Everyone goes through difficult seasons of life, but there is a difference between a bad season and an episode of depression.  Do you know the signs of depression?

Depression is one of the most common mental health diagnoses in the United States, with an estimated 17.3 million adults and 3.3 million adolescents having had least one depressive episode in 2017 (NIMH).  Despite being so prevalent, a depressive episode can be one of the most isolating times in a person’s life, and its impacts can be far-reaching and devastating.

What is depression?

Though there are different kinds of depression, most depression begins with a similar set of symptoms.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Feeling sad, empty, and/ or irritable
  • Not feeling interested in things you once enjoyed, like hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and/ or sex
  • Difficulty getting things done, following through on tasks, and/ or focusing
  • Trouble with sleep, appetite, weight, and/or fatigue
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013)

Who can give me a depression test?

Though you may be able to recognize these signs for yourself, it may be helpful to get a diagnosis from a therapist or doctor.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 35% of adults and 60% of adolescents never get treatment for depression.  Talking to a professional about your diagnosis can help you get a diagnosis and then get linked to treatment.

Because there are different types of depression, an online depression test may not be able to help you understand what you are experiencing or what to do next.  A depression test with a professional may help provide those answers and next steps.

If depression is common, do I really need treatment?

Despite being so common, depression can have a massive impact on your daily life, leading to:

  • Missing work/ school
  • Not making deadlines for work/ school
  • Feeling disconnected from loved ones
  • Not making progress or keeping up with other valued life areas, like finances
  • Turning to substance use to try and stop the pain

In turn, these problems lead to a negative response from the people around you.  This criticism, and the feeling of falling more and more behind, can start to feel like you’re never going to get out.

What do I do if I think I have depression or want a depression test?

There are a lot of successful treatments for depression, including different types of talk therapy and medication.  But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

  • Reach out to a therapist today to schedule a session and learn more about if depression treatment may be helpful for you
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you are a candidate for medication, as well as the pros and cons of medications

For some of you, it may be helpful to request testing for depression.  A depression test may be helpful for those of you who:

  • You are not sure if you are experiencing depression
  • You see some of your symptoms here, but don’t think depression is the full picture
  • You’ve been in treatment for depression, but aren’t seeing the progress you like

Reach out today to start your journey toward healing by scheduling an initial therapy appointment or a depression test.

Ashley Holcomb, PsyD
Ashley Holcomb, PsyD

I help individuals and couples overcome the patterns that keep them from experiencing closeness in relationships.