Downcast, lack of drive, exhausted – these are common signs of depression. Find out more about the symptoms and causes. Our self-test will show you if you might be depressed.
Depression influences our feelings, thoughts and behaviour. People suffering from depression experience low moods that can last for months. They feel hopeless, numb and exhausted.
In addition to the previously mentioned symptoms, physical complaints such as sleeping problems, headaches and exhaustion often arise – the symptoms of depression are diverse and individual. There is also the hidden masked depression, which only presents as physical symptoms. Only a specialist can diagnose it. Contact your GP.
Our depression test can give you an initial idea of whether you might have depression. You should note the following warning signs:
The test serves as an initial self-assessment: do I show the typical signs of depression? It’s important to take not only your current emotional state into account, but also to take a look back: over the last two weeks, how often were you affected by the following complaints?
How many of the statements apply to you? To diagnose depression, the following criteria apply: at least two main symptoms and at least two additional symptoms have to be present for two weeks or more.
Important: this test is just an initial indicator and does not replace a diagnosis. If you think you might be depressed – no matter your test result – please talk to your doctor about it. A personal consultation is an important tool for diagnosing depression.
Alongside mental strain, depression can also cause physical complaints. These include:
Generally speaking, the symptoms of depression are the same across all genders. However, there is a trend: men often tend to compensate for mental strain with sport, work or sex. They react in an irritated and aggressive way, towards themselves or other people, while women tend to feel guilty. Depending on their upbringing and cultural background, men find it harder to talk about mental health problems. These factors mean that depression is less frequently diagnosed among men, and later too, than among women – and that men more often commit suicide.
Mild, moderate and severe depression is determined depending on the number and manifestation of the symptoms. This is how doctors determine the degree of severity:
Our health consultation advisors will show you how you can recognise, prevent and treat depression. We’ll also help you find a recognised therapist.
Depression develops from a combination of a variety of influences. Triggers are often traumatic life events such as loss, invalidation or overload. The most frequent factors are:
The influence of genetic factors has been proven in numerous studies of families. But remember, the closer the relation, the higher the risk is for depression.
Life-changing experiences during childhood or adulthood make us more vulnerable and susceptible to depression. Traumatic events can even become linked to our genetic make-up.
Certain medications, drug and alcohol abuse can make us more susceptible to depression and even trigger it.
When the body can no longer cope with chronic stress, symptoms such as stomach problems, sleeplessness, tension or depression occur.
Vitamin B12, iron and folic acid deficiency can lead to anaemia, which can make depression more likely to occur. Vitamin D also has an influence on our nerve functions.
Depression takes many forms. Don’t wait until you have symptoms; the more active you are in tackling depression, the better treatment will go.
Melissa Biedermann (MSc) works as a health consultation advisor at Helsana. She is committed to providing psychology services to our customers. Melissa Biedermann provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article.