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Harvard Commentaries
Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Are You Depressed?

February 19, 2014

Assess Your Health
Are You Depressed?
Are You Depressed?
You may think that should be an easy question to answer, but it is impossible to make your own diagnosis of depression -- that can only be done by someone who has formal training.
InteliHealth/Harvard Medical Content

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Are You Depressed?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you feel unhappy, irritable or anxious?
  • Have you stopped enjoying the activities that always made you happy? Or have you always had trouble enjoying yourself?
  • Are you no longer able to do the things you need to do to keep things going at home or at work?
  • Are you less hopeful about the future?
  • Do find that it is hard to make important decisions without too much anxiety or distress?
  • Do you think about hurting yourself? Do you wish for death or think about suicide?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, especially if your answer has been yes for than a  couple of weeks, you may have depression.
Depression is a clinical diagnosis. This means that no laboratory test or X-ray can tell you whether you are depressed or not.
Depression is not just feeling a little down. It is diagnosed by a set of symptoms. Some symptoms indicate mild depression while other symptoms, such as considering suicide, suggest a more severe depression that requires immediate action.

Don’t find reasons or excuses not to seek professional help. With treatment, you can feel better, enjoy life more, and be more productive in the ways that matter to you.

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