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How do I know if I’m depressed?

Although symptoms of feelings of sadness, restlessness, anxiety, crying, or weight loss can happen to anyone at times, major depression is a major disease. If you have been bothered by feeling down or hopeless, or if you have been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things, talk to your health care provider. Some health conditions can cause depressive symptoms, so you should have a detailed physical exam, including providing a detailed health history. You also may need bloodwork and other lab tests to rule out physical symptoms. Your primary care provider may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. It’s also important to remember that there is no shame in experiencing depression: It’s like any other chronic health condition that can be managed with proper treatment, which may include behavioral therapy and possibly medications.

George Keepers, M.D.George Keepers, M.D.
OHSU Brain Institute

About the expert

Dr. Keepers is the Carruthers Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and a member of the OHSU Brain Institute. His current clinical and research interests continue to be in the field of neuropsychiatry. He is the director of the Complex Neuropsychiatry Clinic and director of the Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Clinic.

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