Depression: A Checklist
If you think you might be suffering from depression, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have long bouts of sadness? Do I cry for no reason?
- Have I lost my interest or joy in life?
- Have I had changes in eating habits resulting in major loss or gain in weight?
- Have I had a change in my sleeping habits resulting in difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much?
- Am I irritable, anxious?
- Do I have difficulty getting things started?
- Do I have a lack of energy? Am I always tired?
- Do I have low self-worth, or a loss of hope? Do I feel inappropriately guilty?
- Do I have poor concentration? Is it difficult for me to make decisions?
- Do I have thoughts of death or suicide that won't go away?
If you answered yes to five or more of these symptoms and feel this way continuously for two or more weeks, you may be suffering from what is called a major depressive disorder. Treatment may be needed. Additionally, if you are having intermittent or continuous thoughts that life is not worth living, depression may be present as well, and treatment is indicated.
People who have infrequent or less intense symptoms may also require treatment. A good rule of thumb is to watch your own reactions to the world around you. If you feel that some of the listed symptoms are getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, especially the quality of your relationships with others, then you may be suffering from depression.
Fortunately, there are effective ways of treating depression. It is important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling and ask about treatments that might help.