When depression hurts, you may become more curious about symptoms of depression, and just how depressed you are. The depression self test below is a guide to recognising certain causes and signs of depression.
Depresssion Self Test #1
The first depression self test is straight-forward – see if any of the two main themes apply to you:
- Are you depressed in mood, a lot of the time?
- Do you suffer from a loss of pleasure?
If yes to either, then go ahead with…
Depression Self Test #2: a few possible symptoms
Do you show any of these symptoms:
- Feelings of overwhelming sadness or fear
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, or anxiety
- A decrease in self-esteem
- A seeming inability to feel emotion – like a ‘flatness of feeling’
- A reduction in how much you enjoy what were pleasurable activities
- Changing appetite, or significant weight gain or loss
- Disturbed sleep patterns, such as insomnia, or sleeping too much
- Fatigue, either mental and or physical
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- People have commented on your mood or attitudes
- Feeling that your life or performance are suffering because of these issues
- Nostalgia – remembering your past and distancing yourself from the present
If you feel that you have a few of these issues – then you probably have a good idea of whether or not you feel depressed. In the end though – your own feeling is the most important thing, not whether or not a depression self test tells you that you may be depressed. So lets look at some possible causes.
Depression Self Test #3: Feelings of Inferiority
You may already have a good idea of why you feel depressed. If you don’t, it could be that the cause or trigger is deeper down, and could have been residing in your subconscious from much earlier. One possible vulnerability is the inferority complex – a subconscious feeling of ‘not belonging’ or being good enough, that can gradually gather enough experiences and attitudes to lead to depression. Do any of these ‘resonate’ with how you feel or see things?
- Disbelief in yourself
- Disbelief in your value to community, or people in general
- Disbelief in your abilities or strengths
- Dislike going into the company of others
- Fear meeting strangers
- Shrink from attempting the difficult
- Hide from anything that may be criticised
- A tendancy to want to look down on people or ideas
- An occasional desire towards petty crime such as small thefts – a feeling that you’re owed something
- Cynical or negative attitudes towards the environment you’re in
If any of these answers in the depression self test ring true then at least consider the idea of an inferiority complex. They are difficult to become aware of, and admit to, because we desperately cling on to the remaining sense of ‘self’ that we have. But the complex always wins. Inferiority complexes are very important to tackle, as they prevent self-realization. The reaching of your potential. Getting over the little hang-ups that prevent you from really enjoying what you’re entitled to. To feel the innate instinct for personal power and self-expression that lies at the heart of your soul and life.
With instincts saying ‘I can’ and the complex saying ‘I can’t’, you don’t need hypnosis to see how disrupting the conflict can be. Depression hurts and can be a very real consequence of the inferiority conflict.
A fantastic book which has been written on the subject is available here. It details the various ways in which inferiority complexes can form, and some can be surprising. Awareness of the other symptoms of inferiority will enhance your ability to understand others. But most of all, learning ways to escape feelings of inferiority can help enormously when depression hurts.
Depression Self Test #4: some other possible causes
Have any of these recently happened to you?
- Moved house
- Changed job
- The passing away of someone close
- Been involved in a personal conflict
- A change to a close relationship
- A feeling of disillusionment – let down by something
- Lack of positive ‘flourishes’ – niceties, kind acts, pleasant surprises
- Feeling vulnerable to some kind of ‘exposure’ – that the ‘real you’ is hiding
If so, then you may just be going through something. Hypnosis or hypnotherapy might be a good idea to work through your perceptions, emotions, thoughts and belief systems about the events or people involved. It’s important to remember that depression isn’t something you are or have, it’s simply something you feel, some of the time.
Depression Self Test #5: are you always depressed?
Its easy to dwell on feeling depressed, and developing a filter of the world where all you can see are reasons, evidence, and excuses for being depressed. The depression self test doesn’t really help of course, so try not to focus too much on becoming a ‘hypochondriac’ to them.
Work your way through these, and see how it feels.
- Think of times when you aren’t depressed. You simply cannot feel depressed all of the time. Even when you’re brushing your teeth? Find the times that you aren’t depressed.
- Remember times you have really enjoyed, and enjoy them again like watching mental movies. Remind yourself of things you have done or achieved, things that you probably don’t allow yourself to remember that often.
- Think about the belief systems that hide behind your depression, and challenge them, in the same way that a psychotherapist might. For example, if you think deep down, ‘all people are selfish, no one cares how I feel’. Challenge that. Think to yourself ‘am I really the only one in the world that cares about others, or am I selfish too?’ ‘is there anyone that cares about others, some of the time?’ ‘is everyone rotten?’ ‘really?‘
- Find something new to do. In learning about something completely new, like how a steam engine works, or a new language, you can enjoy distracting yourself away from yourself. Part of the problem is that you make it a problem by thinking about it too much.
- Notice ways in which you may not be projecting yourself to others as well as you could. One of the self-fulfilling prophecies of life is that we often become how we seem to others. So act as if. Act as if you are happy, and you’ll feel happier. Act positive, and you’ll think more positive. Did you know that you can unleash the brain chemicals that correlate with an emotion, just by making the facial expression for it? Also, when people believe what you present them with, they expect it from you. Without realising it, they actually hypnotise you into being what you want to be. Hypnosis happens all the time, and we use it without knowing it.
Now you’ve done the depression self test, why not use the internet to discover something completely new? You could start by learning how hypnosis affects us all everyday, and you may even learn something new about your mind and how it works.