June 4, 2023

Am I Depressed? Understanding the Signs

Wondering if you’re depressed? Learn about the signs, symptoms, and available treatment options in this informative blog post.

By Annie Wright, LMFT|Depression
Am I Depressed? | Therapy At Evergreen Counseling

The question “Am I depressed?” is more common than you might think.

In today’s isolated, challenging, and often heart-breaking world, many individuals experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and low motivation from time to time (if not persistently).

It is important to address this issue as depression is a prevalent mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 264 million individuals worldwide suffer from depression, making it a leading cause of disability.

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Am I Depressed? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms:

Identifying the signs and symptoms of depression is crucial in determining whether you might be experiencing depression.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the authoritative guide used by mental health professionals, outlines the following key criteria for diagnosing depression:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
  • Decreased interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Significant changes in appetite and weight.
  • Sleep disturbances, either insomnia or excessive sleeping.
  • Fatigue, low energy, or a sense of lethargy.
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering.
  • Persistent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or excessive self-criticism.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, suicide, or suicide attempts.

While this list provides a general overview, it’s important to note that depression manifests differently in each individual.

If you’ve been asking the question “Am I depressed?” and if you resonate with several of these symptoms and they persist for at least two weeks, it may be a sign that you are experiencing depression.

Am I Depressed? Treatment Options:

If you find yourself asking “Am I depressed?” and relating to the symptoms mentioned in this post, it is crucial to seek professional support.

Depression is a treatable condition, and numerous options are available to help individuals overcome their struggles and regain their well-being.

  1. Therapy: Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is one of the most effective treatments for depression. Evidence-based approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have shown significant success in alleviating symptoms and promoting recovery. Therapy provides a safe space to explore and address the underlying causes of depression while equipping individuals with coping mechanisms and tools for managing their emotions. [1
  1. Medication: In some cases, medication may be recommended to supplement therapy. Antidepressant medications can help regulate brain chemistry and alleviate symptoms of depression. However, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist, who can evaluate your specific needs and prescribe the most suitable medication, if necessary. And, while none of our staff at Evergreen Counseling can prescribe medication, we can refer to and then work with your psychiatrist to support your medication management. [2]
  1. Lifestyle changes: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is essential in managing depression. Engaging in regular exercise, practicing stress-reducing techniques like mindfulness or meditation, maintaining a balanced diet, and ensuring adequate sleep can contribute to improving mood and overall mental health [3]. 
  1. Support networks: Building a strong support system is vital when dealing with depression. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups who can provide understanding, empathy, and encouragement. Connecting with others who have experienced similar challenges can be particularly helpful in reducing feelings of isolation [4].

If you have been asking the question, “Am I depressed?” and if you resonated with any part of the description of depression and you’re currently looking for a therapist to support you in treating it, we would love to be of support to you.

At Evergreen Counseling, we understand the importance of finding a therapist who resonates with you.

We invite you to take the next step toward your well-being by booking a complimentary 20-minute consultation call with us

Explore this website, reach out to us here or call us at 510-373-2723 to schedule your consultation.

Depression can feel completely overwhelming but we want to be able to support you through it.

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