Am I Depressed?

Ups and downs are to be expected in life.  Sometimes certain events occur in life to send us into an emotionally distraught and sometimes hopeless and helpless state.  Sometimes this state occurs when there hasn’t been a precipitating event to send us there.This state can be long living or sometimes short.  Sometimes emotions are spiking up and down and we are confused about exactly how we are feeling.  Feelings of depression can take many different forms.  Often these feelings and the associated sympotoms are occuring for a reason and having support and guidance in addressing and working through these underlying reasons can be incredibly helpful.

The following symptoms, outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, may help you to identify if you are experiencing feelings of depression.

Symptoms of Feeling Depressed:

Each person is different and will have unique symptoms, but here are some of the more common symptoms of depression:

  • feelings of sadness and loss
  • feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • feelings of extreme impatience, irritability, or a short temper
  • loss of interest or pleasure in usually-enjoyed activities
  • changes in weight or appetite
  • changes in sleeping patterns like insomnia
  • reduced ability to think clearly or make decisions
  • difficulties in concentrating or with short-term memory loss
  • constantly feeling tired
  • noticeable lack of motivation
  • anxiety and restlessness, sometimes leading to panic attacks
  • muscle and joint pain
  • constipation or other intestinal problems
  • frequent headaches
  • lack of interest in sex
  • recurring thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • withdrawal from friends and family.

If you or someone you know has had at least five symptoms for more than two or three weeks, contact your doctor, or a registered mental health professional to discuss the symptoms.

If you or someone you know is having recurring thoughts of suicide it’s very important that they get help right away.  Please contact the Crisis Centre online or call 604-872-3311 OR, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.

SAFER is another local source for support.  It is a Vancouver Coastal Health service offering free services and resources to those struggling with suicidal ideation as well as those close to the affected person.For more information please read this SAFER brochure.

For the majority of individuals working through a period of depression or depressed feelings, talking with a counsellor can be incredibly helpful.  Depression is very common and an experience that most people experience atleast once in a lifetime.  You do not need to navigate this experience on your own.