1. Do you criticize yourself frequently for what you do, and who you are? Do you think of yourself as "weak," a "failure," "not good enough," "unlovable," “worthless,” "a loser," etc.?
2. Are you unable to feel compassion for yourself, or grant yourself forgiveness most of the time? Are you cruel to yourself when you make mistakes? Do you frequently fail to reach your standards for yourself? Do you ruminate about regrets you have from the past?
3. Do you lack energy, and have trouble motivating yourself to do things, including ordinary life tasks such as cleaning, laundry, dishes, showering, paying bills, etc? Do your arms, legs or back feel heavy, achy, or hard to move (not due to injury)?
4. Do you feel agitated, restless, or anxious much of the time?
5. Do you believe that things are unlikely to get better?
6. Do you feel irritable much of the time? Do you often lash out or explode at those around you and then condemn yourself for doing it, or try to justify it?
7. Do you think you are eating and sleeping way too much or way too little?
8. Do you feel overwhelmed by your life?
9. Do you feel emotionally numb, except for just feeling bad?
10. Are you frequently tearful; do you frequently feel sad for no apparent reason?
11. Are you having trouble enjoying anything? Have you lost interest in activities you used to enjoy? Have you lost interest in sex?
12. Are you having trouble concentrating, or making decisions? Does your mind feel foggy?
13. Do you find yourself compelled (meaning do you feel unable to stop when what you are doing causes serious risks or negative consequences to your relationships, work, health, self-esteem, integrity, etc.) to eat, drink alcohol, use drugs, have sex, put yourself in danger, gamble, shop, look at pornography, or anything else for the purpose of giving yourself emotional relief from your suffering?
14. Are you withdrawing from people when you can?
15. Do you wish for death to end your pain; do you sometimes think everyone would be better off if you were dead?
16. Do you have physical pain, or discomfort or other symptoms that doctors can’t diagnose? (Please note, there are many causes of symptoms doctors can’t diagnose; depression is just one of them).
17. Do you feel insecure, somewhat irrationally jealous, or a consistent lack of self-confidence?
18. Have you repeatedly been shamed (made to feel unworthy, disgusting, inadequate or otherwise bad about yourself), abused or traumatized, particularly when you were a child?
19. Do you have any of the above experiences regularly with the cycle of your period, or in the wintertime? Have you recently given birth?
If you answered "yes" to two or more of these, you may be experiencing some form of depression. Please consider getting a professional evaluation, and possibly some therapy to relieve your suffering. Please don't isolate yourself; that can make this disabling, painful, invisible condition worse. Counseling really can help. Call or email me, so we can get to work figuring out what you need in order to heal and live your life joyfully, and how to get it. You've already suffered too long; don't suffer any more.
If you are seriously considering killing yourself, or letting yourself be killed, please either:
If you want to know self-help techniques to help prevent and recover from depression, I've written an e-book with all the best techniques I've collected and invented over the past few decades. You can buy Ending the Blues: A psychotherapist's guide to living depression-free on this site, but I'm sharing six of the tools free: