Depression affects 1 in 10 Belgians. Depression is thus difficult to remove from our society. The time in which people thought that depression was 'just in our heads' has also passed. Research has shown that depression is caused by a lack of dopamine and serotonin in our brain. Thus, depression can be seen as an illness, just like the flu or chickenpox. To increase the awareness regarding depression, this article sums up the following points:

  • What are the symptoms of depression?
  • When do I have a depression? What is the diagnosis?
  • How do I treat a depression?

The following information is useful, both if you might have a depression yourself or if someone close to you shows depressed characteristics. By knowing more about the symptoms and treatment, it is easier for you to guide others and you can also recognize premature symptoms in yourself or others more easily.

Depression testing? What are the symptoms of depression?

The following symptoms indicate that a depression might be at play:

  • Overwhelming somber mood
  • Not being interested/not having fun
  • Suddenly losing or gaining a lot of weight
  • Frequent sleepy feeling
  • Feelings of fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or poor self-esteem
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Reduced thinking and focusing abilities
  • Digestive complaints
  • Vague complaints
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression testing? When do I have a depression? What is the diagnosis?

According to the DSM-IV, the official diagnosis tool of many psychiatrists and doctors, you may consider to have a depression if at least 5 symptoms are present, the symptoms have been present for at least two weeks, the symptoms are not caused by an addiction or the passing of a loved one, and the symptoms caused significant suffering.

Depression testing? How do I treat depression?

The treatment of depression depends on the severity of the depression and the personal preference of the client themselves. An option  is to treat depression with medication, namely antidepressants. Another possibility is to treat depression at the hand of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective therapies when it comes to treating depression. You can follow this therapy with a psychotherapist, psychologist, or at the hand of online self-help. The online self-help program by 15 Minutes 4 Me is based on therapeutic techniques and reduces depression by an average 40% after one month (Study in Artsenkrant, 2011).

Depression testing?

Would you like to know to what extent the symptoms of depression are applicable to you or what influence these symptoms have on your life? Then take the free online depression test here.