How deep is your depression?

This is the last bit that I wanted to record from Overcoming Depression by Dean Juniper before I finally give it to a charity shop.

How Deep Is Your Depression

Though depressions come in varying degrees of depth and length, they are often longstanding, moderately troubling, states which make life seem pointless or trivial. If you agree with the majority of the following statements about yourself, then you are probably suffering from mild to moderate depression.

  • Secretly you are sorry you were ever born.
  • When you look back on you life it seems a succession of crises and struggles.
  • You are easily hurt.
  • There is always some relationship or other coming apart.
  • There is always a huge gap between what you want and what you are.
  • There is always something to depress or worry you.
  • You deny you are guilty, but your thoughts and actions reflect little else.
  • You find the prospect of death a little thrilling or, at least, a kind of solution.
  • Most common life-satisfactions seem to you overrated, but you cannot do without them.
  • Secretly, you despise everybody, yourself included.

You are also probably still within reach of the type of self-managed help that this book offers and, if you let yourself work within its systematic betterment programmes, there should be sustained benefits for you.

But depressions can be significantly deeper than mild to moderate. They can reduce mental and physical efficiency to levels of virtual half-functioning. If you agree with the majority of the following statements, then you ahve moved into the severest category of depression.

  • You often feel tempted to stay in bed all day. There seems no point in getting up and dressed.
  • Eating meals has become a chore, and you know you are undernourished.
  • You find it hard to concentrate for more than a short period. Conversations fade in and out.
  • If feels a huge effort just to walk about. As for going to work, this is almost impossible (or is impossible).
  • Starting conversations is extremely difficult. It feels as if your lips are frozen. It is an effort to speak.
  • The nagging need to escape to the safety of your bed asserts itself in work or in social events.
  • Feelings of contentment or pleasure (if they occur at all) are very short-lived and are soon blanketed by moods of despair or bitterness.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion are with you continuously, even at the moment of waking. Sleep is difficult to attain and maintain.
  • Often you weep but usually only when you are alone.
  • Irritation with other people increases. You make angry asides under your breath.

If you have agreed with most of the above statements, this book can certainly help you, but not on its own. Your safest, most reliable, but not necessarily easiest course is to seek professional aid. You have a legal right to ask your doctor to refer you to a clinical psychologist for a diagnosis and a therapeutic recommendation. This may be difficult. Your doctor may not want to refer you. Insist on it; if necessary change your doctor or see another partner, but make sure you get professional help.

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