Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Classic Symptoms of Depression

Despite all the advances of modern science, there is still no blood test, MRI scan or biopsy that can determine whether someone is depressed or not. The system for determining depression is still down to a list that was devised back in the 19th Century - interpreted by a doctor or psychiatrist.

If you have five or more of the symptoms below and they have persisted for at least two weeks then you will be deemed to have depression:

  • low mood 
  • loss of pleasure in life/daily activities (anhedonia)
  • loss of interest in food or overeating
  • inability to sleep of over sleeping 
  • psychomotor retardation (slowing down) or agitation
  • fatigue, loss of energy
  • feelings of worthlessness/inappropriate guilt
  • inability to concentrate/make decisions 
  • suicidal ideation/plan/ attempted suicide

When I was ill, I had virtually all of these. Mine was an agitated depression so I had trouble keeping my body still. I used to pace a lot. The only thing that I didn't have was the inability to sleep. Some people with depression lay awake all night tormented by negative thoughts. Fortunately I was always able to get off to sleep. 

If you're ticking all the boxes here, then you need to speak to someone fast. Your GP is probably the best place to start. However, if you feel that you're in imminent danger then ring Samaritans 116 123.

Remember, there are many other people who have experienced this. You are not alone. 

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