Depression – how do you know?

If you’ve lost the energy and passion for doing the things you used to love, then you could be suffering from depression. But unless you’ve experienced the symptoms before, you may not realise you need to seek professional help.

Whether you think you are suffering depression, or are worried about the mental state of someone close to you, knowing the tell-tale signs of depression can lead to a quicker diagnosis. While each symptom experience on its own can often be attributed to another cause, a combination of symptoms can point to depression as the root cause.

• extreme sadness – a constant feeling of sadness or emptiness and frequent crying
• unable to find pleasure – ceasing to enjoy a treasured pastime or to find pleasure in most daily activities
• dramatic weight loss or gain – a gain or loss of more than five per cent when not attempting to gain or lose weight
• altered sleep pattern – suddenly not being able sleep, experiencing broken sleep or sleeping too much
• agitation or extreme slowness – restless or agitated behaviour or being physically slower when undertaking even simple tasks
• fatigue – a constant feeling of lethargy or lack of energy
• worthlessness or guilty – feeling that you have no value or make no valuable contribution to those around you or feeling guilty for things which are out-with your control
• lack of concentration – the inability to think straight or make even the simplest decisions
• suicidal thoughts – contemplating how much better everyone would be without you around

If you think that you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression, use beyondblue’s Interactive Depression Checklist. Interactive Depression Checklist.

Written by Debbie McTaggart