Am I Depressed? These 10 Symptoms Can Tell the Story

Occasionally feeling sad is normal, something everyone experiences. But if you’re constantly asking yourself, “Am I depressed?” you may need to investigate your feelings further.

am i depressed

There are those moments where you may just sit and wonder, "Am I depressed? Do I need help?" At that point, consider the types of symptoms—as described here—that point to clinical depression. And reach out for help.

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The National Institutes of Health defines depression as a common but serious mood disorder. That may leave you still wondering, “Am I depressed?”

The answer is: You’re dealing with depression if your mood severely affects you how feel, think, sleep, work, and interact with others, and if symptoms are present for at least two weeks.

Specifically, if you’ve been experiencing some of the following 10 signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:

  1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” moods
  2. Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  5. Decreased energy or feelings of constant fatigue
  6. Moving or talking more slowly
  7. Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  8. Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  9. Appetite and/or weight changes
  10. Thoughts of suicide or death, or actual suicide attempts

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every depression symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. The severity and frequency of symptoms—and how long they last—varies.

Get Your Depression Guide

Are you or a loved one suffering from constant sadness? Do you ever have difficulty concentrating or sometimes just feel helpless?

If so, claim your FREE copy, right now, of our definitive guide on depression.

FYI

DEPRESSION HELP: ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE

If you’ve been struggling with depression, dig in and find out as much as you can about it. For starters, understand that there are different types of depression, from the most severe types, major depressive disorder (MDD) and persistent depressive disorder (PDD), to such types as melancholic, seasonal affective, and substance-induced depression.

For more, please visit our post “What Kind of Depression Do I Have?

Am I Depressed? Challenges in Diagnosing Depression

Many diseases have signs and symptoms that are easy to spot. A telltale rash, swollen joints, or high fever are all signs of disease. More subtle conditions often can be detected with straightforward diagnostic tests like blood tests or x-rays. This is not true for depression. Most people with depression look fine; their test results are normal. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering terribly on the inside.

So if you’re wondering whether anyone has noticed that you’re depressed, consider that they may not be able to tell.

Why Not Get Help?

If you’re lucky enough never to have suffered from depression, it can be difficult to understand why someone doesn’t just go to work, make a new friend, or go out to see a show when he or she complains of being “down.”

Men with depression often have a more difficult time than women, being told to “man up” in the face of their sorrows and challenges. (See also “How Widespread Is Depression? Statistics Tell the Story.”) But getting over depression isn’t just a matter of “bucking up.” Under a seemingly healthy exterior may be a tangle of emotions, hormones, and brain chemicals that are hopelessly out of whack.

Imagine having the worst flu of your life—racked with a high fever, headache, muscle pains, and crippling fatigue—and imagine someone telling you to “pull yourself together” and go to work. Could you get through the day? Two days? A week? Month? Year? Depression can be just as incapacitating as that flu, and it can last longer.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

FIGHTING DEPRESSION

There are all kinds of positive ways to address and treat depression. These posts can help point you in the right direction:

There Is Help—and Hope

Depression is a complicated disease in which unhealthy thought processes, bad habits, and uncontrolled brain chemicals or hormones all work in tandem to produce symptoms of sadness, pain, exhaustion, sleeping problems, and feelings of despair. The key is to break the cycle.

Depression medication can help rebalance your brain and boost your energy, while cognitive therapy can teach you how to change your outlook and your life. Exercise as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction, a form of meditation for the Western mind, also helps.

Depression may not clear up in a few days like the flu, but depression is a treatable disease. Countless people have walked through the shadow of depression and emerged—with help and support from professionals, friends, and family. You can, too.

Don’t let depression linger. If you’re constantly asking yourself “Am I depressed?” just know that you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer with depression. And many return to leading quality lives with proper treatment. Seek help through a licensed mental health professional. Many insurance policies provide coverage for mental health treatments.


Originally published in 2016, this post is regularly updated.

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Comments
  • Please God is all we need if you trut in and believe in your heat that created everything on earth John 14 v. 14 tell him and he do it for you and it is drug free. Psalm 41, psalm139 v.14 Psalm 107 v.19, 20 just believe and just give him a Offering in righteousnes as Malachi 3 says in verses 3. You save a lot of money from prescription medication. We are wonderfully made. Amen Praise God

  • Harold S.

    Only send me one copy of this email. THank you

  • Bridget C.

    This is sickening. People who are emotionally vulnerable and broken are apt to be more impressionable. You probably know that. That is, by definition, how brainwashing works. I’m alright with you if you want to practice your religion. In fact I’m happy that you have the choice. But saying “Depressed people don’t need medication” is harmful and can ruin lives.

    Instead? Take the medication you deserve, because you deserve to be happy and live a life free from depression.

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