Soul care: How to Tell if You are Depressed

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Barney Self is LeaderCare counselor for LifeWay. He offers the following guidelines to check for a level of depression in which you need to get outside help:
1. Depressed mood
Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others.
2. Presence, while depressed, of two or more of the following:
• Poor appetite or overeating
• Insomnia or sleeping much more than normal
• Low energy or fatigue
• Low self-esteem
• Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Inability to enjoy normally pleasurable activities or interests
• Significant weight change (+ or – 5% of body weight in one month)
• Feelings of restlessness or lethargy
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
3. The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
4. Depressed mood may be brought on by a medical condition, grief after a loss, or other major life change.
What to do if You experience these Symptoms:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Talk with a physician about the symptoms of depression that are observed.
2. Seek the help of a trained professional therapist:
• Someone who both understands depression and includes it in their scope of practice.
• Someone who understands the Biblical guidelines for life and health and can offer scriptural reference points.
• Someone who is willing to pray with and for their clients.

Written by Barney Self, Ed. D.