Am I depressed?
Many people might wonder about depression, specifically, they may ask…..Am I depressed? You might start wondering about this when you wake up in the morning and feel tired and sad just like yesterday. Maybe someone mentioned depression to you as a possibility. Or perhaps you have read something about it and now wonder whether it fits you. Maybe you are wondering about someone you know.
So, am I depressed? This is the question you have. How can you find an answer? The first thing to do is to define depression. Depression is a mental disorder and, unfortunately, is a very common mental disorder. Most people around the world will experience depression at one point or another.
Depression can manifest through different symptoms. These usually involve, firstly, a recurring feeling of sadness and a loss of interest and sense of enjoyment in relation to things that used to be interesting or pleasurable. However, some people might also feel irritable, angry, or just empty.
Depression usually is associated with changes in appetite and consequent changes in your weight. There are also changes in sleep. You might experience insomnia or sleep too much. You might lose your appetite or start eating too much, especially junk food or sweet foods.
Common feelings include inappropriate feelings of guilt and worthlessness that appear frequently. People tend to feel fatigued and lacking in energy and motivation. In more severe cases, people start thinking about death, suicide, or even plan a suicide and follow through with it.
These are some of the symptoms of depression to watch out for.
Am I depressed – Can a quiz tell me?
The Internet has many tests and quizzes that are meant to identify whether you are depressed. These quizzes involve questions on the symptoms of depression and other things you can identify. Some of these tests can be useful because they are based on valid and reliable tests used by mental health professionals.
However, a quiz regarding am I depressed is not a substitute for a professional opinion or an effective diagnostic tool. Why? Some of the quizzes, especially those offered by non-professional sites, may not be well-done and may be biased. For example, if you are on a website hoping to sell you professional services, it’s more likely the quiz will identify a depression when there is none.
In addition, when we take these quizzes we may be unconsciously biased towards one answer, which may tip the results one way or another. If we take several quizzes, we might recognize the questions and give answers that tend towards one results.
However, these quizzes can be useful for identifying some symptoms of depression and can put the idea in your mind. A quiz can be a first step, but it’s not a substitute for a professional diagnosis or professional help.
What to do when depressed
If you feel that the answer to “am I depressed” is likely to be yes, then it’s important to take action. While many people might feel a light depression is not enough cause to seek help or do something, it can escalate into a more severe depression. People with severe depression who are feeling suicidal or feel a lot of distress should seek help right away.
What does it mean to seek help for depression? It means going to a doctor, a psychiatrist, and a therapist or counselor to alleviate the symptoms. Some people find it useful to take antidepressants, while others prefer therapy, and many choose a combination of the two. A professional can guide you to help you find the best solution.
In addition to this, it can help to implement some practices meant to alleviate depression, although these practices are not usually very useful with severe depression. These practices can involve improving one’s diet, drinking more water, exercising, or meditating. They can help you feel better, prevent a relapse in depression, and improve your overall well-being, but are not substitutes for antidepressants or therapy.
How not to be depressed
There are many solutions that can alleviate depression: therapy, antidepressants, even electroconvulsive therapy in case nothing else works. We also know some things can make people with depression feel better, for example, exercise. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Getting better from depression takes time. Asking yourself “am I depressed” is just the first step towards recovery. After this, it might take some time to find the treatment that works for you best and the strategies that keep your mood higher. However, you can definitely do things to improve your depression.
While there is no magical cure for being depressed, there are many things you can do to improve.
Some practical tips to help alleviate depression
Here are a few tips to help alleviate depression for those in recover from it or those with a light case of depression.
- Realize your happiness does not depends on anything outside of yourself
- Face underlying fears. Loss of meaning is an underlying fear we experience that can lead to or contribute to depression. Note here the power is not in the external event but rather in the meaning you attach to it. This allows you to take your power.
- See yourself as not being separate from your happiness. Happiness is an internal game.
- Increase your use of imagination. Imagination suppression can leave you feeling confined to a narrow, limiting version of reality. This can contribute to depression greatly.
How to tell if someone is depressed?
Maybe the person feeling very sad isn’t you? Maybe it’s someone close to you. Can you identify depression in someone?
Unless you are a mental health professional, you may not make a professional diagnosis, however, you might recognize the warning signs if you know them and suggest to the person that they might need help. A depressed person might:
- Withdraw from activities and socializing
- Have little energy and a lot of fatigue
- Sleep and eat too much or too little
- Have a worse work performance
- Easily distracted
- Lack concentration
- Have declining personal hygiene
- Look sad or tired all the time
If you feel that someone you know might have depression, it’s a good idea to gently breach the subject. It’s important to have tact and not treat it as a fact. Maybe they are grieving a death or job loss. However, it might be useful to gently ask about their well-being and approach the possibility of depression.
What to say to someone who is depressed
Depression is tough. You my not know what to say.
Offer your support and love. Tell them you care for them and say that you are willing to help. Sometimes, offering practical help, like driving them to the doctor, can be invaluable. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask. Offer care and say you love them. This can mean a lot.
What to say to someone who is depressed without knowing it? This is a tricky situation. You might suggest the possibility of depression to them, but ultimately, it’s up to them whether they choose to seek help. Unless you believe the person’s life is in danger, you need to respect their autonomy.
When wondering what to say to someone who is depressed, it’s equally important to think about what not to say. Do not tell them to cheer up or just get over it – this is quite unhelpful. Avoid suggesting remedies or solutions like drinking more water because this type of advice tends to be well-known. Try to learn more about depression before talking to them or offering unsolicited advice.
Where to next?
Am I depressed? If you or a loved one is depressed there is hope. There are others who have been through it and recovered. Professionals are available if needed. There are certain ways of living and thinking that can help.
Spirituality and deeper searches about life and who you are can also assist your journey greatly. There is an another way and you or you loved one need not be alone. You (or a loved) can begin a healing journey to a happier and more fulfilled life. It is a choice that your future will thank you for.
PS You may want to take a peak at my You Tube video Find Your Happiness – How To Deal With Depression and What Causes Depression