How to know if I have depression

Many times we are sad or occasionally depressed, listless, with low self-esteem, not wanting anything, etc. Is it a fleeting feeling or do we have depression? We are going to answer this question by knowing the causes and symptoms of depression.

We do not want to trivialize about a mental illness as severe as depression. We only write this for information, if we think we have depression or are truly overwhelmed and bad, it is best to seek help, and go to the psychologist.

What is depression?

It is a mental illness characterized by a low mood and feeling of sadness, as well as behavioral changes, intrusive thoughts, general reluctance, lack of appetite, loss of elision, fear, etc.

Depression is one of the most common pathologies today and is the leading cause of psychiatric care. It is usually more common in women and generally occurs before 45 years of age (in men and women).

There are different causes that lead to depression, but in turn there are different types of depression and different symptoms depending on the age of the person suffering from this mental disorder. We are going to go over everything thoroughly.

Types of depression

Yes, there are different types of depression. We are not kidding, there really are several types and each group includes a patient profile. There are also other more general and common types of depression.

  • Major depression: characterized by a very low mood on a daily basis, anger, frustration, sadness and general loss of interest. To coincide with this type, we must have been in this state for at least 2 weeks and it can arise once in a lifetime or several times in the form of repeated episodes. It is highly conditioned by genetic inheritance.
  • Dysthymia: also known as depressive neurosis, persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression, and consists of a depressive picture of less intensity than the previous one, but where there is also a persistent low mood for about 2 years. It can coexist with the previous type and occurs in pessimistic people, with general disinterest, low self-esteem, etc.
  • Reactive depression: is the type of depression that arises after a specific situation that has occurred for at least the previous 3 months.

And these are the most common types of depression:

  • Postpartum Depression: Thousands of women feel overwhelmed with the arrival of their baby and suffer from depression.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: depressive symptoms that occur a week before menstruation and disappear after menstruation.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: it happens between autumn and winter and disappears in spring and summer. This depressive situation is related to the lack of sunlight.
  • Psychosis: a type of major depression with psychotic features and it happens when you have depression and lack of contact with reality.

Un hombre con síntomas de depresión se mira al espejo

Causes that can lead to depression

Depression has different causes and we want to leave them well marked at the beginning of the text so that we can become familiar with this mental health disorder, which, under no circumstances should be taken as a joke, since whoever suffers it can reach suicide.

  • Genetics: Although it seems strange, but we can be genetically destined to suffer from depression. If a first-degree relative suffers from depression, we are 40% more likely to suffer from it ourselves due to genetic inheritance.
  • Childhood: if we have suffered stressful situations in our early stages of life, the chances of suffering depression increase. For example, child abuse, mistreatment, loss of parents, etc.
  • Current stressful situations: if in these moments we are surrounded by negative situations and we feel suffocated and drowned by anxiety and it is stress, if we do not ask for help, we can develop depression. For example: emotional breakup, job dismissal, change of residence, loss of family or friends, financial problems, illnesses, etc.
  • Depressive personality: those people who are negative, pessimistic, melancholic, with low self-esteem and others, are prone to suffer depression throughout their lives.
  • Neuroticism: people who are emotionally unstable and insecure, anxious, are in continuous tension, with worries, often feel guilty, etc. They can also develop depression easily.
  • Chronic diseases: suffering a disease so suddenly that makes a “normal” life impossible for us is a high risk of depression, so it is very important to surround ourselves with positive people, who do not judge or mock and ask for psychological help.

Main symptoms of depression

Whether or not our situation coincides with the causes cited above, the symptoms of depression are quite visible and easy to detect.

Symptoms in children and adolescents

Children manifest this mental disorder through sadness, irritability, excessive attachment, worry that does not match their age, lack of joy and enthusiasm , pain, denial, does not want to go to school, lack of appetite and desire to play, obvious weight loss , easy crying, etc.

In adolescents, some symptoms are generalized sadness, irritability, feeling worthless or insufficient, truancy , anger, poor school performance, low self-esteem, feeling that no one understands you, extreme sensitivity (crying easily), drug and alcohol use, eating little or a lot, sleep little or a lot, self-harm, suicide attempts, lack of interest and motivation, avoid contact with people, etc.

Symptoms in older adults

In aging they coexist with some symptoms of depression and help is not often asked because they ridicule themselves with the famous “crisis of…” or because of shame to ask for help, or believe that it will pass us in two days.

Some traits are memory loss, personality changes, physical pain, fatigue, poor appetite, sleep disturbances , lack of interest in sex, preferring to be at home than going out and socializing, suicidal thoughts and feelings, etc.

Generalized symptoms

Depression is elusive at times, but it has a series of distinctive features that can help us diagnose ourselves and later ask for help or be able to help a friend or family member and encourage them to go to a psychologist:

  • Sadness.
  • Attacks of rage.
  • Irritability.
  • Inordinate anger.
  • Frustration.
  • Loss of interest.
  • Disinterest in sex.
  • Tiredness.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Slowness in thinking, reacting, speaking or moving.
  • Food cravings
  • Anxiety.
  • Nervousness.
  • Intrusive thoughts related to death.
  • Physical pain and problems for no apparent reason.

Una mujer con depresión en una consulta de psicólogo

How is the diagnosis made?

Obviously it is something that a professional must do, we can only use the information of types, causes and symptoms to detect whether or not our current situation coincides with depression, but the real diagnosis falls on a health professional.

If we see that our current state coincides, or could coincide, with a depression, we must go to a psychologist and, through a previous interview, our state will be assessed, it will be necessary to check if this situation is the root of a disease, a sentimental breakdown, a loss, or something similar.

Depending on the causes and symptoms of depression, treatment and care will be different, and may be referred to a psychiatrist if the situation requires it. Especially in extreme cases where there have been suicide attempts and serious self-harm.

We advise not to be ashamed, they are professionals and what is told in that consultation is totally private, nobody is going to record it or publish it on social networks, nor is they going to make fun. The more sincere we are and the more we open ourselves, the better we will evolve and the faster the recovery will be.

Main treatments for this mental illness

In summary, there are a series of treatments that are the most common, but before reaching them, it is best to interact with the specialist and answer all your questions. It will cost us several sessions, but in a few weeks, we will feel much better.

  • Psychotherapy: through sessions with psychologists an attempt is made to redirect thoughts and correct the way of dealing with situations. Trust is gained because we feel supported, understood, respected, and loved.
  • Medication: in many cases it is necessary to go to the drugs, but above all under the supervision of someone responsible and nothing to exceed the doses. In these cases the famous antidepressants and anxiolytics are used.