Depressed and check these boxes? – go to your doctor
Sometimes medication is the right choice, at least in the short term. In particular, if you fit the signs of clinical depression below, them go to your doctor at once. A well-chosen anti-depressant can reasonably be expected to make a significant improvement in a few weeks. Then you will be much better placed to tackle any underlying life-issues.
The only way to diagnose if you are clinically depressed is to visit your doctor and I encourage you to do that. This informal educational self-help information may not apply to everyone. It is not a diagnosis one way or the other and it not a substitute for going to the doctor. In particular, it is not to be read as:
“If I don’t fit these criteria, I needn’t go to the doctor.”
Medical help can be valuable. Even if you don’t fit these symptoms, but feels things are on top of you, I encourage you to go and see the doctor anyway.
If you’re not sure whether you are depressed, see the depression tests in the box below. If you think you may have a clinical depression, read on.
Symptoms of clinical depression
You should go to your doctor immediately if for even just two weeks, or more:
- you have felt unremittingly down, sad, empty, despairing or hopeless with no breaks even when distracted by friends or enjoyable situations, or
- you feel terrible when you wake up (possibly waking early after disturbed sleep) but then slowly feel better as the day goes on. In this case, be sure to see your doctor early in the morning. Or,
- you think of suicide either actively (“Maybe I should kill myself”) or passively (“If only I had some luck for once, I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow morning,” or “What would it be like to drive my car into that tree?”). If you have started to plan how you might kill yourself, seek your doctor’s help today.
Advice given on these pages is not a substitute for your doctor’s advice. It intended to encourage you to go and see your doctor, not to rule that out.