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How Can I Tell If I'm Depressed

Updated on November 9, 2014

Am I Depressed

Am I depressed? I don't know! That's a question I posed to myself recently, because I picked up a habit that's out of character for me, that's eating sweets, to an abundance. I am not ordinarily drawn to sweets, normally I can take them or leave them, mostly leave them. However, recently I can't seem to get enough.

I'm naturally an upbeat positive person, hardly fazed by anything that happens to me, even adversely. Oh, I'll throw myself a pity party once in a while, but I limit those to a very minimum. Because I feel life's too short to sit around moping, and feeling sorry for myself. Well, I've just recently measured my waistline, and, yikes, it's off the chart, for me that is. Due to the recent upheaval in my life, my dear friend Pat suggested that maybe I'm depressed. "Oh no, not me," I said, while chomping on my latest sweet craze, peanut brittle, then I thought, maybe I'd better look into it.

What follows is just tidbit of what I found. The information on this subject is very involved, as well as it should be, being that it is a very serious subject. So during the course of the article I'll leave links, (blue writing) where more detailed information can be found.

Types and Symptoms of Depression

Depression comes in many forms. Following are seven commonly diagnosed types of depression.

  1. Of course we all know, about Major Depression.
  2. Psychotic Depression is another well known form of depression.
  3. Let's not forget about Bipolar Depression, aka, Manic Depression.
  4. There's Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD).
  5. Postpartum Blues.
  6. Atypical
  7. Chronic

The seven types of depression listed above are probably not all, however they are the most commonly diagnosed.

We all have our "Down" periods, or just generally sad, at times, however these are generally short, not sustained, periods, So in trying to determine if you need to delve into the subject more deeply, ask yourself the questions below. The basic symptoms that are associated with these questions are taken from the Pristiq website

  • Emotional Symptoms

    • Are you constantly sad, for no apparent reason?
    • No matter what your life is like, do you have a feeling of hopelessness?
    • Do you find yourself feeling worthless, or guilty for no reason?
    • Are you experiencing a loss of interest in your favorite activities?

    Physical Symptoms

    • No matter how comfortable your sleeping conditions are, do you have trouble sleeping?
    • Are you constantly experiencing low energy, or fatigue?
    • Have you experienced a significant weight change, up or down?
    • No matter how hard you try, do you have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time?

These are not all of the symptoms associated with depression, however these are the most common. If you suspect you, or someone you know is depressed, and the symptoms of such are not listed her, consult your health care provider.

Depression Definitions

I'll give a limited definition of the seven types of depression listed above. For a more in depth description of these types of depression see the link below, "Depression symptoms, signs, and complications."

  1. Major Depression: This type of depression is more than just a short period of sadness, it presents a combination of symptoms, which include, inability to, eat, sleep, work, or enjoy activities that were once pleasurable to the individual.
  2. Chronic Depression: Even though this type of depression is less severe than Major Depression, it carries with it a long term depressed mood, lasting two years or more, but it's not disabling, as with Major Depression. One thing to note if Chronic depression is present, one of more episodes of major depression is possible during your lifetime.
  3. Atypical Depression: Means not having the typical symptoms listed above. Some symptoms of atypical depression are, overeating, sleeping too much, mood changes that get better or worse in response to certain events, and being extremely sensitive to rejection.
  4. Postpartum: This type is commonly found in connection pregnancy and childbirth, and is sometimes referred to as "the baby blues." It has two types, early and late onset. It's characterized by, sadness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and crying, or wanting to cry, with real provocation. Check out this article on postpartum, (by clicking on the words highlighted in blue), for more in depth information.
  5. Bipolar,(manic depression): This type of depression is said to be very complex, one's mood alternates between, periods of mania, (extreme elation), and clinical depression,(major depression).
  6. SAD,(seasonal affective disorder), or Seasonal depression: SAD generally occurs at the same time each year. The most common form starts in the fall or as late as winter, and ends early spring or summer. However, the summer version is said to be rare, it generally begins in late spring or early summer, and ends in the fall.
  7. Psychotic Depression:With psychotic depression, the basic symptoms apply, however, patients with this form of depression experiences delusional thoughts, basically suffering a break with reality. In other words, they usually experience delusions, and hallucinations.

