Everyone feels sad from time to time. We all go through periods where we feel emotional pain, despair and doubt. This is all part of a healthy life, and these feelings typically fade over time. It is when these feelings start to linger or interfere with your daily life that you may want to question: am I depressed?

Depression is more than feeling blue. It is a serious illness which is the leading cause of disability for both men and women. Symptoms of depression usually manifest gradually over time. Some of the common signs of depression you may experience are a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in sleep and appetite, and difficulty thinking and concentrating. 

Here are 8 questions to ask yourself to help you recognize if your sadness could be depression. 

Are you experiencing thoughts of suicide? If you are experiencing thoughts of taking your own life, you need to seek help right away. Call 911 immediately or go to your local ER.

Do you have intense sadness that has lasted longer than a few days? Feeling sad is normal when coupled with a major life change such as divorce, loss of a job or death of a loved one. When your sadness is long-lasting, this is a sign you may want to seek help. 

Have your eating patterns changed? You may find yourself overeating as a source of comfort or you may not be able to bring yourself to consume food at all.

Do you feel fatigued or lacking energy? If you are depressed you may feel drained for days or weeks at a time. It may be difficult to get out of bed or go to work.

Are you experiencing changes in your sleep patterns? Do you find that you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or that you are sleeping too much. 

Have you lost interest in activities you used to enjoy? Exercising, socializing, spending time outdoors are things that you may have stopped doing as a result of the way you feel.  

Do you feel worthless or guilty? Even though you have done nothing wrong, you may experience guilty feelings. 

Are you feeling hopelessness? You may feel as though your life will never get better or that you are stuck in a situation you cannot control. 

The above questions are to help you determine if you should seek professional help and are not a way to formally diagnose depression. 

Still not sure if you should seek clinical help? Enter your name and email address below to download a free clinical depression test. This test has more comprehensive questions to assist you in deciding whether you should contact a mental health professional. 

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