Depression is a challenging, and often debilitating, disease that needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to achieve the best results.
To begin the process, it’s important to check in with yourself. If you are undergoing stress and/or emotional changes, which is not uncommon in this day and age, ask yourself these important questions:
- How are you coping with the stress? What coping skills do you have?
- Is your daily routine (sleep, appetite, energy, motivation) being affected in any way?
- Are you seeing changes in your grades, work performance, relationships, or social interactions?
More specific questions that you can ask yourself are:
- Are you staying in your room/home all/most of the day and/or avoiding social interactions?
- Do you cry more days than not?
- Do you have a change in your appetite or weight?
- Are you no longer interested in hobbies or activities that used to bring them joy?
- Are you quick to anger or agitation?
- Do you hurt yourself?
- Are you not taking care of your physical appearance?
- Are you participating in risky behavior?
You could also complete this Depression Screen for a more detailed and thorough check.
If the answers to the above questions or if their results from the Depression Screen are concerning, then your radar for depression should be high.
The next step is to seek professional assistance from a psychologist or psychiatrist to clarify the diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor can work with you to come up with an individualized treatment plan that works for you and your needs. This treatment plan can consist of psychotherapy, medication management, and/or TMS therapy.
The sooner you get treatment, the more likely you will achieve remission in this episode, which decreases your risk for future episodes as well.