I think I might be suffering mild depression

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I feel silly for doing this. I know a lot of people read about a symptom and think Oh My God that is totally me so it makes me feel even more like I am over reacting. For the past few months I have been VERY tired, all I want to do when I am home is sleep if I’m not sleeping I am thinking about when I will be able to take a nap, if I can fit it in my schedule some how. The few times I am not thinking about sleeping I just feel like everything in my life is going wrong (except for my husband, he is the one good thing I see in my life). I cry at the littlest things any more, I have been having stomach issues, diarrhea then constipation and the always present indigestion. I use to love baking and now I hate everything I bake and usually get upset when I do it. I think I might be suffering from a mild form of depression, but then when I start to think that I tell myself I am wrong and I’m just looking for something that isn’t there. I just tell myself it is stress with subbing and not being able to find a full time job (my husband does the same) and working a night job (but I didn’t feel this way last year when I did the exact same thing). I guess my real issue is, do I go and see a doctor about it or do I just assume it is stress and I am over reacting.

A: I don’t think you’re silly. I don’t think you’re overreacting. I think you are sick. Please get yourself to a doctor right away. The symptoms you are reporting can be caused by quite a few medical conditions.

Being a substitute teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world, it’s true. Being unable to find work and worrying about your future is certainly stressful. But before you write your feelings off as stress-related, you absolutely must get a thorough medical assessment. My guess is that you know there is something wrong and you haven’t wanted to face it. But the truth is this: If you do have a medical problem, it’s only going to get worse if you don’t get a diagnosis and treatment.

Do ask your husband to go with you to the appointment with your doctor. Feeling as you do, you need the support.

I certainly hope everything checks out fine. If it does, then make an appointment with a counselor to learn some stress reduction techniques. But if you are indeed ill, you’ll have taken the first step toward getting care.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 May 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). I think I might be suffering mild depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/15/i-think-i-might-be-suffering-mild-depression/