Depression and low mood

Depression test

If you’re interested in knowing whether you are depressed, consider doing this depression test: If your mood is low, every day for two weeks, you most likely are. Simple as that. It’s time to ask for help. I would suggest making two calls, contact your GP and a psychotherapist or counsellor like myself. Together your GP and therapist will guide you through these troubled times. Please don’t hesitate to contact either of these services if you don’t want to wait another two weeks.

Many people wait for low mood to turn into depression, suffering weeks and years of the worst life has on offer. This is not necessary. Contact me if your low mood makes you unhappy. Just searching keywords around this subject on the internet and reading this article may already suggest that its in your best interest to contact me or your GP right away.

There are no physical tests to determine whether you have or suffer from depression. Your GP may take a blood test to determine if you suffer of a relatable disease. Yet in the main our tools to diagnose depression are questions around your symptoms and feelings and their effects on your life. 

Please don’t wait to have a conversation. You may wonder whether ‘your feelings can be treated.’ The sooner you engage with a professional, the sooner you could find relief.

Causes

There are many and varied causes. Family history, personality, stressful events, alcohol and drugs including coffee, loneliness, giving birth, illness, seasonal changes and many more.

Low mood, grief and depression

Low mood is depression if, as mentioned, you feel low every day for two weeks. If not depression, a spell of low mood may come and go as we go through stressful periods. Yet, if the low mood bothers you, contact your psychotherapist and GP without waiting. You do not have to have depression before you reach out.

Grief is very similar to depression with one clear distinction. We grieve loss. You may grieve the loss of a person, an animal or tree, a relationship, a career, financial security, a holiday, anyone or anything that was meaningful to your life. As with depression, I would suggest reaching our sooner than later if it doesn’t lift.

Other types

Postnatal depression, Season Affective Disorder and Bipolar disorder.

Symptoms

Mild and moderate depression

Depression can be mild to moderate with a low mood always in the background, influencing the choices you make. Physically you may have less energy than you are used to and psychological you could feel frustrated, irritable or tearful. You may be retreating from social contact and find that relationships at home or work are strained. Some of us self-medicate with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, eating or sex.

Severe depression 

Severe depression is debilitating. It feels impossible to get out of bed and make it through the day. Your movements and thoughts may slow down. A loss of appetite, pleasure and sleep is common.

Psychotic depression

Hallucinations and delusions may leave you feeling guilty and exhausted accompanied by many other depressive symptoms. You may also be unable to sit still or relax.

Depression low mood feeling down hopeless

When blue becomes black

An incomplete list of symptoms

Psychological symptoms

Low self esteem

No motivation

Finding it difficult to make decisions

Feelings of hopeless or helpless

Feelings of guilt

Tearful

Anxious 

Worried

Stressed

Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Physical symptoms

Disturbed sleep

Changes in weight and appetite

Changes in menstrual cycle

Low energy

Slow movement

Constipation

Social symptoms

Withdrawing socially from friends and family

Relationship problems

Disinterest in hobbies and other interests

Treatment

Treatment for depression can combine self-help, psychotherapy, support groups and possibly medication.

Are you worried that you may be depressed?
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For more information or to set up an initial meeting please use the form below or email herman@stamfordpsychotherapist.co.uk