Sometimes it is difficult to know if you are suffering from depression or if you are just temporarily down in the dumps. Although sadness affects people in different ways, the American Psychiatric Association defines major depression by certain criteria.

A person is said to be suffering from major depression if, for at least 2 consecutive weeks he or she has experienced persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or "emptiness"; loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities, and 5 or more of the symptoms in the column listed below:

  1. You are often restless and irritable
  2. You have feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or excessive guilt
  3. You have sleep problems - either insomnia or wanting to sleep all the time
  4. You have little energy, are often fatigued and sometimes cry excessively
  5. You have drastic changes in appetite - either you have no appetite, which results in weight loss, or you excessively and often compulsively eat, which results in weight gain
  6. You have difficulty thinking, making decisions or concentrating
  7. You have thoughts of death or suicide

Although there is an elaborate classification system for depression, there are two main types.

First is depression that has an apparent cause, even though the reaction to it may be excessive or prolonged. This could include such situations as bereavement, other personal or economic problems, illness, drug or alcohol abuse and seasonal affective disorder (the "winter blues").

The second type of depression is the kind that develops without any apparent reason and without a trigger. This is often the worst kind of depression and the person often feels like there is no point in anything.

So what do you do now? If you are concerned about the possibility of suffering from major depression, please take a few minutes to take the following Depression Screening Test (click the SURVEY button). The results of the test are completely confidential, and you may contact me at my office (336) 882-5003 to set up an initial complimentary consultation to discuss your test results.

Please refer to the "about me" page for my qualifications.

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