Wondering how you tell whether you're just feeling down/depressed or you're actually depressed.
How do you distinguish the line between just feeling depressed and actually suffering depression? Is there a way to tell without going to a doctor?
Basically i'm pretty sure i'm just feeling down and i should just get over it and whatever but a while ago it just got really bad and it's been like it for ages—it just has worse times than others.
It's probably nothing and i should just get over it, which i do—i don't really care and i never do—i just ignore my problems and don't talk to anyone because i don't like to. I mean it's just school stresses, me putting pressure on myself and stuff at home, other responsibilities, and other stuff so it's not like i have a good reason or anything. And when i only feel a little bit bad i can manage to ignore it. When it's a bit worse it's harder but i can still hide it at least. But when it's really bad, it's really hard or impossible to do anything about it, i suppose i still manage to hide it because no one can find out.
But yeah i was just wondering how you tell whether you're just feeling down/depressed, which happens to anyone at points, or you're actually depressed and whatnot. Thanks.
Hi and thanks for asking us. Being your own doctor never works that well. Sure, you know how you feel, but without anything to judge it against, how can you know how "normal" those feelings are?
Besides, depression is not just about feelings. There are a whole range of physical symptoms involving sleep patterns, energy levels, drive and appetite that need to be understood. Relationships come into the diagnosis too, along with self-confidence, the ability to focus your thoughts, or complete tasks. And sometimes the opposite problem happens: the ability to stop concentrating (some forms of depression involve not being able to get thoughts out of your head).
What you described does sound a lot like a depressive "syndrome". If it is, now is the time to get an assessment and some treatment, which may include counselling, advice on strategies to manage it better, medication or a combination of these things. And if it's not a "clinical" depression it would be very reassuring to know for sure.
While there are a lot of online tests for depression (like the one below) they are not a replacement for a face-to-face consultation with a professional. Plus, you can't ask a self-test what the results mean. If they do suggest something is wrong, you still have to go through the process of going to see someone.
Anywhere in NSW you can drop into a community clinic and get a free assessment from a mental health professional, like a mental health nurse, psychologist or other clinician. Or you could try a headspace centre. Your local doctor can also help with a basic screening test, which can suggest if you need a more complete assessment. They can help you organise that too.
All the best with getting along to see someone.