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Do I Have Depression?

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Topic Overview

Read the following information to help you decide whether you might have depression. It does not take the place of a doctor's diagnosis.

Depression causes you to feel sad and hopeless much of the time. It's different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy. Depression is a medical problem that needs treatment. If you think you may be depressed, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment right away. Untreated depression may get worse.

Recommended Related to Depression

Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers

Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and in blood platelets.

Read the Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers article > >

You may have major depression if you have at least five of the symptoms listed below for 2 weeks or longer and one of the symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest. You may:

  1. Feel sad, hopeless, or empty. Others might have noticed that you appear sad or tearful.
  2. Lose interest in or not get pleasure from most daily activities.
  3. Lose or gain weight because of changes in how hungry you feel.
  4. Sleep too much or not enough.
  5. Feel restless and not able to sit still, or sit quietly and feel that moving takes great effort.
  6. Feel tired all the time.
  7. Feel unworthy or guilty for no reason. You may worry that people don't like you.
  8. Find it hard to focus, remember things, or make decisions.

A serious symptom of depression is thinking about death and suicide. If you or someone you care about talks about suicide or feeling hopeless, get help right away.

Learn the warning signs of suicide, which include talking a lot about death, giving things away, or using a lot of alcohol, drugs, or both. If you see these signs in yourself or a loved one, get help.

If you think you may have depression, take this short quiz to check your symptoms:

Interactive Tool: Are You Depressed?

If you have fewer symptoms, you may still be depressed and need treatment. No matter how many symptoms you have, it's important to see your doctor. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chance for a quick and full recovery.

There are several types of depression that may have different symptoms and patterns. These include:


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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