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How You Know You Have Depression

Who Has The Highest Rate Of Depression

How Do You Know If You Have Depression?

Adult women have a higher rate of depression at any given point in time as compared to adult men . The age group that has the most adults who have had a major depressive episode in the past year is the 18 to 25 age group.4

Children and teenagers get depressed, too, but it can be tricky to diagnose, 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. We know that between 2% and 6% of children experience depression, he says. About 14% of teenagers age 12 to 17 will experience one episode of major depression. And about 9% of teenagers report a major depressive episode in a given year.

Who Is At Risk For Depression

Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.

Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.

Can You Inherit Depression

Genetic factors do play a role in depression, but so do biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Unipolar depression is less likely to be inherited than Bipolar disorder , says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.

While depression does tend to run in families, just because a family member has depression does not mean you are going to get it, 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. It is not a simple gene thing, he says. And the important thing is not so much why a person has depression but what are we going to do to help them.

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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.

Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable

Sadness or Clinical Depression? How to Tell The Difference

Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.

The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:

Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.

. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.

Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.

Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Read Also: Do I Go To My Doctor For Depression

Tips For Friends And Family

If you have a friend or loved one dealing with depression, you might be wondering if there are things you should look or listen for. The good news, according to Kevin Gilliland, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation360, is you dont need to have a great understanding of what depression feels like to you, just try to be curious about what depression feels like for them.

His advice? Try to understand it enough so that you stay aware of the symptoms and look for the little things that indicate your loved one is doing well or that they are struggling.

Whats most important is that we are trying to care for them and when we are aware of their struggle, we can check on them and ask what we can do to help, Gilliland says.

What Is Online Treatment Help I Have Depression

Online therapy is a form of therapy that happens online. It is cheap, accessible and also can be done anywhere. Help I Have Depression

On the internet Treatment is a kind of psychotherapy that can take place online or by means of call. It is less costly and a lot more obtainable than conventional therapy approaches. Individuals can likewise do it from anywhere, which suggests they dont need to take a trip cross countries for sessions if they stay in remote locations or can not leave your home as a result of health and wellness reasons.

The most common mental disorders that individuals look for therapy for are clinical depression and anxiety disorders.

Don’t Miss: How Can You Know If You Are Depressed

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

What Are Physical Symptoms Of Depression

How to Tell if You Have Depression. ()?

Depression doesnt just affect your feelingsyou will feel its influence on your body, too. The most common symptom of depression is fatigue or low energy. Youd probably rather sleep than do anything. Conversely, you might have trouble sleeping at the normal times, tossing and turning at bedtime while struggling to stay awake at work.

Youll also find your appetite isnt what it used to be, especially if food once made you happy. You might also experience significant brain fog, or overall difficulty making decisions. Concentrating on anything for any period of time might be challenging.

Recommended Reading: Icd 10 Code For Severe Depression

Seeking Treatment For Depression

  • 1Ask for support from your loved ones. Let friends and family members know that youre having a tough time, and that symptoms of depression are impacting your ability to live your life to the fullest. Keep in mind that your feelings of helplessness are part of your disorder, not reality, and that isolation feeds those feelings. Friends and family can help by listening to your problems, encouraging you to seek medical help, and supporting you during the worst moments.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • If you have trouble being active or leaving the house, let your friends know you’re depressed and encourage them to keep inviting you to activities you enjoy even if you don’t make it every time.
  • Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • 2Get a diagnosis from a medical professional. Schedule an appointment with a doctor or psychiatrist if you suspect that you may have depression. A medical professional can go through your symptoms with you and help you figure out the root cause of your problem.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source Keep in mind that it is okay to get a second or even a third opinion, especially if you do not think that the doctor is hearing you or is not concentrating on the area that you think is most important.
  • Check Your Ability To Function As Usual

    The biggest gauge of clinical depression is how your life is being impacted. If you cannot function as usual on a daily basis, its a big indication of a major depressive episode. Some people with depression dont want to work, interact with others or get out of bed. Sometimes this change may be more obvious to the people around you than to yourself.

    When I meet a patient for the first time and we have a conversation about whats going on, I ask if that persons friends, family and co-workers have noticed a change in them, Sowa says.

    Because depression often takes time to develop, the changes may not seem as drastic to you, or you may try to rationalize them away. Its important to listen to your loved ones about depression symptoms they may see in you.

    Because we are living in such stressful times, more people are reporting symptoms of depression. The COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in the news, including systemic racial injustice and natural disasters, can make it harder to maintain mental health. Whether you think you have clinical depression or not, its a good idea to speak to your doctor about how youre feeling, Sowa says.

    Nate Sowa, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine and the director of the department of psychiatrys Virtual Care and Integrated Behavioral Health.

    Also Check: Inspirational Quotes For Someone Dealing With Depression

    How It Feels According To People With Depression

    Leela R. Magavi, MD, psychiatrist, and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry, says the most common question asked in her practice is: “How does depression feel?”

    Some people ask me this question for comfort and to ensure that they are not alone with their experience, while others feel so confused by their tumultuous feelings that they struggle to clearly identify their inner experience, she says.

