Take a look at the lists below. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, you should talk with a doctor, counselor, or psychologist if:
- You've had 5 or more of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks.
- Any of these symptoms cause such a big change that you can't keep up your usual routine.
- Feeling sad all the time.
- Feeling like you're empty inside.
- Feeling worthless.
- Feeling helpless.
- Feeling that there's no hope, that nothing will work out right, or that when bad things happen, it's all your fault.
- Feeling anxious or cranky all the time.
- Feeling sluggish or low-energy.
- Not wanting to eat, or wanting to eat all the time.
- Having problems falling asleep or getting up in the morning.
- Having frequent headaches.
- Having stomach pains or lots of pains in other parts of the body.
Remember: having one or two of these symptoms once in a while doesn't mean that you or a friend is suffering from major depression. But if you or someone you know is having symptoms like these most of the time, and they're having a serious effect on life, then it's time to get help.
- Losing interest in school, sports, or other activities.
- No longer enjoying favorite activities or hobbies.
- Having more-than-usual trouble with family and friends.
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions.
- Wanting to be alone most of the time.
- Using drugs or alcohol.
- Thinking about death or suicide.
Okay, so how is Manic Depression different from all this?