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.
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 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.
Postnatal depression, Season Affective Disorder and Bipolar disorder.
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 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.
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.
When blue becomes black
Low self esteem
Finding it difficult to make decisions
Feelings of hopeless or helpless
Feelings of guilt
Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
Changes in weight and appetite
Changes in menstrual cycle
Withdrawing socially from friends and family
Disinterest in hobbies and other interests
Treatment for depression can combine self-help, psychotherapy, support groups and possibly medication.