Free Resources

for freedom from depression and anxiety

Are you suffering from depression, anxiety or mood swings?

Take these self-assessment tests:

Depression

Anxiety

Mood Swings


Depression

What is Depression?

The term "depression" is reserved for prolonged disorders of mood which require professional help. It does not refer to normal discouragement that all people feel at times. Depression comes in all degrees of severity from mild (dysthymia) to major depression.

Adolescent depression is not just a stage of life but a treatable disorder. It is slightly different than adult depression. Use the Adolescent checklist if you are a teenager.

Dysthymia

Most cases of depression are mild. When symptoms are mild, most people ignore them and are never treated, leaving themselves chronically, emotionally disabled but unaware of it. Researchers estimate that at least six percent of the population are chronically unhappy, or in a state of mild depression. This state of mild depression has now been termed "Dysthymia." People with this form of depression are very susceptible to becoming severely depressed with advancing years or increasing stress. Fortunately, mild depression and dysthymia respond to the same treatments as severe depression.

You may be suffering from Dysthymia if the following symptoms apply to you:
You have suffered from a depressed mood most of the time for most days for at least two years with at least two of the following, and these symptoms have interfered with your social or work life.:

  1. poor appetite or overeating,
  2. insomnia or oversleeping,
  3. low energy, always tired,
  4. low self esteem,
  5. poor concentration and difficulty making decisions,
  6. feelings of hopelessness;

How can I tell if I'm suffering with Depression?

Depression has a very wide variety of symptoms and each individual shows a different pattern. Generally speaking, these people usually have been sad for prolonged periods without obvious cause. The onset of depressive symptoms is usually very slow and insidious so a person doesn't realize that they are slowly sliding into depression. They just gradually adjust to an ever-worsening mood and assume that they are reacting normally to life's circumstances. Depression usually comes on in the teen years and lasts for so long that the symptoms become "normal" to you.

You may be suffering from Depression if the following symptoms apply to you:

  • You have found that you have gradually begun to slip into these symptoms and you suffer from many of them most of the time, on most days.
  • You have persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” moods.
  • You suffer from feelings of hopelessness, pessimism and low self-esteem.
  • You feel guilty and worthless.
  • You have lost interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed, including sex.
  • Your sleep patterns are disrupted. You have insomnia, wake early in the morning, or have been oversleeping.
  • Your eating habits have changed. You have a loss of appetite or have started overeating. You’ve noticed a weight loss or weight gain.
  • You seem to have decreased energy, feelings of fatigue, a “slowed down” feeling, or agitation that you can’t control.
  • Simple tasks seem harder and you’ve started procrastinating.
  • You’ve had constant feelings of “life isn’t worth living like this,” thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.
  • You feel restless, irritable, bad tempered, never relaxed or content.
  • You’ve had difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions. Your mind is hindered by a persistent, uncontrollable cluttering of down, sad, negative thoughts that you can’t keep out.
  • You have had persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
  • You suffer from continuous anxiety that can’t be turned off. You worry uncontrollably about small things (such as your physical health).
  • You are having difficulty making small talk and have started to isolate yourself socially or have withdrawn from your peers.
  • Your family has a history of members with depression, alcoholism or nervous breakdowns.
  • In children, you should look for increased irritability, persistent complaints of physical problems, agitation, unwarranted anxiety, panic, or social withdrawal.

What can I do to help?

If you haven’t been able to shut off the negative thoughts for months or years and you see yourself described in the symptom checklists, then you need to see your doctor and tell him how you’re feeling. He will know if you need medications to correct the imbalance and get back your thought control. Counsellors are also very helpful to put your thinking on the right track.

Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are chemical imbalances that interfere with your ability to control or stop a sense of continuous worry or fear.

How can I tell if I'm suffering from Anxiety?

Do you have excessive or unrealistic anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities? Has it been noticeable on most days for at least 6 months? Is it difficult to control or turn off the worry?

On most days in the past 6 months have you felt:

  1. restless, keyed up, or on edge
  2. tired frequently
  3. difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  4. irritability
  5. muscle tension
  6. difficulty falling or staying asleep

Do you struggle with fear and anxiety?

  • Does the worry or anxiety cause significant distress (i.e., it bothers you that you worry too much) or significant interference with your day-to-day life? For example, the worry may make it difficult for you to perform important tasks at work, interfere with relationships, or get in the way of sleep.
  • Do you experience feelings of anxiety, fear, or panic immediately upon encountering a feared social situation?
  • Does fear of embarrassment cause you to avoid doing things or speaking to people?
  • Do you tend to avoid a feared social situation, or if you can’t avoid it, the situation is endured with intense anxiety or discomfort?
  • Do you recognize that the fear is excessive, unreasonable, or out of proportion to the actual risk in the situation?
  • Do you have sudden attacks of intense fear or discomfort that are unexpected or out of the blue?
  • Have you ever had one of these attacks and spent the next month or more living in fear of having another attack or worrying about the consequences of the attack?

What can I do to help?

If you haven’t been able to shut off the anxious thoughts for months or years and you see yourself described in the symptom checklists, then you need to see your doctor and tell him how you’re feeling. He will know if you need medications to correct the imbalance and get back your thought control. Counsellors are also very helpful to put your thinking on the right track.

Mood Swings

What causes Mood Swings?

Mood swings, or bipolar disorder is a common, genetically inherited chemical imbalance where you can’t control thoughts and moods swing from depressed to a high energy driven feeling. Depression is the most frequent form of mood disorder. Bipolar disorder, or what used to be called "manic depression" is the next most common. It is characterized by wide mood fluctuations ranging from deep depression and despair to extreme happiness, euphoria, drivenness or mania.

