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How Do I Know If I Am Severely Depressed?

By Dr. Isaac Schumann

Curiously easily diagnosable and treatable medical problem, depression happens to at least 20 million American adults every year. As we discussed earlier, although everyone has experienced sadness and feelings of being depressed, people that are suffering from true depression have many frequent and recurring long-term symptoms, making them view life as something not worth living.

How would you know if you have a depression problem? Here are more depression symptoms. These symptoms vary in each person, although if these happen to you, it might be wise to consult a doctor.

- Sadness that is prolonged

- Crying spells that are unexplained

- Significant and abrupt changes in sleep patterns and appetite

- Anger, irritability, anxiety, worry, agitation

- Pessimism, indifference

- Energy loss

- Persistent lethargy

- Guilt feelings and unexplained sense of worthlessness

- Difficulty in concentrating and indecisiveness

- Inability in taking pleasure in interests you previously enjoy

- Social withdrawal

- Unexplained pains and aches

- Extreme fatigue when you have not done much

- Recurring and frequent thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing at least five of the symptoms listed above and have begun interfering with family activities or work for more than a week, ask your doctor for a thorough checkup. This would most likely include having a comprehensive physical exam (although some symptoms might be caused by other health problems that you have) and a detailed clinical history. Just be honest and open on what and how you are feeling.

Do not even think of diagnosing yourself. Likewise, you cannot rely to a friend or a member of your family for diagnosis. Only a doctor that is properly trained to check illnesses is the only one that can fully determine if you are having a depression episode.

If you want, you could try self-evaluation tests available on the Internet that could help you gauge the symptoms that you have, or at least, can prepare you when you visit your doctor. Think of these tests as a way of communicating your symptoms better to a healthcare professional when you go in for a visit. Of course, online tests prove no match to an actual consultation.

For other people, depression is recurrent, which simply means that they experience depression episodes often - once or twice in a month, at least once a year, or many times throughout their lifetimes.

Do not feel embarrassed, shy, or ashamed of your depression problem. People of various ages, ethnic groups, races, and social classes get this problem. Although depression can happen at any given age, depression commonly develops in people whose ages lie between 25 and 44. If you have a depression problem, you're not the only one. Every day, there are more than 20 million American adults that are experiencing depression problems.

Be persistent and patient and you will find the method that suits you best for determining depression.

About The Author
Dr. Isaac Schumann brings to you a life time of experience in the mental health field.

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