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Do I Have Depression? Some Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Clear up Your Doubts

Misbah has done her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has access to a wide range of mental health experts who treat mental illness.

Have you been feeling sadder or duller than usual for a long time? Do you feel that this sadness is excessive or disproportionate? Or that it lasts too long in time? Do you also feel apathy, fatigue, or physical symptoms such as sleep disturbances?

However, even if I ask you a series of questions, remember that the diagnosis should always be made by a professional. Therefore, beyond answering them and, above all, if you answer "YES" to most of these questions (or a minimum of 5 of them), I will encourage you to seek professional help so that they can assess your case more in depth.

Questions you need to ask yourself to find out if you have depression

What questions can you ask yourself to know if you are suffering from depression? I have selected a series of questions based on the diagnostic criteria for depression, according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I encourage you to read them and, above all, to write down the answers in a notebook.

Have you lost interest or pleasure? If so, does it happen to you every day?

Another of the fundamental symptoms of depression is anhedonia, which is the loss of interest or pleasure in things. This decrease or loss of interest or pleasure occurs in all or almost all activities, most of the day, almost every day.

How is your mood? Are you sad most of the day? If so, does it happen to you every day?

One of the essential symptoms of depression, along with the loss of pleasure or interest, is a depressed mood most of the day and every day. For this reason, it is essential to ask yourself this question: how is your mood in general? Is it a depressed mood?

Have you lost or gained weight? Have you lost or gained appetite? If so, does it happen to you every day?

Although you can lose or gain weight for a thousand different reasons, the truth is that in depression this symptom occurs very frequently.

This is the consequence of an increase or decrease in appetite, which appears almost every day in depression. In the case of a weight loss or weight gain, you should analyze if it is due to a diet or other possible causes such as a depressed mood.

How do you sleep Do you sleep well Do you suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia? If you suffer from a sleep disorder, does it happen to you every day?

Sleep disorders are also very common in depression. One of these two usually occurs: insomnia (inability to fall asleep, unable to maintain the sleep, or wake up too early in the morning) or hypersomnia (excessive daytime or excessively long sleepiness, or maybe long sleeping duration at night).

If these sleeping disorders appear, almost every day; it can be a symptom of depression but it is not a specific symptom.

Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights

Are you agitated or sluggish? If so, does this happen to you every day?

Another symptom of depression is agitation or psychomotor retardation almost every day. Thus, ask yourself if you feel more agitated or more nervous than normal or, if on the contrary, you feel slowed down (psychomotor retardation) when performing your daily tasks.

Like the rest of the symptoms, this appears in depression almost every day, so, in case of agitation or slowing down, you should ask yourself about the frequency, that is, if it happens every day or is it something specific.

Are you feeling fatigued? Have you lost energy? If so, does this happen to you every day?

Fatigue or loss of energy is also a very common symptom of depression. It also appears almost every day. So, another question you can ask yourself to find out if you have depression is this: do I feel more fatigued than normal? Or more tired? Happens to me every day?

Do you feel worthless? Do you feel excessive guilt for any reason? (Or because you feel depressed). If so, does this happens every day?

Another symptom of depression is a feeling of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt, which can be delusional. This happens almost every day, too, and it's not just about self-reproach or blame for being depressed.

Question yourself to know what is the reason behind the guilt or feeling worthless. Remember, this can be a symptom but you know yourself better than others. So keep questioning.

Do you find it more difficult than usual to think, concentrate or make decisions? If so, does this happen every day?

Cognitive symptoms also appear during the depression, that is, our ability to think is also affected. One of these symptoms is a decreased ability to think or concentrate, or hard to make decisions, almost every day. That is why another question you should ask yourself is this: is it hard for me to think or concentrate more than usual?

Do you think about death on a recurring basis? Have you had suicidal ideas or want to kill yourself? Have you ever tried it?

Recurrent thoughts of death (which do not only imply fear of dying) are also frequent in depression, as well as recurrent suicidal ideas without a specific plan, suicide attempts, or specific plans to carry it out.

