Q. I experience lack of sleep, mood swings, fatigue, loss of interest, etc. Do I have PTSD?

Answered by
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 02, 2021 and last reviewed on: Feb 04, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am not sure if I have depression, but I notice a lack or have a hard time sleeping. I have feelings of emptiness and guilt, change in appetite, fatigue, mood swings, suicidal thoughts at times, and losing interest in my favorite activities. Is there a way I can confirm if this is just sadness and hormones or depression? How do I also know if I have PTSD or prolonged grief?

#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your situation. If you have social and functions impairment for more than two weeks, it is a major depressive disorder. If you have not any work impairment and just feeling gloomy, then it is not depression. It may be due to some temporary stress or adjustment issue.

If any traumatic event happened in your life, like an accident, sexual abuse, etc., it leads you to nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety, resulting in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

If you have attended your close one's death or loss, then it may lead you to grief. But it is maximum up to a month. You may have a major depressive disorder (from the above symptoms). There is non-pharmacological management for your depression. You should try to follow the below guidelines to deal with it. It will help you.

1. Do exercises daily for 30 - 45 minutes, like at least going for a walk.

2. Do meditation for 20 minutes daily. Just sit at one place in a comfortable position and try to concentrate on your normal breathing. Do not stop or force yourself to stop your thoughts. Just let it be.

3. Eat healthy home-cooked foods, and avoid junk foods.

4. Drink enough water.

5. Spend quality time with friends and family daily or do video calls if you live away from your family.

6. Spend time on creative hobbies like reading good books, writing journals, painting, drawing, learning new skills or language or musical instruments.

7. Take enough 7 - 8 hours of sleep daily.

8. Avoid tobacco or alcohol, or any substance abuse.

Live your life, don't just spend it. Be bold and confident. If you still have symptoms that persist after following the advice for four to six weeks, then you need to start medications for a short duration.

I hope this helps.


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