You may think this is an easy question to answer, but it's not wise to make your own diagnosis of depression — leave that to a professional. However, you may want to ask yourself a few basic questions first:
- Do you feel unhappy, irritable or anxious?
- Have you stopped enjoying the activities that always made you happy? Or have you always had trouble enjoying yourself?
- Are you no longer able to do the things you need to do to keep things going at home or at work?
- Are you less hopeful about the future?
- Do find that it is hard to make important decisions without too much anxiety or distress?
- Are you sleeping poorly, too little or too much? Do you have trouble getting to sleep or do you wake too early?
- Has your appetite changed? Have you lost or gained weight as a result?
- Do you have less energy than you need?
- Do you think about hurting yourself? Do you wish for death or think about suicide?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, especially if your answer has been yes for more than a few weeks or months, you may have a depression that needs help. It may make you anxious to seek assistance, but you may also have a lot to gain.