How can I tell if I'm suffering from Mood Swings?

You might have Bipolar Disorder if you experience episodes that look like this:

  • You feel an exaggerated elation, or have rapid, unpredictable mood swings.
  • You get irritable or impatient when people can’t keep up with you.
  • You have an abnormal sleeping pattern. You haven’t been able to sleep, you are too busy to sleep, you feel you don’t need to sleep, and you don’t feel tired the next day.
  • You make big (unachievable) plans, have an inflated self-esteem, or have an exaggerated sense of your own importance.
  • You are an impulsive spender.
  • You can’t control how much, how loud, or how fast you speak. People are having a hard time keeping up with you in conversation.
  • Your thoughts are racing and jumbled, they jump from topic to topic.
  • You have poor concentration and are easily distracted.
  • You’ve been acting out of character, feel uninhibited, have an increased sexual drive, or have been behaving promiscuously.
  • You behave like you can’t be stopped, and have increased energy.
  • Your driving is erratic and aggressive.
  • You refuse treatment, blame others for your symptoms, have been using poor judgment, or show a lack of insight in your decision making.
  • You’ve been acting inappropriately in social situations. You tell people off, misinterpret events and overreact, distort the meaning of ordinary remarks, or act out other high-risk behaviors.

These behaviors can last hours, days or weeks and normally end with a crash into profound depression.

During a depressed phase, bipolar depression is indistinguishable from unipolar depression. If a person is having their first episode of depression, it is not possible to tell which type of depression is present. About thirty percent of people having their first episode of depression are in fact bipolar but the swinging mood pattern has not yet emerged.

The usual age of onset of bipolar depression is in late adolescence and the early twenties, the same as in other mood disorders. It is usually not recognized until symptoms have been present for about ten years. In the years preceding diagnosis, there is usually unpredictable mood behavior with marked irritability. This is commonly seen during the adolescent prelude to being diagnosed, when this behavior is called a "normal phase." Those with bipolar mood disorder are very prone to abuse alcohol and street drugs as a way of self-medicating their confused and tormented thoughts. Bipolar mood disorder responds well to treatment.

What can I do to help?

If you have those symptoms, take the list to your doctor to discuss medications that will restore your thought control and stop the swinging. Counsellors are also very helpful to put your thinking on the right track.

I need relief from anxiety, depression, or mood swings

Is it hard to shut your mind off? Do you struggle with negative or anxious, fearful thoughts? Do you sometimes have mood swings into high energy and feel very driven. Are you frustrated and ashamed that as a Christian, you can’t “take every thought captive” and “have the mind of Christ?” You probably think that God is disappointed and has given up on you.

Then you’ve come to the right place!
I was a mental health physician for over 25 years (now retired and no longer licensed with the College of Physicians) and I know what you’re thinking and how frustrated and hopeless it makes you feel. I’ve spent my career helping mostly Christians overcome depression, anxiety and mood swings. Start your recovery journey by clicking on the links below.

I need help with

Depression

I need help with

Anxiety

Additional Resources

To help you understand depression, anxiety and mood swings.

Stay Connected

When you join our online community, every week you will get a video link to help you Change How You Think.

Subscribing has benefits!

  • When you join our online community, every week you will get access to a new video to help you Change How You Think.
  • When you subscribe we'll also send you information on the area of interest you selected.

As an added bonus you'll receive our 42 page Healthy Moods ebook absolutely FREE!

Healthy Moods is an easy to understand guide to the recognition and treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It answers the thirteen most common questions I’ve been asked in my mental health clinic. Questions like: What causes depression? How does depression affect marriages? What is anxiety disorder? What is bipolar disorder? What is schizophrenia? It also includes a symptom checklist so you can assess yourself or a loved one and know if medical treatment would be helpful. Subscribe to our weekly video and get this helpful guide to mental health absolutely free!

As an added bonus you'll receive our 42 page Healthy Moods ebook absolutely FREE!

Healthy Moods is an easy to understand guide to the recognition and treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It answers the thirteen most common questions I’ve been asked in my mental health clinic. Questions like: What causes depression? How does depression affect marriages? What is anxiety disorder? What is bipolar disorder? What is schizophrenia? It also includes a symptom checklist so you can assess yourself or a loved one and know if medical treatment would be helpful. Subscribe to our weekly video and get this helpful guide to mental health absolutely free!

Subscribe Now!

You will receive our weekly Change How You Think video. Let us know your interests and we’ll send you information on the topic you selected below. As a bonus, you will receive the 42 page ebook, Healthy Moods.

Subscribing has benefits!

  • When you join our online community, every week you will get access to a new video to help you Change How You Think.
  • When you subscribe we'll also send you information on the area of interest you selected.

As an added bonus you'll receive our 42 page Healthy Moods ebook absolutely FREE!

Healthy Moods is an easy to understand guide to the recognition and treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It answers the thirteen most common questions I’ve been asked in my mental health clinic. Questions like: What causes depression? How does depression affect marriages? What is anxiety disorder? What is bipolar disorder? What is schizophrenia? It also includes a symptom checklist so you can assess yourself or a loved one and know if medical treatment would be helpful. Subscribe to our weekly video and get this helpful guide to mental health absolutely free!

As an added bonus you'll receive our 42 page Healthy Moods ebook absolutely FREE!

Healthy Moods is an easy to understand guide to the recognition and treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. It answers the thirteen most common questions I’ve been asked in my mental health clinic. Questions like: What causes depression? How does depression affect marriages? What is anxiety disorder? What is bipolar disorder? What is schizophrenia? It also includes a symptom checklist so you can assess yourself or a loved one and know if medical treatment would be helpful. Subscribe to our weekly video and get this helpful guide to mental health absolutely free!