This is a very commonly asked question. If you are struggling mentally and you are not sure if you actually have depression disorder, then I will list many common symptoms and signs to help you answer this question.
These will be clinical symptoms and signs that are statistically proven to be common among patients and also symptoms I have dealt with to diagnose my depression. If you have read my About Me page then you know mental illness such as depression has been a big part of my life. I live to help people now such as you. In this article, I will help you answer the questions, “Do I have depression?” and “Why do I have depression?”
Do I have depression?
Some people may think this is an easy question to answer while others have difficulty answering it. For me, it was both. At first for months, I felt down constantly. Nothing was going right. I lost my motivation. I stopped caring about things I usually care about. I generally felt like life was crap. But I didn’t think I had depression. I thought nothing of that sort of thing. I thought it was just a phase because everyone gets down here and there and I thought this “feeling” would eventually subside.
I was wrong. Things did get a lot worse over months and years. I started to experience many other symptoms such as losing my appetite, losing my sleep, isolating myself from family and friends, not doing regular things like going out, socializing, exercising, school work, chores etc. I had no interest in any of those things and I constantly told myself that life was unfair, pointless, and nothing was ever going to work out. The feeling was terrible and it felt as if I was half empty. These feelings lasted a long time. You can read more about my story in the “About Me” section.
So long story short, I came to the conclusion I was depressed and needed to do something about it. So that is where I think the confusion comes from. Maybe you aren’t experiencing many symptoms or signs of depression so you aren’t sure if you are just feeling down or you actually do have the mental illness depression. Maybe you are just starting to feel this way and you don’t know what to think of it like I did. Maybe you are unsure about the whole mental illness thing and think it is just a phase that will pass over time. Maybe you are ashamed to feel this way, cannot come to terms with it, or do not want to admit it to yourself.
Let’s be real. Depression is a disease and it kills. We all know this with the countless of cases each year and they are constantly rising. This is a big deal and we need to raise awareness on it. So read these symptoms and signs thoroughly. If you do not have depression, are unsure of your depression state, or just looking out for someone, this is very important information we could all benefit from.
If you are experiencing some or many of these symptoms, it is safe to say you could be struggling with depression or your depression is on the rise. It is important to recognize these and take action!
Common Symptoms and Signs
- Loss/gain of appetite
- Weight gain, weight loss
- Isolation from family or friends, the feeling of needing to be alone
- Loss of joy in things you once found joyful
- Anxiety, panic attacks, heightened nerve levels
- Sleep impairment, insomnia, oversleeping
- Feelings of shame, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness
- Difficulty performing everyday routines (school-work, employment, chores, exercise)
- Loss of motivation
- Desire to drink or use drugs
- Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
- Loss of energy
- Loss of caring about anything
These are the most common symptoms I can attest to that will help you answer the question, “Do I have depression?” If you are still unsure, I would make an appointment with a counselor or doctor to discuss exactly how you are feeling in depth to come to an ultimate conclusion. Like I said, you may be in the beginning stages or think you are just feeling down all of a sudden, so it may be difficult to answer. Nonetheless, if you are experiencing these symptoms, it is imperative to act now. Do not wait like I did. Because things do get worse if you don’t take action. To get better, you must attempt to get better and follow through with it. At the end of this post, I list some very important articles that discuss ways to combat depression and how I personally did it. These articles have helped many out. I encourage you to take a look at them.
Why do I have depression?
This is another common question people ask. “Why do I have depression?” Honestly, the answer is not fully answerable. There is no set reason or set cause as to why people become depression. Many factors come into play that vary from person to person. Everyone is different. Everyone’s situation is different. Everyone’s brain works differently.
Anyone can fall victim to depression. If you are in a sate of poverty, the wealthiest person in your city, a school student, a teenager, the captain of a sports-team, a celebrity, a middle-class worker, and the list goes on. You get the point. ANYONE can fall victim to this mental illness which can very from economic standpoint, gender, race, age, sexuality, etc.
Factors that can come into play can be largely psychological (thought process/behavior), biological (genetics), environmental (current situation/societal impacts), health (disease, stress, hormones), and abnormal brain chemistry. I urge you to look at my article here that discusses these factors more in depth. Nonetheless, this mental illness of depression works in weird and wondrous ways. It doesn’t care who you are or what you do. It takes over your brain and battles you from the inside. It is so important to take action.
Throughout this site, I like to emphasize natural remedies as this is the only approach I took to combat my depression and it worked. However, depression is still a big part of my life and I am constantly taking these approaches to better my state. Nonetheless, I have gotten a lot better from where I was before.
I have never taken antidepressants and do not encourage them. From clinical research and other testimonies, they come with negative side effects that could leave you feeling a lot worse before you become better. They can also be addicting and take a long time to actually start working. You can read my article here that discusses the side effects of antidepressants in larger detail.
Here are the most important natural approaches I implement in my life to combat depression:
- Many don’t realize this but exercise is so important for mental health. If you are battling depression, exercise will make you feel better. I know this may be seemingly hard to do because a main symptom of depression is the lack of motivation to basically do anything. But you have to try. Exercise will serve as a distraction, elevation boost, and give you satisfaction. Read my article here that discusses why exercise is good to combat depression and the best exercises to combat depression.
- Healthy Eating
- This is also very important. You are what you eat physically and mentally. Healthy foods are loaded with essential nutrients, anti-inflammatories, and anti-oxidants that can effectively combat your low mental state. Read my article here that discusses how healthy foods do this and the best foods for depression.
- Consuming Natural Supplements
- I can fully attest natural supplements work and even though I have never tried prescribed antidepressants, I truly believe they work just as good if not better. Many people don’t realize that there are natural supplements that have the sole purpose to better your mental state and elevate your mood. The best thing is that they are pure, natural, and extremely safe to use. Have you ever heard of 5-HTP? This is my number one recommended natural supplement. I take mine everyday and it works 100%. No side effects, kicks in rather quickly (way quicker than antidepressants), and completely harmless. Read my full review on it here and my number one recommended brand that I take.
- Opening Up
- This is scary. I get it. Many feel embarrassed, guilty, or useless talking about their depression. You may find you don’t want to throw your problems at someone else to give them more problems. The truth is your family and friends have your best interest at heart and want to see you be happy. They would much rather you discuss your depression with them than deal with it yourself. Also, depression is a disease. We know this. It should be treated the same as physical illnesses with respect and attention. You would obviously tell your family members if you were diagnosed with cancer, so discuss your mental health with them too. It will make you feel better. Read my article here that discusses how to explain your depression.
- Other Helpful Articles
You are not alone. There is always hope. It gets better. Trust me. Fight to get better. Your mental illness does not define you. If you have hit rock-bottom, it is only going up from there. Take these natural approaches seriously and within time you will feel better. Depression is not cured over night. It takes time to heal. If you stay consistent with your natural remedies, this will be your best bet at becoming the best version of yourself. I hope I have answered your questions, “Do I have depression?” and “Why do I have depression?”
If you ever want to talk, have a question or concern, please leave me a comment below and I will be happy to get back to you. I live to help people with similar struggles and I truly believe we can all get better.
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)