Sunday, December 8, 2013

30 Days of Mental Health Awareness: Day 13

I'm taking part in the 30 Days of Mental Health Awareness Challenge. Every day I'll post in response to their prompts.

Day 13: If you know the criteria of your illness(es) which ones do you think you meet? Or what are your most common symptoms?

 The criteria for depression (from the DSM-IV-TR) are:

Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks and at least five of the following symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day:
1. Depressed mood most of the day. 
2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities. 
3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain. 
4. Insomnia or sleeping too much. 
5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others. 
6. Fatigue or loss of energy. 
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt. 
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness. 
9. Recurrent thoughts of death (APA, 2000, p. 356).
I have felt every single one of those, except number 3, at one point in time or another. Numbers 2, 4, 7, and 8 are the ones that are most consistently present in my life, while 1, 5, 6, and 9 creep up when I'm in an episode.

The DSM-IV-TR criteria for anxiety are:

A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more-days-than-not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance). 
B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry. 
C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) (only 1 for children) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more-days-than-not for the past six months). 
1. Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
2. Being easily fatigued
3. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
4. Irritability
5. Muscle tension
6. Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
D. The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of other Axis I disorder (such as social phobia, OCD, PTSD etc.)
E. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
F. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism), and does not occur exclusively during a mood disorder, psychotic disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder.

And again, I've felt all of those at different times. I am, however, interested to see how they change or subside when my stress levels are lower.

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