It’s not unusual to have one of those days when you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and hide from the world. Everyone has a case of the blues from time to time—but if you have persistent feelings of sadness or helplessness for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.
Anyone can become depressed. Unfortunately, many people think depression is an illness they must overcome by themselves. That is not true. Depression can be diagnosed and treated. Be honest with yourself as you read the following checklist. How many of these symptoms apply to you?
If you are concerned that you might be struggling with depression, it is important to reach out to a professional for help. I work in conjunction with many local physicians and psychiatrists if you are considering using medication to help get you back on track. Please consider calling me for a free initial consultation if you suffer from 4 or more of the following symptoms:
- Sadness throughout the day, nearly every day
- Loss of interest in or enjoyment of your favorite activities
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Change in appetite or weight
- Trouble making decisions?
- Fatigue or lack of energy?
- Trouble concentrating?
- Excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt?
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety is the body's natural response to events that are threatening. The right amount of anxiety can help you respond quickly in a time of crisis. Too much anxiety can interfere with enjoying your life.
In people with anxiety disorders, the "startle" response may be stimulated more often and for longer periods of time. This means that more things are perceived as threatening. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you might:
- Have a physical reaction such as difficulty breathing or a tightness in the chest
- Feel as if danger is lurking around every corner
- Be convinced something terrible will happen
- Feel constantly "keyed-up" and "on-edge"
- Avoid everyday people, places or things to keep from feeling anxious