Tuesday, April 9, 2024

I Think I May Be Depressed

How Do I Know If Im Sad Or Depressed

What can I do if I think I May Be Depressed?

If youre sad because you lost your job, are going through a breakup, or lost someone in your life its certainly no fun, but its also pretty normal. Sadness, even extreme sadness, is a natural reaction to events like these. That said, regular sadness can also turn into depression. If the feelings dont get better over time, or if your mood starts to get in the way of your daily life, you might be developing a case of depression.

Physical changes can also affect your mood, like hormone changes due to puberty or certain medical treatments or conditions. If you think you might be depressed, its a good idea to have a doctor review any medications youre taking and test your thyroid and other hormone levels.

If you still arent sure why youre feeling down, or if mental illness of any kind runs in your family, theres a decent chance youre experiencing depression. If you havent already done so, consider taking our depression screen.

What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause

Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:

  • disturbed sleep,
  • difficulties with work and your hobbies,
  • difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
  • suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.

Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.

If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.

How Can Talking To A Parent Help

It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.

Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.

Also Check: Mild Depression Vs Severe Depression

Depression And Suicide Risk

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:

  • Talking about killing or harming ones self.
  • Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
  • An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
  • Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
  • Getting affairs in order .
  • Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
  • A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

If you are feeling suicidal

When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!

ReadSuicide Help, call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S., or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country.

How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression

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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.

Read Also: Ketamine Vs Psilocybin For Depression

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.

How Else Can Parents Help

Parents can help in lots of ways. Talk with them about what you want their help with. Here are some of the things parents can do to help. You might think of other things that aren’t on this list. But this list can give you and your parent some ideas.

Parents can:

  • help you practice skills you learn in therapy
  • remind you that they love and believe in you
  • let you know they see the good in you, and are proud of you
  • keep expecting good things from you
  • talk through problems with you
  • ask you about good things that happen in your day
  • help with homework or projects you’re having trouble with, or get you a tutor
  • hold you to your responsibilities at home and at school
  • help you get enough exercise, sleep, and healthy food
  • help you limit the time you spend on screens and social media
  • help you wake up in the morning at the right time, but do it in a friendly way
  • do things with you that you both enjoy walk, play a sport or game, watch a movie, do a craft, or cook

These things may seem simple, but they add up. They start to change the way you think and feel. They can lift your mood, and help you think better about yourself. They can help you and your parent feel close. That’s a recipe for feeling better, even if you’re going through depression.

Read Also: Is Constant Crying A Sign Of Depression

Causes And Risk Factors

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.

Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.

You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression

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Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.

If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.

Recommended Reading: Does Smoking Cause Anxiety And Depression

What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

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.

Who Can Experience Depression Symptoms

Depression can happen to anyone and depression causes can vary from person to person. However, your age, gender and other circumstances in your life can have an impact on the likelihood of you suffering from a type of depression, whether that be dysthymia, bipolar depression or clinical depression. It might also impact the types of symptoms you experience.

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Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know

Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is differentit is a mood disorder that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.

This brochure contains an overview of five things that everyone should know about depression in women.

How Can I Help A Man With Depression

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If you think that a male friend or family member may be experiencing depression, you can offer them help and support.

Some men find it particularly difficult to share their emotions, but you can help them by starting a conversation about how they are doing, and showing them that you want to support them.

Sometimes men with depression might feel that they dont want to seek help because it is not manly. In such a situation, the best thing you can do is to remind them that depression is a serious but common mental health condition that probably wont get better by itself.

If they had a broken leg or a bad cut, they wouldnt expect that to heal without their doctors help, and its the same with depression.

Recommended Reading: Living With A Depressed Spouse

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.

Depression Is A Real Medical Condition

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Depression symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.

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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.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Men

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Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
  • Feeling anxious, restless, or on the edge
  • Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
  • Problems with sexual desire and performance
  • Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
  • Not being able to concentrate or remember details
  • Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • A need for alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated

Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.

Recommended Reading: How To Heal Yourself From Depression

Some Common Causes Of Depression

Some factors that contribute to depression include:

  • Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
  • Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
  • Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.

Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.

To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.

A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.

Tips For Preventing A Relapse

These prevention strategies can help to stop depression from returning:

Keeping up with treatment: Finishing the full course of a prescribed medication can significantly reduce the risk of relapse, especially during the critical 6 months after treatment begins.

Mindfulness based therapies: Mindfulness can help a person understand any negative thought patterns and find ways of dealing with them. One study shows that practicing mindfulness three times a week may reduce depression relapse by up to 50% within a year.

Educating friends and family: Telling friends and family what warning signs to look out for might help catch an episode early.

Prepare for a relapse: It may help to make a plan so that, if warning signs do appear, the individual can act upon them quickly. A doctor can help with this.

When worrying symptoms come back during treatment, it might mean that current treatment is not working as it should.

A doctor may recommend changing the treatment style or increasing the medication dosage.

Treatments that can help include:

Talking therapies: Interpersonal therapy , cognitive behavioral therapy , or both may reduce the risk of depression returning.

Medication: or mood stabilizers can help some people. Following the doctors recommendations for taking these drugs can help reduce the risk of a relapse.

Electroconvulsive therapy: In some cases, a doctor may recommend

Also Check: Genetic Testing For Depression Meds

What If I Don’t Know What To Say

Don’t wait to talk just because you’re not sure what to say. You can keep it simple. You can start just by saying, “Got a minute? I need to talk.” Then say what you’re going through. For example, “I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. I think I might be depressed.” The person you’re talking to might ask you to tell them more. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get started talking.

What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed

Nothing makes me happy anymore. I may be depressed, but I ...

The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.

Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .

When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.

Some symptoms of depression are:

  • low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
  • having less energy to do certain things,
  • losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
  • reduced concentration,

You may also find that with low mood you:

  • feel less pleasure from things,
  • feel more agitated,
  • find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
  • have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.

There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.

On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/

Read Also: How To Get Past Depression On Your Own

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