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MilkyWay's avatar

How do you know if you're depressed?

Asked by MilkyWay (13723points) April 6th, 2011

How do you know if you’re depressed or not? Are there any signs to look out for? And if you are, what should you do?

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20 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Emotional numbness, fatigue, lethargy, eating more or less than normal, not being able to sleep, crying all the time, things that used to excite you don’t anymore.

augustlan's avatar

Symptoms of depression

If you think you are depressed, the first step is to see your regular doctor. They can assess you and make referrals to mental health practitioners and even subscribe anti-depressants if necessary.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I know I am depressed when all I want to do is sleep. I don’t want to eat, I get moody and piss everyone off, and I fall asleep anywhere.

MilkyWay's avatar

@augustlan mental health practitioners ? 0_0
Are those shrinks?!

ette_'s avatar

@queenie there is a huge stigma associated with the term “shrinks” and “mental health”—however, there are several extremely qualified professionals who are in the mental health field and most of the time they are not psychiatrists. “Shrinks” generally has been negatively associated with the term therapy, counseling, psychiatry, psychology, you name it. In general, almost every person could benefit from speaking with a mental health practitioner, whether it be related to depression, severe psychological/psychiatric disorder, or simply just an overwhelming degree of everyday stress which can lead to breakdowns.

I definitely agree that if you are not sure and you think you might be, you should speak to a professional. A lot of the time they will provide you with a questionnaire (I don’t remember what it’s called) and you fill it out and you get a “score” which helps to put a number to the degree of your depression, if any.

Employers usually provide free introductory sessions through their benefit programs. There are also public health programs that can help.

filmfann's avatar

Tiredness, enui, lack of energy, and occasionally the taste of gun oil in my mouth.

yankeetooter's avatar

I know I’m depressed right now…I don’t know how I know, but I know!

tigerlilly2's avatar

I know I’m depressed when everything feels like a burden. The smallest tasks will turn into huge mountains. Things that would regularly make me happy pose no interest to me. The sky could be as blue as a robin’s egg, but if I’m depressed, all I see is grey. I used to see a pychiatrist and take medication for my depression but now I do neither of those things. I try to meditate daily and eat healthy foods. Exercise and meditation have helped tremendously! If you have never seen a pyschiatrist or psychologist you may want to consider going to one if no other methods help with depression.

If you are feeling depressed I wish you the best!

shego's avatar

I know I’m depressed when I stop eating, I don’t care what you have to say. I get really emotional, which exhausts me. I also stay in bed up to 20 hours.
I am a horrible person to be around, and I don’t care if I hurt your feelings.

lylestephens01's avatar

if i cant focus well, lack of sleep, irritated, dont wanna talk to anyone, just want to be alone…

JLeslie's avatar

Daily crying,
Trouble sleeping.
Sleeping more.
Increased appetite.
Decreased appetite.
Difficulty enjoying anything.
Feelings of hoplessness and helplessness.
Lack of care about your appearance.
Wantng to harm yourself.

I would say if you have 3 or more of these for more than a month you are probably depressed at some level.

longtresses's avatar

I’ve asked exactly the same question a few days ago. Perhaps you could take a look. There are great answers in there.

fatboyjef's avatar

You’re feeling down, tired and sleepy all the time, eat a lot, think that nobody cares about you, you start questioning if you have a real purpose in life.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t answer the second half of the question.

If you can pinpoint why you are depressed, like there has been a big change in your life that would be difficult for anyone, sad for anyone, but you are usually not depressed, and you are not suicidal, just want to feel better, probably as that situation improves you will come out of your depression, so the best thing in my mind is to fake it til you make it, and continue to drag yourself out of bed every morning, do your routine, and focus on the good. Tell a trusted friend what is bothering you so you can talk it through, or write down what is bothering you. However, sometimes once down in that pit of depression, it can be difficult to get back out, don’t feel badly that you can’t snap out of it, that is very common. Talk therapy can be a big help, I would suggest seeing a counselor if you cannot talk to someone in your family or group of friends.

If your symptoms have an anxiety component, that can be more difficult in my opinion, and you might need medication for a time to function.

For me the most difficult depression to figure out was during a time of loneliness, I didn’t really know what was going on. There was nothing obvious to me, or my family. No one had died, I wasn’t sick, things seemed pretty normal from the outside. I was young, and my friends were into other things as we got older. What fixedit for me was getting a job. The new people I met, and feeling good about the work helped me.

The most intense depression I had was after a break-up with a boyfriend, actually I had very bad anxiety with it, which was the worst part for me. My friends pulled together and spent time with me, let me tell them how sad I was, told me stories of how they had been through a similar thing. It helped. I was so anxious I went on anti-anxiety medication for abou 6 weeks to function, to be able to eat, and not shake for seemingly no reason. Eventually, took several months, I began to feel better. The fog really lifted once I moved to FL. It was a new chapter for me.

Here is a great story from an episode of West Wing:
This guy’s walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can’t get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”

I think that story applies most with accute, very difficult, depression. That story is not to discourage you from seeing a professional, because a good therapist should know the way out also.

MilkyWay's avatar

Thank you everyone… I think I am depressed. I’ll try and see a doctor.
Thank you all once again <3.

angelique_1's avatar

You will be nervous, or tired. Nothing will interest you like it once had. Some feel like killing themselves, or like they are in a dark hole, and can not get out. Or no one understands, or will ever understand.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Tellitasitis's avatar

Negative thinking would be a sign. If you find yourself more negative than usual, if you start to eat a lot more or a lot less, dissociate from friends and family…all that could spell depression.

MooCows's avatar

I knew I was depressed when I could not wait to go to bed at night
and literally could NOT get out of bed in the morning. My thinking
was at a stand still and I could not form thoughts and could not
deal with anything. It is a horrible feeling and you think you have fallen
into a black hole and will never get out. My depression started when
I had post pardom depression from having my son. After that I fought
it off and on for 30 years and am on meds to this day. I feel so blessed
that the meds I am on help me live a pretty stable life. Unless you have
suffered with depression you will never understand what others are going
thru completely.

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