- Mental Health
How Can I Tell If I'm Depressed
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.
- Of course we all know, about Major Depression.
- Psychotic Depression is another well known form of depression.
- Let's not forget about Bipolar Depression, aka, Manic Depression.
- There's Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD).
- Postpartum Blues.
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
- 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?
- 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.
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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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."
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 .
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.