How do I know if I have depression?
In today’s fast paced society it is easy to experience increased demands at work and at home. Bosses ask for more out of us for less pay. Relationships can be strained under these increased pressures. As we get older it can feel as if life is not turning out as we envision it to be. If we focus on the frustration and sadness these challenges can bring, we start to be emotionally effected by it. It is normal to feel a full range of emotions in life. It is o.k. to be frustrated or angry or disappointed at situations in our lives. If we feel these emotions, it doesn’t always lead to depression.
Depression is a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM IV-R, that is based on some very specific criteria. It is a serious but treatable condition that needs to be diagnosed by a health care/ mental health care professional.
So, how do you know when to get help from a mental health professional? Review the questions below and the more “yes” answers, the more likely you are to have depression.
- Do you have less energy for the activities you normally enjoy?
- Do you find that you aren’t enjoying these activities as much as you used to?
- Do you sleep more than normal?
- Are you having trouble staying asleep?
- Have you noticed that you’re not hungry?
- Have you noticed you’re eating more than normal?
- Do your friends notice that you are grumpier than normal?
- Are you feeling sad most days for most of the day?
- Have you been gaining weight or loosing weight?
- Have you been feeling this way for more than two weeks?
Depression is a serious condition with serious consequences. It is not something you can just “shake off.” Fortunately it is a treatable condition. If you suspect that you are dealing with depression contact your doctor or a mental health professional such as a counselor or psychotherapist. Don’t worry; there are many effective methods to help you feel better. Sometimes just having a neutral person listen to you can help you feel more hopeful.
Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor serving Boulder, Longmont, Berthoud and Loveland, Colorado. She has extensive training on the treatment of depression and anxiety. If you think you may be dealing with anxiety or depression and want to feel better, give Tracey a call at 303-668-5995 or send her an e-mail. She is here to help.