Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How To Know If I Have Severe Depression

What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

How to know if you have Depression?

If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
  • get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
  • ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

Advocacy

An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.

You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.

You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.

Second opinion

Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.

‘PALS’

Complaints

  • Advocacy by clicking here.

A Lack Of Standardization

Quantitative scales help researchers measure and organize symptoms, as well as designate a cutoff point for whats considered severe depression for the purpose of a specific study. However, methodologies vary between studies and researchers, meaning there isnt a single definition of severe depression across the board.

A lack of standardization means that if a persons depression symptoms are assessed with different scales by different providers, the diagnosis may not be consistent. Some providers dont use them in clinical practice unless a patient is taking medications, whereas others use them regularly.

How Do I Deal With It

There are a number of things people can do to reduce the effect that depression has on them. Often, these involve some change of lifestyle, which might be difficult to do at first. But keep going, dont give up, and things will get better!

These include:

  • Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis

  • Eating healthy

  • Avoiding alcohol

Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people will overcome it. If youre experiencing any symptoms or signs of distress, dont hesitate to speak to a helping professional or doctor about it.

Remember this: You werent put here to be depressed. To feel guilty, ashamed, unworthy or condemned. You were put here to be victorious.

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Are Certain Populations More At Risk For Clinical Depression

According to the Anxiety Depression Association of America , anxiety and depression disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. Around 40 million adults, or just over 18% of the population, have some sort of anxiety disorder yet, only about 37% of those that suffer from it take steps to treat depression. Depression may result from a variety of things, including genetics, individual brain chemistry, personality, or life challenges.

Depression may accompany other health serious health conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease. Clinical depression symptoms can make physical conditions worse. Medications that people take to cure physical conditions may have side-effects that cause or contribute to clinical depression symptoms. For complex medical and mental health conditions, its best to work with a physician that has experience in treating complex conditions.

The main risk factors for clinical depression are having a family history of depression, dealing with major life changes that cause stress, and having certain physical illnesses that require medications.

How To Treat Clinical Depression

Most often, the treatments for depression are psychotherapy, medication, or both. There are some other types of treatments like electroconvulsive therapy , which is a brain stimulation therapy that some people consider when nothing else seems to be working. Johns Hopkins cautions that ECT can cause memory loss.

Symptoms And Causes Of Depression

What Is Depression? Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and ...

Symptoms of depression can be very different from person to person. However, as a general rule, if you are depressed you feel hopeless, sad and lacking interest in things that used to make you feel happy.

Depression symptoms are bad enough to interfere with work, social life and family life, and can persist for weeks or months.

Doctors describe depression in one of three ways, depending on how serious it is:

  • mild depression it has some impact on daily life
  • moderate depression it has a significant impact on your daily life
  • severe depression this makes it nearly impossible to get through your life day to day

A few people with severe depression may have symptoms of psychotic depression.

Below is a list of depression symptoms it’s unlikely that one person would have all of them.

Also Check: When Do People Get Depression

Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors

Strong signs of suicidality include talking about wanting to die, making plans, or attempting to take ones own life. Warning signs of suicidal intention include:

  • Acquiring the means to commit suicide
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior
  • Extreme agitation or anxiety
  • Getting one’s affairs in order
  • Increased use of substances such as drugs and alcohol
  • Intense changes in mood/mood swings
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family as though for the last time
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless in ones situation
  • Talking a lot about death, dying, and violence
  • Talking about suicide or wishing that one hadn’t been born
  • Withdrawal from friends or family

Who Can Diagnose Depression

Primary care providers often diagnose depression. They may refer an individual to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment. Typically, says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, the provider uses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to make a diagnosis.3 They go through the criteria in the DSM to see how many criteria the person meets, Hollon says.

