How Do You Know When You Have Depression?

Feeling depressed is a normal reaction when upsetting events and circumstances arise. However, most feelings associated with depression go away after a short while unless a serious problem exists. The exact cause of depression is unknown, but chemical and hormonal imbalances play a significant role. Many people experience symptoms of depression, but how does one know when these feelings are considered to be clinical depression? When feelings of depression persist for more than a few weeks and interfere with someone’s life, it is likely that a mental health disorder is present.

Symptoms that Indicate Depression

Professionals have provided the following criteria to determine if someone has depression:

  • Having a depressed mood for the majority of the day
  • Feeling fatigued or lack of energy most every day
  • Persistent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, pessimism and despair
  • Experiencing sleep problems, either insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Signs of indecisiveness and impaired concentration
  • Significant loss of interest in all activities and the inability to find pleasure in things that one used to enjoy
  • Feeling restless, irritable or anxious
  • Having recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained change in appetite, significant weight gain or loss
  • Persistent feelings of emptiness or dissatisfaction
  • Feeling frequent aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems

People with five or more of these symptoms should seek a professional diagnosis.

How Untreated Depression Can Affect Your Life

The symptoms of depression are brutal and affect people physically, mentally and emotionally. If left untreated the mental disorder can destroy someone’s life and wellbeing. Aside from the health consequences, the disorder can also affect an individual’s relationships, career and involvement in interests and activities. Depression can completely strip away one’s desire to live. When severe cases of depression go untreated, people may develop psychosis, fall into substance abuse and consider suicide.

Treatment Options for Depression

Many options exist to treat depression, including non-medicinal options which greatly reduce the risk of addiction. Substance abuse and addiction commonly derive from depression, which is why finding professional treatment is advised. People do not have to rely on antidepressants and other medications to recover from depression. Other treatment options include the following services:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Family or marital therapy
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic treatment
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, massage therapy, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation and etc.

Find the method that works best for your needs and begin treating your debilitating symptoms.

Think You Have Depression and Need Help?

Are you concerned that you or a loved one have depression and need help? If so, we can connect you with the quality treatment that is right for you. Please call our toll-free helpline today to speak with a recovery professional who can assist you with all of your questions, concerns and needs. We understand that there are many options that treat depression, and we want to provide you with all the information you need to recover. We are here 24 hours a day to find you the help you need, so please call now.