'Am I Depressed?' 5 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Feel Down For No Reason

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Am I Depressed signs of depression

You are panicking. Something is not right. You feel terrible and ask yourself, "Am I depressed?"

You know the difference between just not feeling great and what you're experiencing you are now — and this is much worse.

"Is this what a depression feels like?" you ask yourself. 

If you're exhibiting some of the key signs of depression — tiredness, apathy and lack of concentration, to list a few — it's time to dig deeper and figure out if you really are depressed, or if you're just having a down day or week.

Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself if you're showing signs of depression:

1. Are you always tired, especially in the morning when you wake up?

This is the most important question of all to answer if you're wondering if you're depressed because tiredness — especially in the mornings — is a key sign of depression. Many depressed people can barely drag themselves out of bed in the morning.

And the reason for this is because they are dreaming too much in a desperate attempt to clear their heads of all the useless ruminations and worries of the previous day. Perhaps you are aware that you are dreaming more than you did? Dreams have an important role when it comes to generating depression. 

2. Do you have trouble concentrating or remembering?

This follows from the first question. For, if you are dreaming too much, then you are not managing enough slow-wave regenerating sleep. And this will be affecting you, physically.

First of all, your concentration and focus but also perhaps other factors too — aches and pains, IBS, fibromyalgia and so on — are all prevalent for depressed individuals.

3. Is your head full of uncontrollable thoughts, questions you cannot answer, and self-obsession which you know are ridiculous?

If you are tired a lot of the time and maybe feeling aches and pains and so on, you will begin to worry about that — which is natural. And if there do not seem to be any good answers then the worries will be laced with fear, anxiety, and even panic.

So worries increase and seem to be taking over. Your head feels full up and out of control. This can be terrifying and is beginning to feed a depression vicious cycle.

RELATED: 5 Things You Need To Know If You're Feeling Depressed For The First Time

4. Do you have unwanted images or memories that are distressing you?

Many (though not all) depressed people will have a memory in their past — which was difficult, threatening, very sad or terrifying. These memories are still active which means that that the feelings around the memories get triggered from time to time.

It is often that you have a feeling that since that time "you haven’t been quite right". If this makes sense to you, then this will be feeding your worries and ruminations, which adds to your exhaustion and fears.

5. Are you experiencing apathy or regret in many areas of your life?

The last question can be broken down into three smaller ones:

  1. Do I have little interest or pleasure in doing things?
  2. Do I feel like a failure — that I am letting my family and friends down?
  3. Do I have thoughts that I would be better off dead or hurting myself in some way?

These questions reflect how life may feel for those who are depressed. Because you are mentally and emotionally exhausted and panicking and fearful and not understanding what is going on, then your life will be unraveling even more and feeding the depression vicious cycle.

Is your self-confidence draining away? Are you feeling guilty and ashamed? Are you hiding away and getting little pleasure from life? And are thoughts of ending it all or hurting yourself adding to your desperation?

Well, perhaps now you know why.

If you answer "yes" to all or most of the five questions above, then yes, indeed you are depressed. But do not despair! By answering "yes" to these questions you are opening yourself to recovery from depression symptoms.

The good news is that recovery from depression is much easier than you might imagine.

RELATED: Signs Your Depression Is Getting More Serious (And It's Time To Reach Out)

Andrew Richardson is a counselor, trained in the Human Givens approach, based in the UK who specializes in effective help for depression and anxieties and is the author of the Depression Optimist. Contact Andrew to learn more about his proven help, both online and face to face and to sign up for his newsletter.

This article was originally published at Feeling Better. Reprinted with permission from the author.