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Identifying Changes In Behavior

  • 1Check your weight periodically to see if there are any extreme changes. Keep in mind that weight gain or weight loss can be side effects of depression, as depression can have a big impact on your overall appetite. If you have noticed that your appetite has increased or decreased significantly, then be sure to talk to your doctor about this as well.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Weight gain or loss can be caused by a variety of different things, and may not just be a symptom of depression.
  • 2Write a list of any changes in behavior that youve had. Think about how youve acted in the past few weeks. While depression can manifest in a lot of different ways, dangerous or risk-taking behavior is a more active symptom. Have you participated in activities that can have big consequences, like gambling, trying drugs, or doing other extreme sports? These are a few possibilities of risky behavior.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • 3Count how many times youve cried in the past week. Think about how often youve gotten emotional in the past week, and what caused you to start crying. If you find yourself crying over mundane, insignificant things, theres a good chance that you may suffer from depression.XResearch source
  • When Should I See My Doctor

    How Do You Know If You Have Depression?

    If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, its best to seek help early and your GP is a good place to start. There’s no need to struggle on your own. Seek help:

    • if you are feeling sad, teary or overwhelmed most of the time
    • if these feelings have been with you for 2 weeks or more
    • if your low mood affects how you cope at home, work or school.

    Your GP can suggest effective treatment options, and the sooner your symptoms are addressed, the better the outcome will likely be.

    Some people with depression feel that life is too difficult, not worth living or even that they themselves are worthless. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, dont wait seek help now.

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    Increased Fatigue And Sleep Problems

    Part of the reason you might stop doing things you enjoy is because you feel very tired. Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. This could lead to excessive sleeping.

    Depression is also linked with insomnia, as one might lead to the other and vice versa. They can also make each other worse. The lack of quality, restful sleep can also lead to anxiety.

    Depression can affect the sexes differently. Research shows that men with depression may have symptoms such as irritability, escapist or risky behavior, substance abuse, or misplaced anger.

    Men are also less likely than women to recognize depression or seek treatment for it.

    Signs Of An Episode Of Major Depression

    Anyone with PDD is also at risk of experiencing episodes of major depression. In fact, most people with PDD will have one such episode at least once in their lives. For some people with PDD it may feel as if the persistent, low-level depression may take a turn into severe depression at any time. While the two conditions are similar and may occur in the same person, there are some significant differences.

    Two important differences are duration and severity. PDD persists over a long period of time, two years or more, while major depression occurs in episodes that are shorter-lived but still at least two weeks long. The symptoms are similar but more severe during an episode of major depression.

    Also significant is the distinction between functioning. Someone with PDD functions at a typical level, but during an episode of major depression that functioning will slide. They may begin to perform more poorly at school or work, be unable to complete certain responsibilities, skip activities they normally participate in, become socially withdrawn, or even let self-care and personal hygiene slide.

    Begin Your Recovery Journey.

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    How To Overcome Depression: 8 Tools To Escape The Grip Of Depression

    The path that led me to want to help others was rocky and dark, to say the least. I spent many years in the grips of depression and I know only too well what its like to live in hopelessness and despair. During my darkest days, I felt very alone, but I know now that I wasnt.

    Millions of people battle the dark depths of depression every single day. And if you are one of those people, I sincerely hope that this essay will benefit you in some way.

    Id like to share eight tools that can help ease depression. I will be sharing with you all the things that helped me climb out of depression and then became the foundation of the work that I do with others. Of course, like most simple tips, many of these concepts will sound much easier said than done. But since we get better at what we practice, the more you practice, the more they will become your new normal.

    Properly Charge Your Body Battery

    Natural treatment for depression

    Sometimes when people struggle with depression, it can be very challenging to practice good self-care. In fact, some people take better care of their smartphones and devices than they do their own bodies.

    How often do you forget to charge your phone compared to how often you forget to properly nourish yourself or get adequate sleep?

    Taking care of your body might sound like a common sense tip, but its too important for me to skip over.

    When depression is high, logical thinking and energy levels tend to be low making it far too easy to neglect our bodies. And yet, taking good care of your body can really help to decrease depression. So how well are you taking care of your body battery? Lets take a look.

    Nourishment

    When people are depressed, it can often lead to a loss of appetite and/or overeating. How are you doing at lovingly nourishing your body? Are you making daily efforts to eat a balance of all the various food groups and stay properly hydrated? These are really important ways to manage blood sugar, energy levels, and depression.

    Sleep

    Movement

    One thing that helped me move my body when I was in my darkest days was to tell myself I could go for five minutes and if I wanted to stop, I could. Sometimes I stopped after five minutes, but most of the time it actually felt surprisingly good and I wanted to keep going.

    Read more: Learn how your asana practice in yoga can open a new awareness of body, mind and spirit.

    Hygiene

    Substance Use/Abuse

    Medical Care

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    Irritability And Angry Outbursts

    Typically, symptoms must last at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed, so take this into consideration throughout the depression quiz then ask for an assessment from a mental health professional for further information and treatment, Furthermore, medical conditions such as vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for symptoms of depression so it is important to fully consider all possible causes as you take any depression quiz or inventory. Mental health can impact your energy levels, how tired you are, your stress, sleeping habits, mood, thoughts, and so much more. Keep reading to find out more about what treatment might be right for you.

    Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:

    • doing poorly at work
    • difficulties with your family or home life

    It’s not always possible to tell that you’re having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people don’t realise they’re ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that there’s a problem.

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    Upgrade Your Mind Mood

    In my work with clients, I like to teach what I call three different mind moods:

    • unkind mind,
    • kind mind and
    • quiet mind.

    Theyre all pretty self-explanatory. But suffice it to say that an unkind mind dishes out negative and critical thoughts. A kind mind is when were thinking positively or kindly toward ourselves and others. And when were in a quiet mind mode, were simply in the present moment and our minds are at peace.

    Lets say you become aware that your unkind mind has been running the show. Here you are going about your day and you become aware of thoughts like, why bother, things are hopeless, Ill always be depressed, Ill never be happy or everyone else has more fill in the blank.

    Now youre at a crossroad. You can keep recycling and believing the thoughts that your unkind mind is dishing out, or you can make a conscious decision to either upgrade your thought to a kinder one or to quiet your mind by turning your attention to something that is actually factually present in the here and now, otherwise known as reality.

    As you gain more awareness of your depressive thoughts and more willingness to upgrade them, you will start to get some breaks in the regularly played unkind mind programs.

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    Are There Other Therapies To Treat Symptoms Of Depression

    How To Know If You Have Depression

    There are other treatments your doctor may consider. Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a treatment option for people whose symptoms don’t get better with medicine or who have severe depression and need treatment right away.

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, involves using a noninvasive device that is held above the head to induce the magnetic field. It targets a specific part of the brain that can trigger depression.

    With vagus nerve stimulation, or VMS, a pacemaker-like device is surgically implanted under the collarbone to deliver regular impulses to the brain.

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    How Long Does It Take To Diagnose Depression

    It can take weeks after depression begins before it is diagnosed. This is partly because people may be resistant to ask for help, says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology and management at Union College and chief in the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, both in Schenectady, New York.

    When a primary care doctor is looking into whether a person is depressed, they may initially think the symptoms could be caused by a physical illness, Nydegger explains. Often, a primary care doctor may be looking at the persons medications or whether something is going on physiologically, he says. They are trying to rule out medical causes as the reason for the symptoms, which is appropriate, but then it can take longer to get a diagnosis.

    How Is Depression Diagnosed

    Depression presents with symptoms that range from mild to severe. Feelings of sadness, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling worthless or guilty, loss of energy or increased fatigue, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed are common. Children and adolescents who are depressed may come across as irritable rather than sad.

    A health care professional looks for symptoms that are interfering with the persons relationships and with their work and that represent a change in the persons previous level of functioning.1 To receive a diagnosis of depression, the person must have five depression symptoms every day, and nearly all day, for at least two weeks.2

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