    With that in mind, here are some of the responses Magavi hears in her sessions:

    • “Depression feels like a weight on my chest, which brings me down everywhere I go.”
    • “Depression is receiving praise at work but still feeling worthless.”
    • “Depression is the loneliness I feel when I see other couples and families laughing and enjoying their lives.”
    • “Depression is feeling like I am a failure as a person, family member, and friend.”
    • “Depression is when I cannot take care of my children because I cannot take care of myself.”
    • “Depression is not brushing my hair and teeth because I simply cannot move.”
    • “Depression is smiling when others laugh, hiding behind the fabricated mask, and wishing I could just disappear.”
    • “Depression is my life and shadow, which haunts me every day.”

    Christian Sismone, someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety her entire life, says its important to provide a non-clinical perspective. She shares these examples:

    How Is Depression Syndrome Diagnosed

    Sadness or Clinical Depression? How to Tell The Difference

    Everyone may feel sad or down from time to time. However, clinical depression has more intense symptoms that last two weeks or longer.

    To determine whether you have clinical depression, your healthcare provider will ask questions. You may complete a questionnaire and provide a family history. Your healthcare provider may also perform an exam or order lab tests to see if you have another medical condition.

    Also Check: How Do You Know If You Are Suffering With Depression

    What Does Depression Feel Like

    Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

    Sadness is something we all experience from time to time. For some, this feeling is temporary and goes away on its own. But for others, this persistent feeling of emptiness, unhappiness, and hopelessness becomes a regular part of their day.

    If your mood has changed over the last few weeks and engaging in routine daily tasks is getting more difficult, you may have depression, and you’re not alone.

    Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. According to data from 2017, it is estimated that 17.3 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had a least one major depressive episode in the past year.

    Depression, a mood disorder that can cause mild to severe symptoms, can affect how you feel, think, and manage daily activities.

    What Can I Do If I Have Depression

    If you have symptoms of depression, see your healthcare provider. They can give you an accurate diagnosis, refer you to a specialist or suggest treatment options.

    If you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves or taking their own life:

    • Go to the emergency department of your hospital.
    • Contact a healthcare provider.
    • Speak to a trusted friend, family member or spiritual leader.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Depression is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Anyone can experience depression even if there doesnt seem to be a reason for it. Causes of depression include difficulties in life, brain chemistry abnormalities, some medications and physical conditions. The good news is that depression is treatable. If you have symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can feel better

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2020.


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    How To Know If You Have Depression

    This article was co-authored by Rebecca Ward, LMFT, SEP, PCC, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, . Rebecca A. Ward, LMFT, SEP, PCC is the Founder of the Iris Institute, a San Francisco, California-based business focusing on using somatic expertise to teach individuals and groups the skills to deal with dilemmas using interventions, including her own Original Blueprint® method. Ms. Ward specializes in treating stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist , a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner , and a Professional Certified Coach accredited by the International Coach Federation . Rebecca holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from The George Washington University.There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 23 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 618,574 times.

    How Can I Support My Mental Health

    How To Tell If You’re Depressed

    Having depression or anxiety isnt a sign of weakness and theres no need to feel embarrassed. Keep active in your community, consider joining a support group and do things that boost your mental wellbeing.

    Self-help groups

    Meeting other people who understand what youre going through can be helpful, especially if youre feeling isolated or lonely. You can find a local support group by asking your GP, or by contacting Mind, Anxiety UK, SANE or Rethink Mental Illness.

    Keep a regular social routine

    There are a range of services in the local community where you can meet new people and learn new skills. This will give you something to look forward to, and prevent you feeling isolated or alone. Your local Age UK can help you find an activity or group that will suit your interests.

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    Are There Other Therapies To Treat Symptoms Of 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.

    Let The Person Know How They Can Help

    When sharing your depression with others, let them know how they can actively help you, as they may want to if they can. Think about what you may want from your friends in terms of support. Maybe you just want them to lend an ear when you need to vent, or you may want them to join you for your first therapy session. You might also ask them to hold you accountable for any behavior that may cause you harm or may worsen your symptoms, such as heavy drinking or drug use. This allows your loved ones to actively support you while youre learning how to cope with depression.

    Recommended Reading: Depression And Other Common Mental Disorders Global Health Estimates

    How To Get Help

    About 2.6% of the U.S. population have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It usually comes on at about age 25, but it can happen earlier. There are different types, too. Symptoms can happen — or not happen — along a wide spectrum.

    A âlife chartâ is a good way to track your moods and help your doctor diagnose whether you have bipolar disorder. Youâll record details about your moods, sleep patterns, and events in your life. If youâre on a manic swing, you might feel âupâ and capable, but a look at the big picture will show you how a âdownâ will follow. The info also will give your doctor a window into your day-to-day — even hour-to-hour — life to decide how best to proceed with treatment if needed.

    Special phone apps can help you keep up, too. There are quite a few available to help you track your moods, medications, sleep patterns, and more. One even analyzes how you type on your phone: your rhythm and speed, mistakes, corrections, and other dynamics, but not your content. It then uses this data to gauge your mood and predict bipolar episodes. Just remember that these apps donât take the place of following a treatment plan under your doctorâs care.

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