How Do I Know If I Have DEPRESSION?
“All will never be right; everyone is not what they seem, and I’m not what others want me to be”
“It feels heavy, slow and hard to move and do ordinary tasks”
“I feel like a non-person. It’s all hopeless and life is meaningless”
All of us have experienced periods of sadness, disappointment, loss of energy or motivation, or “the blues” on occasions, but Major Depression is a more severe and long-lasting form of these.
It is when that down, rotten feeling invades every part of your life.
Experiences that would normally feel satisfying, feel like failure and frustration to you. Eventually, you may try to avoid having any experiences at all.
Communicating with people, even those you love may seem difficult or intrusive. You may shrink from wanting to talk with people all together.
And when you envisage the future (tomorrow or in 2 months or even 2 years time) you see no light at the end of the tunnel, and you have no sense that your gloom may ever lift.
What is Depression?
Depression is a depressed mood. We often have different moods like melancholy, elation, anger and peacefulness, which are very normal, but when a mood outlives its context, then it is considered a Mood disorder.
How can I tell if I have Depression?
The key symptoms of depression are:
- A feeling of depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- A loss of interest and pleasure in almost all things you are doing
In addition to these two symptoms, you can experience some of these others:
- Significant weight gain or loss,(even though you are not dieting) and a loss of appetite
- Either difficulty in sleeping, or can’t stop sleeping
- Fatigue, sluggishness or no energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or excessive guilt nearly every day
- Trouble being able to make decisions or think clearly
- A loss of sexual libido
- A feeling that life is not worth living, and thinking of suicide at times
Check our Depression Test to gain a general idea of whether you are suffering from Depression, and how serious it might be.
How common is Depression?
Over an average lifetime between 8% and 15% of the population experience serious depressive reactions. Two-thirds of these are women.
15% of people who are diagnosed with a depressive illness end their lives by suicide. This accounts for about half the suicides in Australia.
The real tragedy, though, is that 80% of all depression can be successfully treated. It is estimated that only 1 out of every 3 seriously depressed people ever seeks treatment. The pain caused by this situation is needless.
So, if you are feeling this might be what you are experiencing, we encourage you to come and be helped out of the hole you may be feeling you are in. Within a few months, you will be experiencing yourself in a whole different, more positive way.
How can a Psychologist help you with your Depression?
When you come in to see your Psychologist, he or she will gain an understanding from you about how you are feeling and thinking and the circumstances of your life. You will probably be asked to do some tests (that aren’t difficult) to assess if you have depression or any other issue, and will also be able to give you an idea of the severity.
He or she will also ask you questions to find out what might be the causes and stressors in your life and will be able to devise a treatment plan that will suit you and your lifestyle.
You will usually come home from the initial session with insight into what the problem is, a plan for therapy for the future and some initial strategies to get you started.
Exercise has been shown in multiple studies to be very helpful in overcoming depression, so you will be encouraged to find some avenues to start (or continue) exercising, as part of your treatment plan.
Please contact our friendly receptionists on 1300830552, or start looking at which of our Psychologists around Australia might be closest or best suited to you. We have experienced and caring psychologists in all capital cities and more: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Your new life awaits you.