Questions To Ask Yourself
Again, its very common to feel low or sad, stressed or anxious, or any combination of the above, on occasion.
All the same, youre the best person to recognize whats typical for you. If you start to experience new, uncomfortable feelings, changes in your energy and motivation, or any other unusual symptoms, it never hurts to connect with a mental health professional for more guidance.
You might wonder whether an online self-test for anxiety or depression could offer more insight about the changes youve noticed. Some people do find these a helpful place to start but a more personalized route might involve asking yourself a few questions:
- Do I spend a lot more time worrying than I have in the past?
- Do I feel sad, empty, or hopeless often?
- Have I lost interest in the things I used to enjoy?
- Have I started to avoid spending time with friends and loved ones?
- Do I worry about things I cant control to the point where I have a hard time thinking about anything else?
- Do I become irritable or annoyed more quickly than I have in the past?
- Do I often feel restless, on edge, or unable to relax?
- Do I cycle through dark, unwanted, or fearful thoughts I cant seem to stop?
- Is it difficult to fall asleep, get enough sleep, or wake up on time most days?
- Have I noticed unexplained pain, tension, or other physical symptoms?
- Do these changes affect my daily life or relationships?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it may be time to reach out to a therapist.
Helping A Suicidal Friend Or Relative
If you see any of the above warning signs:
- get professional help for the person
- let them know they’re not alone and that you care about them
- offer your support in finding other solutions to their problems
If you feel there is an immediate danger, stay with the person or have someone else stay with them, and remove all available means of committing suicide, such as medication.
Over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers can be just as dangerous as prescription medication.
Also, remove sharp objects and poisonous household chemicals such as bleach.
Monitor Changes In Medication
How long you need to take antidepressants depends on how well they work and whether you’re at risk of a relapse. As you begin to feel better, your doctor may decide to reduce your medication dosage or take you off it completely. This is a positive sign that you’re making progress.
Another medication-related sign to look for is if you’re having fewer side effects with your antidepressant or if they are less severe. Or maybe you’ve found a way to work them into your life so the effects aren’t so bothersome, such as taking them at morning versus night or vice versa. All of these changes are steps in the right direction.
If your antidepressant is making you feel worse or causing side effects that are impacting your quality of life, speak to your doctor. Sometimes a change in medication is all you need to start feeling better.
It may take time, but with the right combination of treatment, support, and lifestyle habits, you can feel like your old self again.
Depression Discussion Guide
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Thinking about or trying to commit suicide
- Waking during the night or early in the morning
Undiagnosed and untreated depression can get worse and stop you from living a fulfilling life. So, if you have these symptoms for two weeks or more, or if you are being treated for depression and these symptoms are not getting any better, be sure to consult a mental health professional for help.
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Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
Mostly Cs: You May Not Be Suffering From Anxiety Or Depression
Remember, everyone goes through tough periods. All people feel sad or anxious from time to time. Its part of the human experience. It shouldnt be considered threatening or problematic, says , a licensed psychologist in Durham, NC.
Life is hard. Its about learning how to manage your feelings so you can enjoy your life.
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Other Causes Of Depression
There are a number of things that can lead to developing depression.
- Stressful events big changes in your life, like bereavement, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job, can be difficult to deal with. When these things happen, it’s important to keep seeing friends and family instead of trying to deal with problems alone this increases your risk of developing depression.
- Giving birth pregnancy and birth can make some people vulnerable to depression. Postnatal depression can happen as the result of physical changes, hormonal changes, and the responsibility of taking care of a new baby.
- Loneliness your risk of depression gets higher if you aren’t in contact or spending time with family and friends.
- Personality some personality traits can put you at a higher risk of developing depression. These include low-self esteem or a habit of criticising yourself too much. These personality traits can come from your genes, which you get from your parents, or they can be as a result of experiences in your early life.
- Family history it’s more likely for someone to develop depression if a family member, like a sibling or parent, has experienced it before.
Adhd Is Often Missed When It Co
Studies find that 80 percent of people with attention deficit disorder will have at least one other psychiatric disorder in their lifetime. The two most common are depression and an anxiety disorder, like obsessive-compulsive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder .
ADHD without a comorbid disorder is the exception rather than the rule. Having ADHD is challenging enough, but the other disorders that accompany ADHD profoundly affect a persons daily life. A patient of mine, Antonio, knows this well. Although his ADHD was diagnosed when he was in fifth grade, his anxiety disorder was not caught until his last year of college.
Everyone assumed that my anxiety behaviors were just the hyperactivity part of my ADHD, he says. Years of his life were spent suffering from paralyzing anxiety that resulted in his missing classes, being housebound for days, and not being able to work.
When ADHD and another disorder co-occur, there will likely be one of the following scenarios:
1.The ADHD has been diagnosed, but the comorbid disorder has not been.Doctors sometimes mistakenly chalk up depressive and anxiety symptoms to the ADHD diagnosis, as in Antonios case. The comorbid disorder can be independent of the ADHD or a direct result of ADHD symptoms .
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Try A Walk Around The Block
Physical activity can help naturally boost your mood by prompting the release of happy hormones in your brain.
That said, exercising when living with depression or anxiety can be a challenge. If youre able to exercise, it can help to start with small activities you can incorporate into your routine, such as:
- a walk around your neighborhood after dinner
- a weekend hike
What Strategies Are Often Used In Treating This Dual Diagnosis
Evidence-based research suggests that both anxiety and depression be treated at the same time.
Effective strategies often used in treating these co-occurring conditions include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is often used to treat people with both disorders. Fears, anxieties and tendencies toward depression are managed by seeking out their root causes. Once uncovered, patients learn how to take control of their emotions and life.
