Do I have depression or just a dip?! Test it yourself

Every person has a sad period sometimes. Usually such a depressed period can be explained and passes within a few days. But sometimes the sad mood can last for weeks or even months. If you constantly have no interest in anything and no longer want anything, you may be suffering from depression.

Depression or dip

Depression is therefore something completely different from being temporarily down or in a gloomy mood. In our country, around 500,000 people suffer from some form of depression every year. Depression does not care about age, because it occurs in both the elderly and children.

Cause

There is often no clear cause for depression. Usually it concerns a combination of factors. Hereditary factors also play a role, because it occurs more often in some families. Excessive use of drugs or alcohol are also culprits, while certain medications can also have adverse effects.

Of course, shocking or sad events can also lead to depression. The death of a loved one, abuse, sexual abuse, an accident and not to mention the loss of a job. The risk of depression is particularly high if people miss their familiar social contacts and cannot accept the new situation. Even if a shocking event happened years ago, it can still result in depression. For example, adults who lost a parent as a child or were abused at the time can still become depressed later in life. Physical conditions such as hormonal disorders, heart failure or metabolic diseases can also cause depression.

The symptoms of depression

  • irritable and listless, less able to tolerate
  • no pleasure or interest
  • too little appetite
  • poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, constantly tired, pain, or an unexpected change in body weight
  • lack of self-confidence, guilt
  • crying without relief, or wanting to cry but not being able to

Various depressions

There are different forms, from mild to severe. In the mild form there may only be a few observable symptoms, but in the severe form you will suffer from almost all complaints. Depression often has the side effect of unpleasant memories resurfacing.

  • Dysthymic disorder . The complaints last for at least 2 years, but are not always as severe. The gloomy times alternate with periods of up to 2 months in which things get better. There are not many additional complaints, but the depressed mood is present most of the day.
  • Manic depressive . In this form, periods of great sadness alternate with times of extreme excitement and activity. During the happy periods, patients think they can handle the whole world, after which they relapse into periods of extreme lethargy.
  • Postnatal depression . Some women may experience this after childbirth, abortion or miscarriage. Also called postpartum depression.
  • Seasonal depression . Many people suffer from this to some extent. Often in autumn or winter, so it is associated with lack of sunlight, but it also occurs in spring for some people.

Therapy

Depression that is left untreated can last 4 to 6 months, but can also last for years. That is not necessary, because depression is usually easy to treat. For example with medication or through talk therapy. Sports and exercise can also help. So go to the doctor on time. The chance of depression returning is also reduced with timely medical intervention.

Self-help

You can do some things that help yourself. They can also prevent the complaints from getting worse.

  • Try to determine whether the depression may be a response to a problem or event.
  • Try to find someone in the area with whom you can talk about any problems and feelings.
  • Be patient and don’t expect immediate results.
  • Ensure regularity and structure in your daily pattern. In and out of bed at normal times.
  • Provide enough social contacts, distractions and relaxing activities.
  • Exercise, preferably sports, or brisk cycling/walking.
  • Preferably postpone major decisions, such as changing jobs, divorce or moving.
  • According to various studies, those who eat a lot of oily fish have a lower risk of depression. The omega-3 fatty acids: DHA and EPA provide the beneficial effect. Mackerel in particular is an important source of this, but eel, sardines and salmon also have it.
  • Don’t seek salvation in alcohol or drugs.

The patient’s environment

  • Don’t try to talk away the depression or cheer up someone with depression, because that will have the opposite effect.
  • Do not give tips or advice. A listening ear, understanding and sympathy is more important.
  • Let us hear from you regularly and/or visit. Even though the response seems cold, it does help.
  • Do something small with the depressed person such as a walk, bike ride, or into town. Never ask because the answer may be no, so just do it.

Self-test: dip or depression

If you are not sure whether you have depression, or just a sad mood that lasts a bit long, and you don’t want to go to the doctor right away, call: 0900 3377377. Costs a maximum of €10