Do the symptoms cause you suffering and/or interfere with your daily functioning?

In mental health, many times what marks the limit between something "normal" and suffering from a psychological disorder is the suffering and/or interference that these symptoms generate in daily life. When this suffering or interference appears, then it is likely that we are facing a psychological disorder that requires an appropriate therapeutic approach.

How long have you felt this way?

To speak of depression, symptoms must last at least 2 weeks. And of all the mentioned symptoms, at least 5 must appear. If you answer "YES" to most of these questions (or a minimum of 5 of them), I will encourage you to seek professional help so that they can assess your case more in-depth.

Diagnostic requirements in depression

It is important to know that in order to diagnose depression, it is essential that the following is fulfilled: yes, a depressed mood (most of the day, almost every day), or a loss of interest or pleasure in the things that used to make us enjoy.

So, if you manifest one of the two initial criteria (depressed mood or loss of pleasure or interest), added to the 5 symptoms that I have discussed above, for more than 2 weeks, it is likely that you are suffering from depression. It's important to seek medical help.

The importance of asking for help if you have depression

However, not all depressions fit perfectly with what the theory says and not all depressions are equally serious. In this way, you may have fewer symptoms, but they may significantly interfere with your life.

You know yourself more than anyone and it is likely that if you have come this far it is because you need answers. More importantly, because you feel that your routine has been disrupted for whatever reason.

Be that as it may, if you manifest emotional, motivational or behavioral, cognitive, physical, or interpersonal symptoms and, in addition, your mood is below normal, I will encourage you to seek professional help.

Bibliographic References

American Psychiatric Association (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Depressed and Anxious: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook for Overcoming Depression & Anxiety by Thomas Marra

The Anxiety, Worry & Depression Workbook: 65 Exercises, Worksheets & Tips to Improve Mood and Feel Better by Jennifer L Abel

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh

Comments

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 22, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Devika. I appreciate that, dear friend. I am glad you found this hub to be useful. Yes, It's always important and good to discuss. Gratitude.

Blessings always

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 22, 2021:

Hi Misbah An informative hub and very important to know of for such issues. Dealing with depression is not something one can get rid of easily. You shared a useful hub and Q&As are just what one needs to focus on when in such a state. Discuss issues and don't carry the burden alone.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind and generous comments, Vidya. I truly appreciate that. I am glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing your kind thoughts. Gratitude. Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Love

VIDYA D SAGAR on May 21, 2021:

A very informative article Misbah and so relevant to these times. Many people are suffering from depression due to the pandemic. Seeking timely help is very important at such times. Good work. Have a great day and stay blessed.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your lovely comments, my dear sister, Amara

I always love to see your comments on my work. Gratitude

Allah Bless You And Your Loved Ones.

Stay safe and happy

Blessings and Lots of Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Wasalam, Rozlin

I am glad to know you found the article to be helpful. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words. Much appreciated. Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment, Brenda. Yes depression is so common nowadays and it is important to create awareness among people.

Yes, sadly we are unable to identify the symptoms of depression on an early stage.

According to a lot of studies, Mostly people get depressed in younger age. Many students' suicide because of depression and anxiety. This is sad when we see youth dying in front of our eyes. I believe Creating awareness about depression is so important and above all acceptance is important. People should accept them as normal as they accept other people. Love and care can take a depressed person out of such state.

Stay safe and happy dear friend

Sending you Lots of love and Blessings

Amara from Pakistan on May 21, 2021:

Misbah its a well written Hub dear, and very informative one..

Thanks for sharing..

Allah bless you always..

Rozlin from UAE on May 21, 2021:

Salam, Misbah. Your article is helpful for those who are suffering depression. You have covered so many important points of depression.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind and generous comments, Mr. Bill. I am so Sorry to hear about your sons. But I am glad they are doing well now. I am sure your love and care will take them out of depression. I wish and pray for their good health.

