How do I know if I’m depressed? How do I know if I’m depressed?

Sadness is an inherent feeling of the human experience. However, when it comes with a deep feeling of despair or emptiness that affects your wellbeing or leads to significant clinical deterioration, this may be a mental illness.

Depression has become one of society’s most common problems. According to the Institute of Medicine (EGR) in Spain, this disease is connected to different causes such as:

Environmental factors. Stressful life events can trigger depressive disorders such as bereavement, economic ruin, losses due to a natural disaster, illness or serious disability.

Many times, the intensity of a person’s mood will improve after a few days or weeks and will return in waves, often associated with specific thoughts or memories.

Similarly, symptoms of low self-esteem are also common depressive symptoms such as feeling like you’re not worth anything or hating yourself. Getting a clinical evaluation is crucial, as it explores the person’s medical history and cultural norms for expressing their pain in the different contexts of their loss.

Genetic and physiological factors. A member of an immediate family with a depressive disorder makes it four times more likely for other members of that family to have depression than the general population, especially in its early stages and when it is recurrent. The chances of it being hereditary are approximately 40% and the neurotic aspects of a person’s personality represent a considerable proportion of this genetic association.

The presence of other disorders may increase the risk of developing depression. Some of these disorders include substance use, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Chronic or disabling medical conditions can also increase a person’s risk such as diabetes, morbid obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Common symptoms of depression:

  •       Reduced appetite or overeating
  •       Insomnia or hypersomnia
  •       Low energy or fatigue
  •       Low self-esteem
  •       A lack of concentration or difficulty making decisions
  •       Feelings of hopelessness

Keep in mind: sadness and depression are two different issues. It is important to remember that depression is considered a disease and that the help of a psychiatrist is key.

Related article: Medicine for happiness