Are You Depressed?
Most of us would often say “I am depressed” when we feel sad or when things do not turn out to be the way we wanted it to be.
A lot of things are continuously happening which may cause one to be depressed—poverty, unemployment, corruption, dreaded illnesses, relationship issues, and death.
When problems like these arise, oftentimes, we are caught unaware of how to react on things and how to cope with these realities.
How do we now know if one person just woke up on the wrong side of the bed or is really depressed?
Below is a checklist from DSM-IV, the diagnostic manual from the American Psychiatric Association.
You have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) if:
• You have had an episode of depression lasting at least two weeks with at least five of the following symptoms:
- You are depressed, sad, blue or tearful.
- You have lost interest or pleasure in things you previously liked to do.
- Your appetite is much less or much greater than usual and you have lost or gained weight.
- You have a lot of trouble sleeping or sleep too much.
- You are so agitated, restless, or slowed down that others have begun to notice.
- You are tired and have no energy.
- You feel worthless or excessively guilty about things you have done or not done.
- You have trouble concentrating, thinking clearly or making decisions.
- You feel you would be better off dead or have thoughts about killing yourself.
• These symptoms are severe enough to upset your daily routine, or to seriously impair your work or to interfere with your relationships.
• The depression does not have a specific cause like alcohol, drugs, medication side effect or physical illness.
• Your depression is not just a normal reaction to the death of a loved one.
After this self- assessment, here’s a reality check: Are you depressed?
If you suspect you are, remember that it’s always best to get help early on.
Psychiatrists are doctors specializing in Psychiatry and are certified in treating mental disorders. All Psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychotherapy. Gone are the days of stigma when one sees a Psychiatrist. People are now more aware of the importance of mental health as there is abundance of information available in the internet and many support groups now exist.
Depression is experienced by almost everyone at one point in their lives. What’s important is that we recognize and do something about it the soonest possible time before it gets worst.