This is the question that many of my patients come in and ask me daily. My first response is always, “Well let me see!” I don’t ever want to be accused of over-diagnosing or under-diagnosing any patient. However, it is very important to get the story and the facts straight before plunging into my medication bag.
Well, as some of you may or may not know there is a time factor needed for a diagnosis of depression. The signs or symptoms of a mood disorder must be present for at least 2 weeks. What many of you may not know is that “lack of interest in all activities” is another base for a diagnosis of Clinical Depression. If a patient meets either of the two; 1) Depressed Mood for 2 weeks and or 2) Anhedonia (which is a lack of interest in all activities) for two weeks this is the diagnostic category that has to be looked at a little more closely.
If you have had either of the two and at least (5) of the other signs and symptoms listed below, you should schedule an appointment with a mental health provider of your choice.
a) insomnia-too much or too little sleep
b) Guilt or Hopelessness
c) Problems Concentrating
d) Eating too much or too little (that is probably all of us)
e)Feelings of retardation and or agitation
f) Suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death and or dying
If you have been having problems for at least two weeks with the above symptoms, you most probably do have depression. Remember depression is a treatable illness if brought to the attention of the appropriately licensed clinician.
Points to Ponder:
1) Have I been sad or down a lot lately?
2) Have I been isolating a lot from family and friends?
3) Is life still worth living?
4) Is the world against me, again?
Too many yes answers to the above questions could also be a signal of mental illness. Go and take care of yourself and remember
….A Healthy Mind ….A Healthy Body