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How Do I Know If I Have Depression?

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, “More than 19 million U.S. adults—nearly 8% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

People of all ages and all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds experience depression.” With the increasing and constant news about national disasters, a worldwide pandemic, and war—in addition to general life stressors—people may find themselves riddled with anxiety or facing a mental health struggle.

Not everyone will experience depression symptoms the same way, but according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a clinical diagnostic tool, the following are common symptoms associated with depression:

  • Loss of energy, lethargy

  • Changes in sleep (more sleep or less sleep)

  • Decrease or increase in appetite

  • Lack of concentration

  • Lack of interest in favorite activities

  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts

  • Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)

  • Physical aches and pains

  • Suicidal thoughts, ideations, or attempt

  • Lastly, symptoms that cause significant distress in social, occupational, or other important areas of life

Some may also experience dysthymia, which is when a person has a low mood, plus other two depressive symptoms for an extended period (at least two years). Dysthymia is also known as shadow depression or persistent depressive disorder.

To identify depression or to seek treatment, please see a licensed mental health professional. Just like medical doctors, they dedicate their lives to helping people with mental health-related concerns.

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