Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How Do I Know If Im Suffering From Depression

Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment

How Do You Know If You Have Depression?

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.

Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depression’s most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.

According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.

There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.

How Many People Are Diagnosed With Depression

Around 17.3 million US adults have had at least one major depressive episode.2 Some 20% of women and between 10 and 12% of men will experience depression at least once in their life, says says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.

Depression is relatively rare during childhood and comparably distributed across the genders, Hollon adds. The rates just explode during adolescence and that is when gender disparities first emerge. And, he adds, Half of all the folks who are going to be diagnosed with major depression at some point will have at least one episode during adolescence.

Almost Nothing Sparks Your Interest

Depression commonly involves a decrease in your energy levels and a loss of pleasure in your favorite hobbies and other things you usually enjoy. As you work toward recovery, youll usually find your interest in these activities slowly begins to return, along with your energy.

With worsening depression, you might notice the opposite.

It may not just seem difficult to find the motivation for exercise, socializing, and other hobbies. Anhedonia, or difficulty experiencing joy and pleasure, is a core symptom of depression.

You might also have trouble mustering up enough energy to go to work or take care of basic responsibilities, like paying bills or preparing meals. Even necessary self-care, like showering and brushing your teeth, might feel beyond your current abilities.

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Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression

If sadness alone isnt a good gauge of depression, what is? According to the American Psychiatric Associations current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is the diagnostic guide used by most mental health professionals, if youve experienced at least five of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be , also known as clinical depression.

Do you:

  • Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
  • Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
  • Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
  • Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
  • Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
  • Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
  • Struggle with or sleep too much?
  • Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?

To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.

Of course, its normal to have any or all of these symptoms temporarily from time to time. The difference with depression is that the symptoms persist and make it difficult to function normally.

Am I Depressed Challenges In Diagnosing Depression

How Do I Know if I

Many diseases have signs and symptoms that are easy to spot. A telltale rash, swollen joints, or high fever are all signs of disease. More subtle conditions often can be detected with straightforward diagnostic tests like blood tests or x-rays. This is not true for depression. Most people with depression look fine their test results are normal. But that doesnt mean they arent suffering terribly on the inside.

So if youre wondering whether anyone has noticed that youre depressed, consider that they may not be able to tell.

Read Also: Are Online Depression Tests Accurate

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

The Different Types Of Depression

Depression is classified in a number of ways. The types of depression that this test looks for are: major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia , dysthymia , postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Each one presents different symptoms and represents a distinct diagnosis. You can learn more about each of these types of depression after you take the test and get your results. Please note that other variants of depression exist which are not tested for on this web site.

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Antenatal And Postnatal Depression

Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.

The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.

The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.

Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.

Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.

If Your Loved One Has Symptoms

If You’re Depressed… Watch This (Wim Hof Method)
  • Encourage your loved one to seek professional help. If your loved one is considering harming themselves or having other dark thoughts, immediate treatment is critical. Go to the nearest emergency room or contact a local mental health provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 .
  • Create a safe environment. If the person expresses suicidal thoughts, remove any potentially lethal items from the home, such as guns, Dr. Dunlop says.
  • Be kind. Blaming or chastising depressed people for feeling low or unmotivated is not helpful and typically serves to reinforce negative feelings they already have, Dunlop says. Instead, open the discussion in a nonjudgmental way and encourage the person to seek help.
  • Be willing to support treatment. Offer to help your loved one prepare a list of questions for a provider about depression or drive them to appointments.

Also Check: How To Cure Depression And Anxiety

Tell Someone You Trust

Opening up to a loved one about your depression may not directly relieve your symptoms, but it can help you feel less alone.

Friends and family can offer emotional support, compassion, and reassurance. They might also help by offering support with essential tasks, like preparing food or getting to the doctor.

Talking about depression can be difficult, especially when you feel guilty about your symptoms or worry about burdening your loved ones. It can help to start by talking to a supportive friend or family member who already knows you have depression, so you dont have to expend the energy to explain.

When Should I Seek Help

If your symptoms of depression are causing problems with relationships, work, or your family — and there isn’t a clear solution — you should see a professional.

Talking with a mental health counselor or doctor can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if your symptoms stay for any length of time.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, get help right away.

It’s important to understand that feeling depressed doesn’t mean you have depression. That condition involves not only changes in mood, but also changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation.

If you have physical symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.

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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

How do you know if you or your loved one may have depression? Does depression look different as you age? Depression in older adults may be difficult to recognize because older people may have different symptoms than younger people. For some older adults with depression, sadness is not their main symptom. They could instead be feeling more of a numbness or a lack of interest in activities. They may not be as willing to talk about their feelings.

