Test to See If You’re Depressed

Depression is much more than just a blue mood. Depression can range from an acute psychological disorder to a long-term, low-level malaise that limits enjoyment of life. If left unchecked and untreated depression can ultimately lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. If you have been feeling down and are wondering if you may actually be depressed, read on to learn about the causes and symptoms of this disease.

Causes of Depression

The brain is controlled by a complex, sensitive chemical system. Everything from emotions and optimism to sexual response and a willingness to be social are all controlled through this system. When a person becomes depressed it is usually a sign that something has gone wrong with this system.

Depression after Tragedy

The precarious system that controls the brain can be altered by several external events, such as the death of a loved one, a move away from friends and family, physical sickness, financial distress or the failure of a romantic relationship or business endeavor. Any time a person becomes sad her brain responds through this chemical system. Situations of extreme sadness can overwhelm the brain with those chemicals and a person might not be able to recover. In these cases what started as a legitimate or understandable response to a real situation continues longer than it should.

How Depression Affects People

In other cases people may become depressed when everything in life is going well. No particular event has happened to trigger sadness, but some patients can’t shake the blues. In both situations, identifying depression is crucial to proper treatment. Some symptoms of this kind of depression include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Physical pain
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Unexplained crying
  • A general, vague feeling of sickness
  • Persistent sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

This may be due to a genetic predisposition, sudden changes in bio-chemistry after major changes like puberty, pregnancy or childbirth, or the degradation of a person’s natural chemistry due to drug or alcohol abuse.

Risks of Depression

The brain is not meant to be depressed. These symptoms are a sign that something is wrong and in many cases depression only goes from bad to worse. If people bury these feelings or avoid identifying and treating their depression, the following dangerous situations can result:

  • Serious drug addiction as a result of self-medication
  • Physical sickness
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of important relationships
  • Negligence of parenting or professional responsibilities
  • Suicidal thoughts

How to Identify and Treat Depression

There are many kinds of depression and many treatments. Behavioral therapy and counseling can be extremely effective for people suffering from depression. These sessions train people to think and feel differently. If counseling proves ineffective, medical treatment is also an option. Drugs used to treat depression and anxiety disorders can be addictive so it is crucial that those taking them are completely open and honest with their doctors about their medical and addictive history.

Get Help for Depression

Please call our 24 hour toll-free helpline. Only a doctor can diagnose depression and only a doctor can accurately treat it. Our staff can help you determine if you struggle with depression or are at risk of becoming depressed, and we can connect you with the best treatment options for your specific needs. Call today, and let us help you identify the source of sadness and help you get free from it.