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Recognizing Depression
 
The National Institutes of Health developed the following checklist to help you determine whether depression may be a problem for you:
 
Symptoms of Depression Can Include
 
  • Persistent sad or "empty" mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia, early-morning waking, or oversleeping)
  • Eating disturbances (loss of appetite and weight, or weight gain)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Irritability
  • Excessive crying
  • Chronic aches and pains that don't respond to treatment

 

In the Workplace, Symptoms of Depression Often May be Recognized by

 

  • Decreased productivity
  • Morale problems
  • Lack of cooperation
  • Safety problems, accidents
  • Absenteeism
  • Frequent complaints of being tired all the time
  • Complaints of unexplained aches and pains
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

 

Symptoms of Mania Can Include

 

  • Excessively "high" mood
  • Irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased energy and activity
  • Increased talking, moving, and sexual activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Disturbed ability to make decisions
  • Grandiose notions
  • Being easily distracted

 

If four or more of the symptoms have been a regular part of your life for more than two weeks or regularly tend to interfere with your daily life, a consultation with a therapist experienced in diagnosing and treating depression is in order.  You need not suffer any longer; treatment is readily available. "With available treatment, eighty percent of the people with serious depression, even those with the most severe forms, can improve significantly," say the National Institutes of Health.

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