Depression question

This is going to be a stupid question, sorry.

How can a person tell if the way they are feeling is just a blue period or real depression? If it is the latter, how does one decide about counseling, treatment, or whatever? Sorry, things have been low lately.

Although physicians and mental health professionals use the DSM-4TR to diagnose depression, the fact remains that depression is underdiagnosed and often difficult to accurately detect, especially when professionals (i.e., GPs) interact with a particular patient no more than for a few minutes every few months. An accurate appraisal of low-grade or sub-acute depressive phases often requires more than a snapshot. That’s why it’s important to level with your physician and not pull any punches. (BTW, there are different subtypes of depression.)

A reasonable yardstick might be this: If you think you’re depressed, you probably are. It’s also important to remember that even chronic low-grade depression can have a profound affect on one’s quality of life, outlook, and relations. The good news is that most depressed patients respond well to therapy and, for some, the therapy can be transformational in ways the patient once would never have believed possible.

I’d advise you to at least visit a counselor once for a better read than you’ll get from a message board.

That being said, one indicator is duration. If you’ve been blue for four months or more, you need to do something about it with a professional.

Good luck!

Thanks to both of you. tsunamisurfer, I checked out that sight and based on the questions I think I will be wanting to find a counselor. I sent an email today that I wish I could take back, when the receiver sees it tomorrow at their workplace I am going to feel so bad. It was snotty and mostly undeserved. There was no excuse, but it just seems like I have been really out of sorts and I snapped. I mean, a lot of people have it *really * bad, and I just feel like such a whiner for being like this.

glad to hear you are going to see a counselor. especially if you are feeling the above. the worst thing about depression is the guilt/worthlessness feeling that always seem to be close by. although IANAD, if you’re feeling that way, sounds like you are at some level of depression.

good luck, and i hope you feel better,


IANAD, but I am a guy who has struggled with clinical depression for most of my life. The above referenced website has it hit right on the head for the symptoms… the key is that a person will exhibit many of them at the same time for an extended period of time if it’s a “major” depression. It probably won’t be all of them, I for instance usually don’t see much change in my appetite. But only a trained doctor (preferably a therapist or psychiatrist, but GP’s work too) can tell for sure.

Also, I don’t think that it can be stressed enough that you tell the doctor everything , no matter how stupid or silly or whiny it may seem to you. This has always been the toughest part for me. Just remember though, this too shall pass, even if it may not seem like it :slight_smile:

One of the biggest reasons for the underdiagnosis of such problems is that people underestimate them. People often feel guilty for feeling bad, like that their problems aren’t important enough to be medically serious. Don’t be shy about seeking help.

I’ve talked to professionals and found them very helpful. I hope all goes well for you.

I have suffered from depression most of my adult life. I have had a huge success with St. John’s Wort. Please understand, I am NOT a doctor and I recommend that you consult one before taking ANY supplements, but I am relating my experience.

There can be side-effects. For instance, it has been shown to interfere with some forms of birth control, some cancer medicines and some AIDS medicines. It can also make you sensitive to light.

But it helped me tremendously. As I said, please be sure to seek professional help before doing anything else.

>> I sent an email today that I wish I could take back, when the receiver sees it tomorrow at their workplace I am going to feel so bad.

You can take it back. You can write another email saying you now realise you did not mean what you wrote in your first email and you take it back and apologise for it and would ask the recipient to consider it was never written. To any reasonable person that should suffice and close the matter. If the person is unreasonable or worse, then you are in the higher position and they are the one who will need to apologise later.

Other than that, I wish you well. We have all had bad days. This reminds me my father used to have a paperweight with a cartoon and the caption:

I’m still trying to figure that one out.

I have suffered from low-grade chronic depression all my life. However, I didn’t know it until it was pointed out to me by a doctor screening me for an unrelated problem. I was 30 years old at the time. Once I was diagnosed everything seemed to make sense about my life. I could see how the depression has influenced all the choices I’d made and the oportunities I had passed by in my life. Recognizing that I was depressed was the first step in my recovery. Congratulations, you have just made that first step.