By Gina Duncan, M.D.
Mood — Do your moods feel pretty stable, or are you experiencing significant mood swings (either highs or lows)? Are you crying more than usual? Feeling persistently depressed for two weeks or more and any thoughts of suicide could indicate clinical depression.
Concentration — Are you able to focus on the task at hand, whether at work or at home, and get it done in a timely manner? Or, do you find yourself overrun with missed deadlines and undone chores? Often the first sign that our concentration is waning is when our productivity goes down. Poor concentration is a hallmark of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but it can also be a symptom of depression and anxiety and should not be overlooked.
Energy — Do you feel that you have the energy to do the things you need and want to do? Fatigue can be a sign of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, but it can also be a symptom of many physical illnesses including cancer, diabetes and sleep apnea. If you find that you are feeling unusually fatigued or have other concerning symptoms, it is important that you contact your doctor right away.
In my next blog entry, the last in this series, I’ll provide a statement to help you consider whether you are thriving or just coping.