The checklist below will help you discuss with a loved one and/ or someone you trust your feelings of possibly being depressed. It really is good to share your feelings and working through the questions below will help you discuss possible depression with a health care provider. It is not a substitute for support from a health care professional. Recognizing early warning signs will help a loved one or you find the support that’s needed to help overcome depression.
Please also know that if you are depressed this does not automatically mean that you need a prescription for medications. Many people can benefit by changes in their lifestyle; reducing life pressures; exercising more; changing diet and eating more healthily and so on… some people may need medication and for them the medication may well be beneficial.
Here’s the checklist for you to consider:
- I have moods that I would describe as sad, anxious or “empty” and this feeling lasts for a long time.
- I feel hopeless, pessimistic or recognize I battle with low self-esteem.
- I feel guilty and/or worthless.
- I have lost interest in things I once enjoyed, such as hobbies and recreational activities.
- My sleeping habits have changed and I sleep too much or can’t get a good night’s sleep.
- My eating habits have changed and I eat way more or way less than I used to.
- My weight has changed and I’ve lost or gained a noticeable amount of weight.
- I have less energy, feel tired, listless and run down.
- I have begun to procrastinate and tasks that were once simple now seem difficult to me.
- I constantly feel that “life isn’t worth living like this.”
- I have thought about death or suicide, or have even attempted suicide.
- I feel restless, irritable, my temper is bad and I can’t relax even when I take time off.
- It’s difficult for me to concentrate, remember or make decisions.
- My mind has an uncontrolled “sad” feeling and I have negative thoughts I can’t control.
- I have persistent physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, digestive disorders, chronic pain, etc.) that don’t respond to medical treatment.
- I can’t turn off my anxiety and I worry uncontrollably about small things.
- I have a difficult time making small talk and I’m slowly isolating myself from other people.
- My family has a history of depression, alcoholism or nervous breakdowns.
- I talk about suicide and/or write stories or create art focusing on the theme of death.
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms we encourage you to reach out for help and support. You can contact us online; speak to a trusted family member or to your school counsellor and/ or make an appointment to talk to your health care provider.
Please don’t ignore your feelings. Help is available. You are not alone. We encourage you to reach out to us – share with us…the old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved…” is so true. Please don’t feel afraid. There is help available. We are here for you.