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Symptoms of Depression

How can you tell if you or someone you know is depressed? The first sign is often a change in the usual behavior.

For example, a formerly cheerful, sociable person may become irritable and withdrawn. He or she may lose interest in activities once enjoyed, or may begin having trouble with sleep or appetite. These symptoms have a significant intensity or duration and can affect a person’s functioning and a sense of well-being in a variety of ways. This type of depression impairs a person’s ability to carry on with normal life activities, work or relationships, and causes significant distress. It may require treatment. Because everyone is unique, the signs of depression may vary greatly from person to person. Not everyone will have the same symptoms.

The symptoms of depression can include:• Feelings of sadness

  • Loss of interest and/or pleasure in once-enjoyed activities such as hobbies, work, sex, etc.
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Restlessness or decreased activity that is noticeable to others
  • Feelings of fatigue or having little energy
  • Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Depression Self-Test

Here are two self-screening tests developed by Dr. Douglas G. Jacobs, a key figure in National Depression Screening Day (each October). They are not intended to substitute for a professional evaluation (which LCL can provide in person), needed to actually make a diagnosis of depression or manic-depression (also known as bipolar disorder). You may also wish to visit the National Depression Screening site at http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

Depression:

  1. I am unable to do the things I used to do.
  2. I feel hopeless about the future.
  3. I can’t make decisions.
  4. I feel sluggish or restless.
  5. I am gaining or losing weight.
  6. I get tired for no reason.
  7. I am sleeping too much, or too little.
  8. I feel unhappy.
  9. I become irritable or anxious.
  10. I think about dying or killing myself.

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these questions, and you have felt this way every day for several weeks, there is a good chance you are suffering from depression and should see a licensed mental health professional).*

If you answered yes to question 10, you should seek help immediately, regardless of your answer to any other questions.