I know how it feels when your loved ones are dealing with depression. One of my cousin sisters is also suffering from depression

God Bless you and your family. Amen

Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Peace

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your so kind and beautiful response, Tobe. I highly appreciate that my friend. I am glad you liked it. Gratitude, dear friend

Stay happy and healthy

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Chitra Di. Yes, we should never fear to share it with our loved ones and family that how we feel. It is important to discuss but sadly many people in our society don't accept such things and in a result a lot of people suffer it silently.

I am glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing your kind thoughts.

Stay safe and healthy

Blessings and Love

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 21, 2021:

Misbah

This is a wonderful article to put out there.

It can help so many people.

It is so hard when one is depressed. Oftentimes they don't recognize it.

It can hit anyone, no matter what their age.

You have pinpointed some of the warning signs which can help them take the next step.

Getting help.

There is no shame in being depressed...life happens.

Thanks for sharing this one.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Gyanendra. I am glad to know your answers to the questions were “No”. I appreciate you taking the time to read and taking the test. I hope things will get better soon. My sincere prayers for you and your country. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Gratitude

Stay happy and safe.

Blessings always

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Peggy, Thanks a lot for your beautiful comments. I appreciate that. Yes, I agree that the current situation of COVID has disturbed a lot of people psychologically. I feel sad when I see most of them are youngsters. They are losing hope. I hope all this ends soon so we can enjoy our life together back as normal. I am glad you found it informative. Gratitude!!

Stay happy and safe

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Rosina. I am glad to know most of your answers to the questions were “No”. I appreciate you taking the time to read and taking the test. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Gratitude

Stay happy and safe.

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind and beautiful comments, Liz. I appreciate that. Yes, the current situation of COVID has disturbed a lot of people psychologically and sadly most of them are youngsters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you found it to be useful. Stay happy and healthy. Gratitude

Blessings and Peace

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 21, 2021:

Such an important article! Mental health in our country is at an epidemic rate, and we need much more spent on health services in this area. As for our family, we have two sons who are clinically depressed, but both are doing fairly well right now. We take any victories we can find when it comes to depression.

Thank you for writing such an important article, and blessings to you always.

Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on May 21, 2021:

As mental health issues is being widespread...it is important to raise awareness on mental health issues and support those suffering from it...well done, Misbah for taking time to give insight on this issue.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 21, 2021:

An important article about the signs of depression. Sadly, many people do have the symptoms, which you have mentioned above. But, there are effective ways to deal with this. One should not hesitate to ask for expert help, or discuss with the family or the close ones.

Thank you for sharing this well written informative article.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 21, 2021:

This article you have brought up is timely in this pandemic.

I'm at home whole days due to lockdown. It will prolong.

Personally. I have 'No' to all questions you have put forward.

Thank very much.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2021:

As Liz mentioned, the pandemic might have had the effect of increasing mental health problems. People should not be afraid to reach out for help just as they would for other medical problems. Thanks for writing this informative article.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind and generous comments, Ravi. I appreciate that. I am glad you liked it. Stay safe and happy

Blessings and Peace

Rosina S Khan on May 21, 2021:

I am glad for bringing up this subject, Misbah. I answered no to most of the questions. My mood may get down but only occasionally, not on a regular basis. So I know I am not suffering from depression.

Thanks for the wonderful share.

Blessings.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 21, 2021:

You pose some very useful and relevant questions. Mental health has come much more under the spotlight in recent months due to the effects of the pandemic.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind and beautiful comment, Srushti. I appreciate that. Yes, you are right, a lot of us feel afraid to talk about our mental health or illness. People often hide it and it’s all because society doesn’t accept them this way. This is extremely sad. Much Gratitude. I am glad you liked it. Stay safe and happy!!

Blessings and Love

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on May 21, 2021:

Very useful article Misbah. Depression, unlike other ailments, cannot be easily detected and by the time we start recognizing the problem, it becomes a bit too late. Thanks for sharing this very important article.

Srushti Gamit on May 21, 2021:

This article is really informative and useful to those who doesn’t even know they are suffering from depression.

And people should know that there’s no harm in talking about mental health. I’m glad that you come up with really nice topic.

God bless you

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