Depression? Do I have a depression, you might be wondering?

Depression is often difficult to recognize if you do not have any experience with it. Most Dutch people often recognize the illness when it is too late. That is why some symptoms of depression are mentioned below.

Symptoms of depression

In this article, I sum up some of the important ones:

Apathy as symptom of depression

Because our adrenal glands are overstimulated for a long time due to stress, the centers in our brain which stand for positive feelings like feeling content start to reduce in volume and activity. At that time, however, our centers for negative feelings such as listlessness keep working. This makes apathy an important symptom for depression. This apathy already decreases by an average 15% after one week of following the self-help program by 15 Minutes 4 Me. After three weeks, the participants report that this self-help program improves them by about 40% or more.

Fatigue as symptom of depression

Fatigue, or constantly feeling tired, is another important sign or symptom of depression. The way in which it differs from the fatigue which burnout patients often feel, is that the fatigue in depressed patients tends to occur when they are getting up. They find it difficult to accept the day starting. Burnout patients, on the other hand, will feel more tired as the day progresses. In a minor depression, this fatigue goes away during the first month in which our participants follow the online self-help program '15 Minutes 4 Me'. For major or chronic depressions, people often need two or three months.

Concentration issues as symptom of depression

Focus is a function of our hippocampus, a part of our brain. Because of long-term stress, our hippocampus is technically poisoned by an overdose of the stress hormone cortisol. This poisoning has the result of the neurons in the hippocampus becoming more vulnerable or even dying. In chronic depression, up to 10 to 25% of the neurons in the hippocampus can die. Luckily, this 25% only occurs in people who were ill for several decades. After following about 30 days of the self-help program '15 Minutes 4 Me', these concentration issues improve considerably.

Memory problems as symptom of depression

Memory is also located in the hippocampus. So it is logical that our memory will also be affected. There are two likely reasons for this:

  1. we remember less well because of an overload on the working memory
  2. we pay less attention to the things around us because we are worrying too much. This has the consequence of us not knowing things because we simply never have seen or heard them. Our thoughts were elsewhere... Thinking about problems.

As a consequence, our ability to remember things often is a first sign which leads to the diagnosis of depression. Luckily, this can be treated by re-training your memory with the techniques in the self-help program for depression, '15 Minutes 4 Me'.

Pessimism as symptom of depression

Pessimism in depression is the consequence of a lack of balance between the left and right frontal lobe of the brain. The left frontal lobe is responsible for positive thoughts and feelings, including our optimism. The right frontal lobe is in charge of negative, critical thoughts and feelings. When a relative decrease occurs in the activity of our left frontal lobe, then the negative thinking will be dominant, and we become pessimistic. Participants of the online self-help program report that their pessimism starts to decrease around the second or third week. Slowly but surely they start to find more solutions, and become more optimistic.

Unhappiness as symptom of depression

Feeling unhappy in the long-term is often a symptom of depression. We notice from our research that participants from the online self-help program need about three weeks to build up a significantly increased amount of happiness in life.

Depression test: self-test measures your degree of depression

We developed, for you, an online free depression test to measure if you have symptoms of depressions. Take your depression test now.

Paul Koeck, MD