To help with the first two questions, here’s an 11-point list from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed.
A Hypnotist’s Comments on the List
Persistent Sad, Anxious, or Empty Mood
Right. But that didn’t stop anybody from shoehorning anxiety into depression anyway. For example, this diagram, also from the ADAA, shows generalized anxiety disorder as being a mere subset of depression:
As a hypnotherapist, I use ordinary language rather than therapy-speak, so I’m free to avoid sloppy nomenclature. But some of my clients come in pre-confused by this sort of thing, and we need to take the time to distinguish between labels that actually describe the client’s experience and ones that don’t.