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  What is Depression?

Depression Symptoms

As you learned in the video, there is no definitive test for depression yet. Instead, depression is defined by a list of symptoms.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual- 5th Edition, these symptoms include:

  • a depressed mood-- feeling sad, empty, or constantly irritable or angry
  • a decreased interest in normally pleasurable activities
  • fatigue or lack of energy
  • insomnia or an increased desire to sleep
  • a significant weight gain or weight loss, or a significant increase or decrease in appetite
  • trouble thinking or concentrating
  • trouble making decisions
  • chronic, unexplainable aches or pain
  • feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing, excessive guilt
  • recurrent thoughts of self harm or suicide

Take a look through this list and see if you identify with any of the symptoms. If you recognize five or more of these symptoms in yourself concurrently, with at least one of the symptoms being either depressed mood or lack of interest in pleasurable activities, it could be a sign that you are suffering from depression. If this is the case, please consider making an appointment with a therapist or doctor, especially if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self harm.

Sadness and negative emotions are part of life, but when these emotions persist and make it hard for you to get through your daily responsibilities, they can be symptoms of depression.

Depressive illnesses tend to operate on a spectrum with mild to severe forms. So, even if you don’t identify with five of these symptoms you can still benefit from the information and exercises in this course.

Optional: Fill out one or both of the following surveys to self-assess your mood and depressive symptoms. Filling out these forms can give you a better indication of how severe your symptoms are.

  1. Depression Self-Assessment PHQ-9
  2. Beck’s Depression Inventory