- Antidepressant medications Often combined with CBT, these may be prescribed in treating both disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are new antidepressant drugs that produce fewer side effects than their predecessors.
- Exercise This can be very helpful for both disorders. Physical activity causes feel-good chemicals to be released in the body. This aids in relaxation and feeling of well-being.
- Relaxation techniques This typically involves meditation or mindfulness. These techniques can often help to remedy both disorders and improve quality of life.2
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How Is Depression Different From Anxiety
Depression is different from anxiety. Rather than feeling anxious and nervous, feelings of gloom and melancholy overwhelm. Feeling sad or down after experiencing a loss or disappointment is an emotion that everyone feels at one time or another. But when low mood and sadness is severe and lasts for long periods of time, it could be due to depression.
There are two main types of depression: Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder . While the signs and symptoms of both are similar, the intensity and duration differ. Symptoms of both Major Depressive Disorder and dysthymia include:
- Sleep disruptions
What Can You Do If You Have Hidden Depression
People with hidden depression should discuss their situation with their doctor or mental health specialist. While there isnt a specific depression test to learn if you have depression, your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms and ask about your health history. There are other things you can do to treat your symptoms.
Learn effective methods for reducing stress, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Learn ways to boost your self-esteem. Try to engage in light social conversations with others. Try getting reacquainted with a hobby or activity you used to enjoy or consider trying something new. Engage in regular exercise. Look for ways to improve your diet. Ask a family member or friend for moral support or join a local support group. Take advantage of online therapy options to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.
Can You Help Someone You Suspect Has Hidden Depression?
If you think a family member or loved is showing signs, encourage them to talk about their feelings with someone. Offer to listen to them and give advice without judgment. Encourage them to learn about treatment options. Offer moral support when they attend appointments. Engage in productive activities like exercise and socializing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it possible to diagnose yourself with depression?
- Lack of energy
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You Answered Yes To Question
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, you might have an anxiety disorder. Most people deal with stress in their lives, but when stress begins to significantly interfere with our functioning and/or causes impairment, it might be more problematic than âeveryday stressâ. The good news is that anxiety disorders can be successfully treated. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, and think that they are negatively interfering with your life, it might be time to seek treatment!
It will be important to begin with a structured clinical evaluation by a professional to see if you meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, which will inform your treatment plan. Our mental health impacts many aspects of our lives, such as our physical health and our quality of life, which is why it is so important to address any mental health problems with effective treatments!
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. To begin your search for a mental health professional, go to the ADAA’s Therapist Directory.
Mental Markers Of Depression
People with depression may:
- Be hopeless, assuming that nothing positive will happen in the future for themselves, for others, or for the world
- Believe it is not worth trying to think or feel differently, because of this hopelessness
- Feel worthless, as if who they are or what they do is not valuable
- Think about death due to a persistent belief that life is not worth living or that the individual is a burden on others. In cases of moderate to severe depression, more specific suicidal thoughts can be present.
Feel hopeless about themselves, others, the world
Believe it is not worth trying
Think about death due to a persistent belief that life is not worth living
In major depressive disorder , these types of thoughts are persistent most of the day and more days than not for weeks on end. If a person vacillates between a very low and very high mood state, then a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may apply. For any variant of a mood disorder, the low mood state is likely to be characterized by the type of thinking described above.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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How Do You Know If You Have Depression: 11 Hidden Signs And How To Manage Them
A person may be depressed and purposely choose to hide it from others, or they may not realize they are depressed. It is common for people to feel sad and hopeless with depression, but there are other signs people overlook because they are not as obvious. Sometimes the appearance of such symptoms may indicate an underlying medical condition. If you think you are depressed, it is essential to pay attention to the signs and be aware of what youre experiencing. There are many resource tools, such as healthcare professionals and forms of therapy to help people manage their symptoms.
Understanding if you have depression includes assessing your daily activities and recognizing if symptoms of depression affect your ability to complete tasks and interactions with others. While an online quiz or depression test may give ideas on what to look for in depressive symptoms, it is essential to understand what to look for when assessing your situation. Mental health experts recognize the following signs as typical symptoms of hidden depression:
Lately, have you experienced difficulty completing regular tasks due to a lack of focus? A common symptom of depression is the inability to focus or concentrate. It may be challenging to stay focused on a task or lose your train of thought while having a conversation. A study suggests someone can experience a more challenging social and work life due to depression, along with concentration and memory issues.
How Are Depression And Anxiety Diagnosed
There are no specific tests but your GP may perform some blood tests for other health conditions that share similar symptoms with depression or anxiety.
Your GP will need to get a good picture of the way youre feeling mentally and physically. They will ask you lots of questions about your symptoms and the changes youve noticed.
It can be difficult to think about specific answers on-the-spot but the following suggestions might help you plan ahead for your appointment.
- Make a list of all your symptoms, whether they are worse at certain times of the day or on particular occasions, how long youve had them and their effect on your day-to-day life and relationship with others.
- Explain any circumstances that could be contributing to these symptoms and the way you feel.
- Take a list of all medications you currently take, including any supplements or non-prescription medication.
- Be as open and honest as you can remember anything you say is confidential.
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Depression And Drugs And Alcohol
“Drowning your sorrows” is actually a bad idea when it comes to depression. Alcohol is categorised as a “strong depressant” which can make depression worse, and drinking or taking drugs to cope can lead to a downward spiral by having a negative affect on other parts of your life.
There’s evidence that cannabis can cause depression, particularly in teenagers, even if it helps you relax.
Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:
- doing poorly at work
- difficulties with your family or home life
It’s not always possible to tell that you’re having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people don’t realise they’re ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that there’s a problem.
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Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.