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Am I tired or depressed?

7 answers | Last updated: Jan 25, 2014
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Caring.com User - Leslie Kernisan, M.D.
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Dr. Leslie Kernisan is a senior medical editor at Caring.com and a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics....
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To screen for depression, doctors often ask the following two key questions:

See also:
7 Surprising Reasons You Wake Up Tired

See all 223 questions about Depression
  • During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
  • During the past month, have you been bothered by finding little interest or pleasure in doing things, especially activities you used to find pleasurable?

Answering "yes" to either is a red flag. Persistent sadness and the inability to enjoy anything (anhedonia) are strong signs of depression.

Changes in sleep habits, including sleeping more or less than normal, can be a sign of depression, too. But sleep is often disrupted simply as a result of the demands of eldercare, or as a feature of certain diseases and recovery processes. So fatigue alone is not a reliable indicator of depression. However, if you find yourself usually feeling sad or hopeless, or you're no longer able to look forward to things that used to make you smile, it's possible that you might be suffering from clinical depression.

Don't be shy about mentioning your concerns to your healthcare provider. Discuss whether it seems reasonable to do a trial of depression therapy (usually a combination of antidepressants and talk therapy). If you pursue this course, be sure to check back with your provider after two to three months to assess whether there has been a change in symptoms.

 

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A fellow caregiver answered...

I have depression.LatelyI have been having trouble getting to sleep without taking xanax and pain medicine.There are nights I never close my eyes even with medication.I may need my medicine changed.Talk to your doctor I'm going to.

 

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shortnsweet answered...

Does your symptoms also include body aches and feeling lost, useless or disinterested in things you normally love to do? If you answer yes to any of these questions then it's probably depression. Visit your family doctor first and describe your symptoms to him/her. If it appears to be depression I'd suggest you then make an appointment with a psychiatrist who is more expertly trained in treating and prescribing medications for mental health issues than a family practitioner. The sooner you go the sooner you'll get these symptoms under control. There is help...I'm living proof. With the right diagnosis and the right medications I have been symptom free since 2002.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Many times over my lifetime I would feel depressed. My mother would tell me to get over it. I wish... Anyway, as an adult, I slogged my way through life, raising my children by myself and trying to have a life of my own. In my forties and fifties, I sought counseling (no meds) to achieve some success. I changed to a Psychiatrist in my later fifties and was given meds. After a traumatically painful job dismissal caused by a young woman with generation bias, I fell into a deep depression. I found myself trying to find ways to kill myself without it being obvious. My children were and still are the most important reasons to stay alive. I sold my home and moved to another state nearer my oldest child. This gave me some solace. My suicide thoughts were getting stronger. I sought help again. It was the best thing I could have done. It's been 5 years since I started and I feel almost normal (whatever that's supposed to mean). The meds have been prescribed, the counseling continues and my family's caring and love keep me going. Life is good!

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Thanks for putting all these articles into print.. from reading them; i realise I must have clinical depression and that for many years. I have long suspected this but where I live, insurance does not cover this and doctors are expensive. But I am going to try.

 

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DODING answered...

Anybody in this world had suffered depression whether light or severe. . even childrens..they too experienced ths kind of feeling,its unique..is it..but life must go on,whatever thoughts are causing you pain, they are oly thoughts..YOU can change a thought!!! H A P P I N E S S is a daily decision...Talk to a friend, stranger, neighbour..priest..or someone you just met, life is exciting..were not here to be perfect..LIFE is a constant change, theres always a tomorrow...SMILE SMILE SMILE!!!

 

susan2788 answered...

The answer by Doding expresses what I call the "snap-out-of-it" approach in which healing depression is thought to be a matter of will power. Many people, even some medical professionals, believe that if a patient chooses to he/she can simply snap out of a depressed state. Taking this approach can do a great deal of harm and no good, increasing a sense of hopelessness and helplessness in patients who have probably already tried this method on their own. Even though some changes in thought or behaviors may be therapeutic, beating depression is complicated and takes time. Claiming that it could be as simple as putting on a happy face is like telling a person with a broken leg to just do a little polka and it will all be better.

 

 
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