How do I know if someone is depressed?

Depression is often hard to recognize, because it can show itself in many different ways. An experienced physician, doctor, or therapist can often see it easily, but how can you, yourself, see if you suffer from depression, or if someone close to you is depressed? In this article we try to explain some signals to you which can help you to recognize depression.

How do I recognize depression?

There are different ways in which a depression can show itself. Often, a depressed person shows different types of symptoms. The ways in which depression shows itself do not indicate different illnesses, they simply are different aspects pf the same illness:

1. Depressed? The psychological depression

The psychological signs of depression are based on emotion: In the first stage of a psychological depression, you feel unhappy, pessimistic, downhearted, dispirited, hopeless and you have no confidence. You have little hope for the future. Often you cannot even imagine a future anymore.

In the second stage, the prior complaints worsen and every type of emotion disappears: you feel empty, as if you cannot feel anything anymore. The centers in your brain for both positive and negative feelings are affected. This is perfectly reversible if you look for help. This help can be combined with a good online self-help program.

2. Depressed? The physical depression

The physical signs of depression are mainly inexplicable feelings of being physically tired and exhausted, even if there is no objective reason causing you to feel this way.

3. Depressed? The social depression

In the social manifestation of depression, you socially isolate yourself: you forego contact with people because you feel bad or even worthless. You do not ask for help or even refuse help from a third party, even though you could use the help. You feel like others would not understand you either way, so you prefer shutting them out over being confronted with people who do not understand you.

Online self-help program against depression

A study by in 2011, published in the Artsenkrant showed that the average participant following the online self-help program scored 77% better on the depression test after only one month of using it. Also, after just 3 weeks, their happiness has increased by over 40%. This shows that online self-help is a worthy alternative for depression, especially in less severe depressions, or it can, alternatively, be used as a good complement to therapy for more severe depressions.

Online self-test for depression: am I depressed?

We developed a simple online self-test for you. If you fill out this test now, you will know your depression score within a few minutes. This score can help you to, later on, evaluate how quickly your health develops again after you learn how to handle your depression.

Paul Koeck, MD.