While only a qualified mental health professional can actually diagnose a mental health problem, the following information can be used to help assess what general area you might be having difficulty with (please note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all depressive or psychiatric disorders and does not substitute for an evaluation by a mental health professional):
- Major Depressive Disorder/Episode: period of two weeks or more in which you feel persistently sad most of the time and may experience boughts of crying, thoughts of death, impulses to harm oneself, feelings of excessive guilt or shame, changes in appetite or sleep, difficulty thinking clearly and/or making decisions, changes in energy level, loss of interest in sex. In children, men and the elderly the dominant mood may be irritability or anger as opposed to sadness.
- Dysthymia: period of two years or more in which for most of the time there is a persistent sad mood. May or may not also include Major Depressive Episodes (see above).
- Complicated Bereavement: loss of a loved one which leads to grieving and bereavement that does not resolve in the typical fashion (does not get easier over time and/or has a sever impact on ones’ ability to function).