View Full Version : How do I know if I'm depressed?


MusikGeliebter
01-31-10, 10:42 PM
How do I know if I am depressed or simply dealing with a normal reaction to all of the stressful things that have happened in my life in the past 6 months? Isn't depression a normal reaction to stress, in that case, should I treat it or simply try really hard not to be depressed?

Let me tell you a little about my situation:

I am newly divorced. My ex-husband was an alcoholic who I had a co-dependent relationship with for 8 years. I am also in the beginning stages of a long-distance relationship with a wonderful man (or at least it seems like he's wonderful) and we have gotten really serious really fast. I graduated last May and began an entirely new career about 5 months ago and I still feel completely lost on a daily basis. Financially I am barely keeping my head above water. I've lost interest in many of the things I used to enjoy doing, about 95%. I've become hyper-focused on my anxieties, either concerning my new relationship or my career.

I just want to be myself again. I used to be so happy, optimistic and brave especially in the face of setbacks and limitations. But, not now. And I know that, where I am right now, I'm having a hard time seeing things clearly.

help? if you were me, what would you do?

would you go see a psychiatrist? would you start exercising and try to simplify your life? what would you do?

peripatetic
01-31-10, 11:54 PM
greetings,

can you go to a therapist for guidance? i think exercising, getting enough sleep and proper diet are all great, but may not be enough in the face of depression. then again, you've gone through some significant changes and i think some response is to be expected.

since you feel like you aren't your usual self, and are losing interest in activities you used to enjoy, i do think you should talk to someone--maybe that person can offer some suggestions or a referral as needed.

best wishes:)

EshkaronsEngine
02-01-10, 01:38 AM
I think this is an excellent article for anyone trying to decide whether to take medication for depression or maybe ride it out.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=depressions-evolutionary-roots

good luck

APSJ
02-01-10, 02:49 AM
I completely agree with what peripatetic wrote.

In particular, that this:

I've lost interest in many of the things I used to enjoy doing, about 95%. I've become hyper-focused on my anxieties, either concerning my new relationship or my career.

I just want to be myself again. I used to be so happy, optimistic and brave especially in the face of setbacks and limitations. But, not now. And I know that, where I am right now, I'm having a hard time seeing things clearly.is a good reason to talk to a professional about what you're experiencing, particularly if these issues are not getting better on their own, and have been going on for some time.

If you're having these sorts of problems, whether they're a normal reaction to your situation or not, they're clearly distressing to you and interfering with your life. I don't see why, even if they are a normal reaction to what you've experienced, it would make more sense to try and fix the problem through sheer force of will than to seek help. Help could mean therapy of some kind, or it could mean medication, but either way it can't hurt to talk to someone. If you don't like what they propose as a treatment, you don't have to do it.

I know a lot, maybe most, people with problems of this kind, at some point or another think they should be able to will them away, but I've never known anyone who succeeded.

I think this is an excellent article for anyone trying to decide whether to take medication for depression or maybe ride it out.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=depressions-evolutionary-roots

good luck

While this is an interesting article, from an academic standpoint, I have to disagree with the idea that it would be at all useful in making decisions about treating depression. I think the ideas in it are, at best, highly speculative.

Frankly, my initial reaction is that it reads as if it was written by people who have spent a lot of time looking at lab tests of and statistics about people with depression, but never actually had depression, or spoken to anyone with depression, or read anything written by someone with depression. The ideas in it are completely at odds with my experience of depression, and that of everyone else I've ever spoken to about it. It may well just be that the article is a bad description of the underlying study, I suppose. In any event, I'm going to resist the urge to quote the article, or go through it point by point, as this thread isn't the place for a debate of it.

The full article is available for free here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=depressions-evolutionary

EshkaronsEngine
02-01-10, 04:05 AM
Please forgive my ignorance but I try my best to learn with the horrible brain I have. Anyways I now realized Musik you didn't even mention anything about medication. What you posted just reminded me alot of the Scientific American article about how depression might just be a mechanism that helps us dwell on important social decisions. Here's a clip:

Various studies have found that people in depressed mood states are better at solving social dilemmas - conflicts of interest with a partner on whom one is dependent for cooperation or help, such as a mate or a parent. These complex situations seem to be precisely the kind of problems challenging enough to require focused analysis and consequential enough to drive the evolution of such a costly state of mind.(Depression)

I wish I was intelligent enough to help you make a decision but I just thought that maybe in some cases of depression there is a reason why our minds want to put us through a seething hell and personally that is half the battle for me is to find that reason.

Again Good Luck.

meridian
02-01-10, 09:57 AM
Isn't depression a normal reaction to stress, in that case, should I treat it or simply try really hard not to be depressed?

I just want to be myself again. I used to be so happy, optimistic and brave especially in the face of setbacks and limitations. But, not now. And I know that, where I am right now, I'm having a hard time seeing things clearly.

If this was a few weeks, maybe you could "tough it out" but you say it has already been 6 months. I'd go for professional help before that turns into 6 years -- or 8 like before.

It may or may not be "depression" but it could be lots of things and only a skilled professional can steer you in the right direction.

I was treated and medicated for depression and PTSD by 3 GPs and 2 therapists for 16 years before finally (out of desperation) seeing a psychiatrist who *intuited* that ADHD might be the root of my problems.

That was about 14 weeks ago and the changes in my life have been dramatic and positive.

HTH

I wish I'd had the guts to go sooner.

kibbled_bits
02-11-10, 01:30 AM
MusikGeliebter:

Your plate is definitely full. I would be careful that you don't leave one codependent relationship for another. Some people are codependent in general and set themselves up for failure (for the lack of a better word). And yes I think depression can be a factor in this. It definitely sounds like you should see someone though.

Good luck