You are panicking. Something is not right. You feel terrible – and you ask Am I depressed? You know the difference between just not feeling great and under the weather and how you are now – and this is much worse.
Is this what a depression is, you ask yourself. And if the answer is yes to the question Am I Depressed, then what should you do about it?
Well these are the five questions you should be asking yourself right now. And if you answer yes to all or most of them, then yes indeed you are depressed. But do not despair. For, by answering yes to these questions you are opening yourself to recovery.
The first question: Do you always seem to be tired, especially in the morning when you wake up?
This is the most important question of all in answer to the big question am I depressed because tiredness and especially in the mornings is the key sign of depression. Many depressed people can barely drag themselves out of bed in the morning. And the reason for this is because they are dreaming too much in a desperate attempt to clear their heads of all the useless ruminations and worries of the previous day. Perhaps you are aware that you are dreaming more than you did? The importance of dreaming and its role in generating depression feelings is explained here.
The second question: Do you have trouble concentrating or remembering?
This follows from the first question. For, if you are dreaming too much, then you are not managing enough slow wave regenerating sleep. And this will be affecting you physically. First of all, your concentration and focus but also perhaps other factors too – aches and pains, IBS, fibromyalgia and so on are all prevalent for depressed individuals.
The third question: Is your head full of uncontrollable thoughts, questions you cannot answer and self obsessions which you know are ridiculous?
If you are tired a lot of the time and maybe feeling aches and pains and so on, you will begin to worry about that – which is natural. And if there do not seem to be any good answers then the worries will be laced with fear, anxiety and even panic. So worries increase and seem to be taking over. Your head feels full up and out of control. This can be terrifying and is beginning to feed a depression vicious cycle.
Am I depressed – is it making sense?
The fourth question: Do you have unwanted images or memories that are distressing you?
Many (though not all) depressed people will have a memory in their past – which was difficult, threatening, very sad or terrifying. These memories are still active which means that that the feelings around the memories get triggered from time to time. It is often that you have a feeling that since that time “you haven’t been quite right”. If this makes sense to you, then this will be feeding your worries and ruminations and so adding to your exhaustion and fears.
The fifth question is a set of three
- I have little interest or pleasure in doing things?
- I feel I am a failure – that I am letting my family and friends down?
- I have thoughts that I would be better off dead or hurting myself in some way?
I hope that you can see that these questions reflect how it is for those who are depressed. Because you are mentally and emotionally exhausted and panicking and fearful and not understanding what is going on, then your life will be unravelling even more and feeding the depression vicious cycle.
Is your self confidence draining away…are you feeling guilty and ashamed…are you hiding away and getting little pleasure from life…and are thoughts of ending it all or hurting yourself adding to your desperation?.
Well perhaps now you know why.
If you get to this stage of my post, you could be forgiven for feeling even gloomier. But don’t be. The good news is that recovery from depression is much easier than you can imagine.
Go here for the principles of my treatment for Depression
Be inspired by these depression case studies