As was stated above these definitions are limited, consult this article for more complete explanations, "Depression symptoms, signs, and complications."

How Serious

Someone who's never been, or lived with a depressed person might think it's just a matter of snapping out of it, or changing their thought pattern, or even their habits. However, because it is a real condition, or disease, it's not as simple as that. In fact it's unanimously agreed upon by health professionals, that not getting treatment can be life threatening. It's even said that more than one out of every 10 people with depression commits suicide. The seriousness of depression can't be overstated. So, for one to treat it lightly is very dangerous, for all concerned, as you read on you'll understand what I mean. As a matter of fact anyone expressing suicidal thoughts, or intentions, should be taken serious, and the proper authorities alerted.

If You're Depressed Or Know Someone Who Is

So if after examining the symptom above, and you find you fit into any of those categories, or if you know someone who does, Get Help Fast. If the depressed person is you, and you don't know where to turn, call your local mental health hotline, they can generally point you in the right direction. If it is someone you know, first talk to them, and encourage them to seek help, barring that, you take action. As was stated before, not getting help with depression can, in some cases, be life threatening.

For more information on where to find help, check out this link to NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health).

So You're Not Depressed

So now you've examined yourself in light of the statements found in this article, and those of the bonafide medical sites, such as WebMd, and possibly visited a health professional, you find you're not depressed. What do you do next?

The next step is get a physical. There could be a medical reason for what ails you. For instance, I found, I could be lacking one or more of these trace minerals, Chromium, vanadium, zinc, or magnesium, which could be caused by frequent dieting, due to not eating the right foods.

If you happen to be one of those people who detest going to doctors, and you don't, well you could try (1)changing your diet, (2)getting more rest, exercise, fresh air, and, or association. Another suggestion,(3) try changing your habits. Too much television, video games, Internet, take a break from these for awhile, do something different.(4) Human contact could be what's needed. (5) How about your music choices, is it always "elevator" music? Add a little up tempo to your listening habits. These are my suggestions, perhaps you can add more, feel free to .


Conclusion

Oh, the answer to my question, "am I depressed," is No. According to the research, I'm not clinically depressed. So my next step is to follow my own advice, as I stated above, I'm quite possibly missing trace minerals, so I'll add those, and see what happens.

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional, and I'm not recommending you do a self diagnosis. Always, always consult your physician, if you feel you're having any kind of emotional problem.

Please answer this question

After reading the symptoms above, do you know someone who could benefit from further help?

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    • shyonegb profile image

      shyonegb 5 years ago from Australia

      Hi Fastfreta,

      After doing a hub myself on SAD and Vitamin D, I found that handling depression naturally will benefit. Vitamin B and D, exercising and sunshine helps a lot. Great hub!

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you so much shyonegb, for the added information. I wanted to add this kind of information, but the article was getting too long, so I had to leave it out. I'm going to add a link to your hub. Again, thanks for stopping. Please come back again soon.

    • shyonegb profile image

      shyonegb 5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you fastfreta for including my hub with yours. Appreciate it!

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      You're so welcome shyonegb!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

      Hello, Fastfreda, after what had happened to you and you coped admirable I can't see you would be ever depressed. Gret, detailed and comprehensive hub.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Hello, hello, you have hit the nail on the head. I do have my down days, but I don't seem to get as depressed as much as others do. I take no credit for that, it's just my makeup. Thank you so much for stopping, looking forward to hearing from you again.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      I am glad that you are not depressed- I think most of us get down days but when it develops into full blown depression you need the help of the doctor and medical profession to ensure a complete recovery.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you CASE1WORKER, for your validation. It can't be stressed enough, the importance of seeking the needed help for depression, so thanks for helping me make my case. Also thanks for stopping, please come back.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 5 years ago

      I am pleased you came to the conclusion that you are not depressed. I wonder what is making you crave the sweets. I do think sugar can have that effect - if I leave chocolate alone I am OK but as soon as I have one piece I keep craving more.

