Could I be depressed?
Sometimes you might think you’re depressed when you’re really just having a bad day. In order to qualify for Major Depressive Disorder, your feelings or symptoms of “depression” need to last almost everyday for at least 2 weeks and those symptoms need to be more intense that the normal mood fluctuations that you usually experience. In other words, you have to be experiencing significant distress or impairment in your social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
You may notice that lately, it’s harder to get out of bed in the morning; you’re constantly on the verge of crying; watching your favorite shows means nothing to you; you don’t want to see your friends; you have thoughts of suicide; you feel like you’re in slow motion; you have no appetite and sleep is not much better; and sex, well, fogetaboutit.
What are the symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder? See if you have at least 5 of these below and one of them has to be either “depressed mood” or “loss of interest or pleasure in your activities”
- Depressed mood, most of the day, almost every day (might be characterized by sadness, emptiness, hopelessness)
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities most of the day nearly every day
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain
- Inability to sleep or oversleeping nearly early day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (i.e. feel restless or slowed down)
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate,or indecisiveness, nearly every day
- Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide
Remember, you need a lot of symptoms, like above, to be going on at the same time to qualify for Major Depressive Disorder. If occasionally you feel down in the dumps, sad, or want to stay at home on a Friday night, it doesn’t mean you’re depressed. This has to be going on for at least 2 weeks.