I'm going to give the checklist for depression warning signs I used in Part 2 (I am a qualified, experienced and Registered Counsellor/Psychotherapist).
My depression checklist will help you decide yourself if those troubling symptoms are serious. I'm hoping it helps you if you're wondering "am I suffering from depression?".
There are of course a number of standardised 'depression tests' - of varying length. These are used by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other professional healthcare providers. You can find links to these in Part 3.
What does it really matter if you have all the signs of clinical depression, major depressive disorder, major depression or whatever.
These are names for depression, which in my view they only benefit the pharmaceutical companies. However, I do appreciate that they may be important for insurance purposes.
The fact is you are - or your partner is - feeling lousy and whatever name you give it - you may need help to get better. And antidepressants aren't going to get you better. However, it is your choice in the end of course.
If you suspect that your partner or spouse is depressed, then do send him or her a link to this page. It will be so much better if they can have a look at my depression checklist themselves.
Your support is hugely valuable, but he or she needs to be actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment. They’ll need to decide if and when to see a counsellor or doctor (incidentally - you can access counselling right from my site).
I so understand if that frustrates the hell out of you, as it leaves you feeling helpless too. You are seeing all the warning signs, whilst your partner is possibly oblivious about the impact of their mood and demeanor on you and the rest of the family.
Depression is a selfish 'dis-ease'. A depressed partner is hardly bothered about what happens to themselves, let alone what's going on for you or anybody else. They're unlikely to be aware that what they're going through are warning signs of depression.
'Taking over', however, would only lead your partner to feel even more out of control and 'useless'.
I really do understand your drive to help them to recover though.
Even if you're at your wits' end because your loved one has lost the ability to concentrate on what you're saying, or to raise a smile, or to appreciate any of the good moments in life, try to accept that all these things are part of the illness."
I am a qualified and registered (couple) counsellor with over twenty-three years’ experience. I have helped thousands of people who were depressed to get better again. Often they weren't even aware that they were showing a number of depression warning signs, even when we were barely into the conversation.
I know that concentrating on a depression checklist or questionnaire can be really difficult if you're depressed. However, it can be a useful self-test as well as a aid to diagnosis.
The label ‘depression’ is not important in my view though. I believe it’s a 'nominalisation', or a word that doesn't mean anything except the meaning you give it. Depression is all too often a symptom - like fever is.
What is important to me, and what I care about very much, is how quickly I can help you to feel better.
Here too, I would much prefer to have a conversation with you, but since that's not going to happen, I'm going to give you my own mental depression checklist.
Just in case you think you probably suffer from depression because one or both of your parents did, watch this video…
Remember - you are significantly less likely to suffer a relapse if you don't take antidepressant medication. (For further information on this, have a look at the video on my Natural Depression Treatments page.)
Want to start with 'magic bullets'? The best place to start is by researching Omega-3 and it's side effect. Have a look at my pages on Fish Oil and Depression for more information on this.
Read on to Part 2 for my Depression Warning Signs Check-list.
*Webber, C. Depression – how it affects sex and relationships. Via NetDoctor
Image courtesy of: Erin M