A lot of people aren’t sure when one can actually say for sure. Is it just a feeling of sadness, or feeling flat? How do you know if you have depression? Psychologists and Psychiatrists have a list of symptoms called the DSM-5 that tell them if you have depression or not.
The DSM-5 criterion to make a diagnosis of depression
(The DSM are a set of guidelines published by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnosing mental issues and disorders.)
The person must have five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period, and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
These are the feelings and experiences of a depressed person.
- We have a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
- We show hardly any interest or pleasure in activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Losing lot of weight when not dieting or gaining weight, or appetite increases or decreases.
- Our thoughts slow down, and you physically move less. (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- You experience fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- We have feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day.
- Can’t think think or concentrate and/or we become indecisive nearly every day.
- We can have recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal thoughts without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
For a person to be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must cause the person distress. It’s also valid when the depression affects your social life, your work, or other significant areas of your life. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition.
How do you know you have depression? Test yourself according to these points, and if you do have it, read on.
So what can you do about it?
1. Accept that its not just something you can snap out of.
2. Seek professional help from either a psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, social worker, counselor or therapeutic group.
3. Have a look at these articles on this site which can assist in giving the body the optimal support for healing itself.