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 5 years ago from Scandinavia

      I think You should eat some multi b vitamin- You have throught a stressfull time.And maybe you just need some lube for the amygdala.Helps me when I have a stressfull period.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks 2uesday, I haven't found the answer to the question about my cravings, however I do plan to attack it with herbs. I am also going to curtail my use of sugar, and see if that helps.

      Thank you elle64, I usually take multi-vitamins, however I don't use multi-b vitamins, but I'll certainly give them a try.

      Thank you both for stopping, and your sincere concern. Please stop again soon.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      You've put a lot of energy into researching this. Makes it so easy for the rest of us to gain all this knowledge by just sitting here and reading. I like your suggestions at the end, too. Good luck with changing the sweets-eating habit. I've tried and tried -- and given up.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Pamela, you're right it did take a lot of research, but it was worth it. These days I must admit I am researching more than before, and I'm enjoying it. Oh, and about the sweet thing, I'm doing quite well. Good to hear from you Pam. I'll stop over shortly.

    • Ann810 profile image

      Ann810 5 years ago from Sunny Cali

      Hi Freta, the things that help me not to slip into depression is 'Gospel music' and being around people that are a good influence in my life. Being around positive people that like you, makes a big difference to not slip into depression. Voted up and useful, thanks.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Ann810, Very good suggestions. Thank you for stopping, hope to hear from you again.

    • profile image

      silverfox 4 years ago

      I had a lot of the symptoms of depression, except I was not sad...turned out I was sleep-deprived. Now using CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea. Despite the challenges of the treatment I am now able to concentrate again, less exhausted, stopped craving sweets, etc etc.. sometimes a nap or a good night's sleep can help with depression symtoms. (It took years for a doctor to figure it out as I do fit the "typical" profile for apnea...not overweight, etc.) Just posting this in case it can help someone else

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks silverfox for the info. I can say that I am sleep deprived, because that's one thing I hate to do is sleep. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 4 years ago from Italy

      This is a great information as well as teaching on what to do first when situation arises.

      Great hub. May you have better mind set always. And to all hubbers, we should thank fastfreta.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      Well thank you very much Mark, you're too kind.

    • profile image

      3cardmonte 4 years ago

      Great hub. Depression is a very complicated thing and very hard to understand unless you have it. Very informative! :D

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you very much 3cardmonte for stopping and taking time to leave a comment.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      This is some very useful information. I love the chart.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Linda for stopping and leaving a comment. Hope to see you again soon.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Fastfretta, you've got many good titles on here, including this one. Love the way you add a hint of the personal. Thanks for a very good presentation.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 4 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks MsDora for stopping and taking the time to leave this encouraging comment.

    • jburley profile image

      jburley 3 years ago from Florida

      Very informative hub. I will email to a few people I know who think they are wrestling with depression

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 3 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks jburley so much for stopping and also for the recommendation.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 2 years ago from Great Britain

      Very well balanced article. I have suffered from chronic, clinical depression for many years. It's good that today there is less taboo going with depression and more speaking out and helping.

      Great hub. Thank you.

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 2 years ago from Southern California

      So sorry Dim, however I do agree with you, having the taboo about the subject removed, opens the way for frank discussions. Also with depression being an open topic of discussion it gives sufferers more outlets. Thank you for stopping.

    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 20 months ago from The Midwest

      Good tips. Many folks don't know how to recognize the signs of depression until it's too late. :(

    • fastfreta profile image
      Author

      Alfreta Sailor 20 months ago from Southern California

      Thanks RMB for stopping by, and reading, please stop by again.

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