It's not the easiest thing in the world to diagnose, after all, we all feel down from time to time. Especially after we suffer a loss of some kind. So what makes the difference between having 'the blues' and having depression? In this article we'll explore the line between these two mood states.
Although it can be difficult to differentiate, the one main difference between these two mood states is that depression lasts longer and can lead to a significant loss of interest in life activities that the person used to find interesting or enjoyable. Symptoms can also include (but are not limited to);
Excessive fatigue, sadness and crying for no reason, pain in the body, trouble sleeping, excessive negative thought patterns, a feeling of pessimism, avoidance of physical activity or exercise, overeating or under-eating and weight gain/loss, excessive anger, moodiness, frustration and sometimes thoughts of self harm or planning to self harm.
This article includes a short, simple depression test below;
Place a number 1-4 next to the questions 1 - 18. Here is the key;
1 = Not at all 2 = Some of the time 3 = Most of the time 4 = All of the time?
1. I do things more slowly than usual.
2. My future seems completely hopeless.
3. It is difficult for me to concentrate on reading or other activities.
4. All of the pleasure and joy has disappeared from my life.
5. I have great difficulty in making decisions.
6. I have lost interest in activities/things that used to be important to me.
7. I feel sad.
8. I feel agitated and can't sit still.
9. I feel fatigued.
10. I have to use much effort to even do simple things.
11. I feel that I am a bad person and I deserve to be punished. I feel guilty.
12. I feel as though I am a failure
13. My vitality is gone.
14. I have trouble sleeping.
15. I think about how to kill myself.
16. I feel as though I am trapped.
17. Even when good things happen to me I feel depressed.
18. I have lost or gained weight for no obvious reason.
Now add up the numbers. The higher the score the more likely it is that you may be suffering from depression.
Another depression test is that old faithful; you intuition or 'gut feeling'. In other words if you really suspect that you might have depression and you have felt this way of some time then it is more possible.
Many doctors will tell you that depression is an illness that must be treated with medication, although there are a number of other viewpoints on this. Personally when I went through depression I was reluctant to take medication and sought out alternative, natural methods. These worked well for me and has worked for countless others also. Whether or not you try medication or more natural methods is of course completely your call.
Once you have completed a depression test and found that you might be suffering you may wish to speak to a therapist, psychologist or counselor for some further assistance and treatment options.
One fresh approach that has been getting great results is called the 'mindfulness and acceptance approach. ' Having been through depression myself, I am a strong believer in this and have based my website and educational products on these techniques.
Whatever path you choose, it's good to bear in mind that things are never hopeless. Thousands upon thousands have recovered from even deep depression and therein lies the proof that it is very possible to overcome.
For further information on overcoming depression visit: www.depression-help-fast.org