Are you Depressed?

If you’re feeling down, how do you know whether you’re experiencing one of life’s normal dips or a more serious depression? Read through the following list of symptoms and check off those items you’ve experienced nearly every day, all day, for at least two weeks.  If you have 5 or more of these symptoms, you should see a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

  • I feel sad or down in the dumps.
  • I feel worthless and guilty.
  • I have trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
  • I’m experiencing changes in my appetite or changes in my weight.
  • I feel tired and lack energy all the time.
  • I don’t care much about things I used to enjoy.
  • I’m not particularly interested in sex.
  • I have trouble sleeping or I’ve been oversleeping.
  • I think about death or suicide, or I’ve attempted suicide.
    (This symptom alone warrants immediate diagnosis and treatment from a professional)
  • I have frequent headaches.
  • I have frequent aches and pains.
  • I have digestive troubles.
  • I feel pessimistic or hopeless.
  • I’m anxious and worried.
  • I feel slow and lethargic, or I feel restless and can’t seem to sit still.

Major depression: If you’re severely depressed, the sad, frustrated, pessimistic feelings are very intense and last for two weeks or longer. You may think these feelings will last forever.

Chronic depression (dysthymia): If you’re chronically depressed, the joyless feelings may come and go, but they usually persist for more than half the time. Some people with this less-intense, longer-lasting form of depression feel constantly depressed, never realizing their permanently gray view of the world isn’t normal.

Bipolar depression: Also called manic-depressive disorder, bipolar depression causes the person to swing widely from emotional highs to emotional lows. If you have bipolar depression, you probably experience periods where you feel incredibly excited, energetic, and even euphoric. However, periods of low energy and depression usually follow.


Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Knowledge Exchange Network (KEN)
P.O. Box 42490
Washington, DC 20015
Toll-free: (800) 789-2647

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),
Public Inquiries

6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: (301) 443-4513