Everyone feels sad or down from time-to-time...
but depression is different, it’s more intense.
Did you know?
We think contentment arrives and leaves mysteriously, almost like a cloud: as if happiness is out of our control. But being content is totally in your control. It takes a little self-discipline. And if you don't know how to start, it's completely ok to ask for help.
It may come and stay for a long period of time (weeks, months, even years).
It may come for no apparent reason –that is, no cause that you can find in the outside world.
Here are some behaviours to look out for in yourself or others:
Not getting things done
Spending less time outside
Over relying on alchohol and sedatives.
Unable to concentrate
Not feeling joy or enjoying normal activities
If you think you are experiencing depression then complete this quick, easy and confidential checklist below. The checklist doesn’t diagnose you (you need a doctor or psychologist for that). But it will help you determine whether you need to take further action and how urgently to act.
These changes in behaviour may also come with very negative thoughts like “I’m a failure” or “I’ve let everyone down” or “I’m worthless”. In depression, most thoughts turn negative in the end.
For expats in a foreign country depression poses difficulties because it’s easy to feel isolated and alone when you’re overseas. Expat networks are small and often work-related, making it difficult to be vulnerable with friends and colleagues.
Gossip is also a factor that expats tend to worry about.
Do I have depression?
This quick checklist will ask you to reflect on your feelings over the past two weeks. It is 9 questions that measure how recently and frequently you’ve had symptoms for depression in the last two week. The results offer suggested guidance on what to do next to maintain your mental health.
Please read each statement and choose a response that shows how much the statement applied to you over the last week. There are no right or wrong answers. Do not spend too much time on any one statement.
Not at all - Did not apply to me at all over the past two week.
Several days - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time in the past week.
More than half the days - Applied to me a considerable degree, or a good part of the time.
Nearly every day - Applied to me very much, or most of the time.
The depression checklist provided here is called the ‘PHQ-9’. It is used by doctors, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to determine what level of support is needed for someone with depression.*
*This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.
Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.
Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.
Reference: Drs. Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke and colleagues.