How Do I know If I Have Depression?


How Do I know If I have Depression? Dr. Sarah Allen

Sometimes people have been feeling less than happy for such a long time that it feels like their normal state and they may only start to question whether they have depression after a loved one has pointed it out. Surprisingly, symptoms of depression are not always connected to your mood and emotions, they can be physical too. Read on to see if you have been experiencing any of the symptoms below.

Common Emotional Symptoms of Depression

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This can include thinking that nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.

Loss of interest in daily activities. Maybe you have lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure or perhaps former interests, hobbies and social activities no longer hold any interest.

Dr. Allen specializes in treatment for depression

Anger or irritability. Perhaps you are feeling agitated, restless, or even so angry that you are violent or fear you might  be. Depression makes our tolerance level very low, our temper is on a short fuse, and everything and everyone just gets on your nerves.

Self-loathing. You might be harshly criticizing yourself for perceived faults and mistakes. These are usually followed by strong feelings of worthlessness, guilt or shame.

Reckless behavior. In order to try to escape such difficult feeling you might start to engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.

Common Physical Symptoms of Depression

Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain is often an indicator of depression. Some people feel they just don’t have an appetite any more while others push down their feelings with emotional eating

Sleep changes. This can be either sleeping too little (insomnia) , difficulty getting off to sleep or waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping and sleeping during the day when most people are active (hypersomnia).

Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Depression can make your whole body feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting and overwhelming or may take longer than usual to complete.

Concentration problems. People often describe this as feeling foggy headed or they have trouble focusing, making decisions, and remembering things.

Unexplained aches and pains. We can feel depression in our body, not just our head. When depression hits it is often accompanied by an increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, achiness and stomach pain.

So what should you do if these symptoms are familiar? Reach out for help and support! Depression can have an enormous negative effect on your life but treatment is available and you can start to enjoy life again.


I put together this booklet with strategies I am always giving to my clients firstly, because they help and secondly, so clients can have something handy to refer to between sessions.

I am a big believer in giving handouts about the strategies we talk about during sessions because I think it is hard to remember everything. I also give new clients a folder so they will be able to keep all this information in one place. A sort of emotional health toolbox to get out and read when you need it.

Not everyone is able to come and to see me though so I decided to make these strategies available to everyone and I hope you find this booklet helpful too. I think it is a great way to get started but it is hard to do this on your own so please contact me with any questions you may have after reading it.

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If you are thinking about getting counseling and you’d like to talk to someone about the things that are troubling you, I am happy to help.