The following is a list of common symptoms. Still, because people experience depression differently, there may be symptoms that are not on this list.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness, or having trouble sitting still
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, waking up too early in the morning, or oversleeping
  • Eating more or less than usual, usually with unplanned weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

If you have several of these signs and symptoms and they last for more than two weeks, talk with your doctor. These could be signs of depression or another health condition. Dont ignore the warning signs. If left untreated, serious depression may lead to death by suicide.

How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression

How Do I Know If I

Clinical depression affects people in different ways.

The symptoms of clinical depression can be complex and vary from person-to-person.

Generally, if you have clinical depression:

  • you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy
  • you experience these symptoms for at least 2 weeks
  • the symptoms are serious enough to interfere with work, social life or family

There are many other symptoms of clinical depression and you’re unlikely to have them all.

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Tips For Coping With Depression

Firstly its important to know that you are not alone, you are not weak and you can get better, as depression is very treatable. If you recognise any of the symptoms above, the first step is to go and see your doctor. It is also worth incorporating the following into your routine:

Don’t give up

Depression can feel like you are carrying around heavy weights. With every other illness you wait to feel better until you make some changes, but with depression its important to do things that you previously enjoyed and know the feelings will follow.

Try antidepressant activities

It can be useful to imagine that all your feel-good chemicals are low and they need to be re-energised through antidepressant activities that will stimulate them. Regular exercise for example is a great way to get your feel good chemicals stimulated and dont feel like you have to get to the gym. A walk, being in nature and having sunlight shine on you can have some great results for mood.

Maintain your routine

Keep a good day-to-day routine ensuring that each day you do something you enjoy, something you have been putting off and something that gives you a sense of achievement. The 3 areas of enjoyment, achievement and doing something you have been putting off have been shown to improve mood.

Practise self-care

Its important not to forget the basics depression is an illness and will respond to lots of self-care. Keep hydrated, have regular nutritious meals and prioritise your sleep.

Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women

When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.

But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.

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Bipolar I And Ii Disorders

Bipolar disorders can cause individuals to suffer from mood swings, which range from hypomania or mania to major depression. Trained health professionals can sometimes struggle to tell the difference between bipolar disorders and major depressive disorder since most people do not visit their doctors when they experience hypomanic moods. An affected individual often only seeks treatment when he experiences a depressed mood.

Depression Types: Major Depression Bipolar Disorder Postpartum Depression And More

YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED, STOP IT!

While the quiz and information on this page focuses on mild and major depression, there are many different kinds of depression. For example:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Substance-induced depressive disorder
  • Adjustment disorder

While these forms of depression are less common than mild and major depression, they are still serious and come with harmful symptoms as well as harmful side effects. If you are experiencing symptoms of any form of depression, be sure to get the right help and support.

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You Can Play A Role In Research By Joining A Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a critical role in our studies.

For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking

Do you feel like youre powerless or weak? That bad things happen and theres not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.

When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic. When you really examine them they dont hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up.

You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by telling yourself to just think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it. Rather, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.

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Depression Symptoms: What Are They Am I Depressed

With depression, you might have trouble falling asleep, or you might find yourself going to bed right after dinner. You might skip meals, or you might overeat. You can lose interest in sex, or crave it addictively. You might get headaches or stomachaches, feel fatigued , forget things, or find it hard to concentrate. One thing, however, is certain: you feel severe emotional pain.

As you can see, depression symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on depression type and severity. However, common symptoms, which also make up the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder, are as follows:

  • Feelings of intense sadness, despair, and/or emptiness
  • Loss of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Significant changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disruption, such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Odd changes in activity levels
  • Feelings of worthlessness or shame
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Diminished ability to think straight
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideation

If these symptoms sound all too familiar, you might feel scared, nervous, or anxious. But you shouldnt worryremember that there is effective treatment out there. Speak with a medical professional about these symptoms so that you can determine what the right next step is.

Tip : Support Your Health

How Would I Know if I

Positive lifestyle changes can help lift depression and keep it from coming back.

Aim for eight hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleep problems whether youre sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.

Keep stress in check. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload, money problems, or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control.

Practice relaxation techniques.A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.

Spend time in sunlight. Getting outside during daylight hours and exposing yourself to the sun can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Take a walk, have your coffee outside, do some yard work, or double up on the benefits by exercising outdoors. If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.

Develop a wellness toolbox to deal with depression

Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost. The more tools for coping with depression, the better. Try and implement a few of these ideas each day, even if youre feeling good.

  • Spend some time in nature.
  • List what you like about yourself.
  • Read a good book.
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