadness. Everyone feels sad from time to time. Sadness, like all other human emotions comes, stays a while and then goes. Depression takes hold and doesn’t seem to let go. Depression can be acute and severe or it may be milder but last for a long time. Often, it is not clear what is causing the depression or it may seem that your reaction is out of proportion to the event that triggered it. Depression can affect your functioning, your relationships and your enjoyment of life. When extreme or when it endures for a long time, it can be life threatening.
What Causes Depression:
Depression can begin with ordinary sadness over disappointments or losses but this is not always the case. Depression can have a genetic component and people who have close family members who have suffered from depression are more likely to become depressed themselves. Important losses, such as the death of a parent, at a young age can also make a person more vulnerable to depression. It has been noted that depressed people often have some thought patterns that are self defeating and that contribute to and perpetuate their depressed feelings. There are important changes in the brain chemistry when someone is depressed but research suggests that these changes are most often a result of depression rather than the cause of it. Statistically, it has been shown that those who suffer a serious depression are more likely to become depressed again at some point in their life.
Treatment for Depression
Fortunately, there is effective treatment for depression. Research has found that psychotherapy can be very helpful. The two types of therapy most often used to combat depression are Insight therapy to deal with the underlying causes and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you change the thought patterns that turn the normal feelings of sadness, disappointment or loss into depression. These thought patterns also can serve to prolong depression. These two types of therapy are complementary and frequently used together. No matter what type of therapy is undertaken, it is important that there be a trusting and comfortable professional relationship between the depressed person and the therapist.
When the depression is severe, it is sometimes treated with anti depressant medications. It appears that medication has good initial results but that for a lasting improvement and to give you the tools to prevent or deal with a recurrence, talk therapy is important along with the medication.
The therapists in our group cannot prescribe medication, but with your permission they will collaborate with your medical doctor if this type of treatment could be helpful for you.
Self Help for Depression
There are some things that you can do to help yourself, particularly if your depression is not too severe.
- Talking about your feelings with someone you like and trust can be helpful.
- Moderate physical exercise, such as walking has been found to be helpful in lifting a depressed mood.
- Make a special effort to eat a healthy balanced diet even if you are not hungry.
- Try to involve yourself in some pleasant activities even if it takes an effort to get yourself going.
- Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t demand that you be as productive as you are when you are at your best.
- Don’t let yourself stay isolated for too long.