How do I know if I have depression, anxiety, or if someone is suicidal?

Each of us has coping skills that work well for us. When life overwhelms us with loss, stress, rejection or disappointment, our coping strategies may not function as well as they did in everyday situations. Sometimes depression or anxiety is a result of our emotional system being overwhelmed. Both anxiety and depression are examples of emotional issues that can be treated with a variety of treatment plans that may or may not include medication, depending on the individual!

Signs and symptoms that you may be depressed:

Change in appetite, either overeating and focusing on food, or you have no appetite and must make yourself eat.

Change in sleep, either sleeping too much or having trouble getting to sleep or staying alseep.

Change in ability to concentrate, having cloudy thinking, more forgetful, unable to stay on task for reading, cooking               or other daily activities.

Loss of interest in events or activities that used to bring you enjoyment, such as entertaining, hobbies, or sex.

Slowing down of thoughts, speech or movement enough that others are aware of the changes.

Increased feelings of restlessness or can't seem to sit still.

Increased alcohol intake, use of over-the-counter medications, pot smoking or other illicit substance use.

Increased behaviors such as shopping, shop-lifting, over-spending, gambling, yelling at family members, excessive time spent on the internet or any other behavior that makes you feel worse afterwards or is shame based behavior.

Increased irritability when something does not go your way to the point of anger.

Over-focused on your past behavior or what others have done to you.

Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless.

Increased crying and feelings of sadness.

Increased thoughts of death, or searching the internet for information about death.

Feeling like you are in a dark place and there is no way out.

Suicidal thoughts with or without a plan.

Sign or symptoms that you may be experiencing anxiety: 

Physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, dry mouth, feeling like you may be having a heart attack, sweating hands, thing seem unreal, or thoughts seem hyper focused.

Fear of repeated anxiety symptoms so you avoid any tasks or outings that might create anxiety.

Fighting behaviors.

Projecting into the future negative things that might happen.

Excessive worry about your self or others.

Counting or other behaviors such as checking stove or doors.

Anxiety and depression are both treatable conditions,  and may worsen if untreated.


If you suspect someone is considering suicide, have them seek help from a counselor, mental health provider, crisis center, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, MD, or Psychaitrist. If they are in immediate danger, stay with them and call 911 to report a psychiatric emergency.

Warning Signs that someone may be thinking of suicide include:

Verbalization of "You would be better off without me".

Individual with chronic physical or emotional pain that cannot be relieved stating, "I can't bear this pain any more".

Person giving away their most prized, valuable possessions.

Depressed individual calls, emails or texts to tell you goodbye or they are "going home now".

Depressed person wanting to get their affairs in order.

Expressing a plan of how they would kill themselves and having a way to carry that plan out.

Severe depression symptoms in which the person is hearing voices that tell them to suicide.

Note: Person who has made one suicide attempt is more likely to carry out their plan if they try a second time.