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How To Know If You Have Depression

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

Depression is a complex mental health concern that is diagnosed by doctors and requires proper clinical support to treat. While online questionnaires or tests can provide an indication of symptoms, they are not substitutes for a proper clinical diagnosis.

It is hard to know if you have depression; each person can experience depression differently, and symptoms can wildly differ. Whenever you try to search for it online, you might even find questionable ‘depression tests’. Several things can cause depression, and getting the right diagnosis is important so you can start getting the treatment you need.

With Mosh, we make it convenient for you to connect with a doctor who can address your needs. Mosh is a platform that connects you with doctors who can help you learn more about the different aspects of depression, from its causes to how it can affect your daily life and how to know if you have depression.  

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What is depression?

Depression is a common occurrence – as many as 8% of Australians may have affective disorders such as depressive episodes.[1] Depression is more complex than just feeling occasionally sad. Clinical depression is characterised by more intense feelings of sadness and anxiety, having low energy, and being unable to complete tasks for prolonged periods.[2] People can, however, experience depression differently – there isn’t just a one-size-fits-all experience for depression.

How do I know if I have depression?

While you can’t be sure you have depression until it is clinically diagnosed by a doctor, there are several symptoms that could indicate you might have depression and should consult your doctor as soon as possible. The symptoms of depression typically fall into the following four categories:[3]

  • Behaviour. Depression may cause a person to withdraw from social settings, isolate themselves from friends and family, and lose interest in enjoyable activities. 
  • Feelings. A person affected by depression may feel intense recurring feelings of guilt, irritation, being overwhelmed, misery, and unhappiness to name a few.  
  • Thoughts. Depression may also cause a person to conjure negative thoughts about themselves and their situations, like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘I’m worthless’, and ‘Nothing good happens with me around’. These thoughts may also take the form of thinking about or wanting to inflict self-harm. 
  • Physical. A person experiencing depression may feel as though they have low energy, recurring headache or body pains, sleeping disorders, little to no appetite, and sudden weight change.

While these symptoms can appear among individuals with depression, people can experience depression differently. The symptoms and indications of depression can vary for each person.

Therefore, it is crucial to not self-diagnose yourself by merely searching ‘how to know if you have depression’ online. Rather, you should leave that to a doctor to diagnose. Usually, if you experience intense sadness, hopelessness, or negativity recurring daily for a couple of weeks, we encourage you to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Connect with a doctor through Mosh today.

Is it possible to do a self-diagnosis for depression?

Avoid self-diagnosis for depression. If you think you have depression, we encourage you to seek professional medical help from a doctor. Depression is a complex mental health concern that requires proper clinical support to diagnose and treat.

A clinical diagnosis usually involves consulting with a doctor, who may conduct a mental health assessment that either contains a discussion or questionnaire about possible indicators of depression and a physical exam to rule out other possibilities for your symptoms.[4] During this assessment, you may be asked about your mental state, appetite, sleep, and general life situation. You may even be asked to discuss your medical and family history further to help with your diagnosis.

At Mosh, we connect you with a network of AHPRA-registered doctors who can help you with your concerns and help you overcome them. We’ve made it quick and easy for you to connect with these doctors. After a short online questionnaire, we will connect you with a Mosh doctor as soon as possible.

You may have searched online for a  ‘depression test’ or looked up ‘how to know if you have depression’. However, it’s important to understand that any online questionnaire or ‘test’ is not a substitute for a proper clinical diagnosis. These tests can only give you an indication of whether you’re displaying symptoms of depression and if you should see a doctor.

Are there online means of getting proper depression diagnosis?

Yes, receiving a proper clinical diagnosis for depression online is possible. In fact, at Mosh, we can connect your AHPRA-registered doctors within twenty-four hours, virtually and from the comfort of your home. 

All you have to do is fill out our online questionnaire, and our Mosh doctors will contact you to offer personalised recommendations within twenty-four hours. Part of providing their personalised recommendations is a free doctor consultation that you can conduct via text, call, or video chat. During such sessions, you can find answers to your questions, like ‘How to know if you have depression?’ and ‘What are the signs of depression?

After your doctor has had ample opportunity to discuss your concerns, they may recommend a tailor-fit treatment plan to you when necessary – you can choose to accept or not. At Mosh, we offer treatment plans ranging from online therapy to prescribed medications. We always have your best interest at heart, so if you feel like these won’t work for you, you can decline our offer at any time.

We will never judge you for your health condition or whatever circumstance you come from. What’s important to us is that you feel comfortable with us and trust our recommendations. To achieve this, we are always honest and transparent with our processes, and we take action to help you achieve your goals. For Mosh, it’s all about you. 

So instead of searching for ‘How to know if you have depression?’ or ‘What does depression feel like?’, let Mosh help you get through your low points and get your life back on track. 

What happens next after I get diagnosed with depression?

Usually, there are three main approaches to treating depression after you get your diagnosis,[5] depending on different factors that could influence how you respond to either one of these approaches. It’s essential to understand that you can engage in any of these approaches in tandem with each other – they are not mutually exclusive. 

Lifestyle changes

This may not be the first approach to treating depression that you’d expect. However, emerging studies indicate you should incorporate lifestyle changes into treatment and preventative efforts for depression.[6] However, lifestyle changes may not completely substitute other medical pathways (such as medication and therapy). 

These lifestyle changes may include adopting healthier habits and finding alternatives to lifestyle choices that negatively impact your health (both mentally and physically). From eating more nutritious foods and exercising more often to fostering more substantial social interactions and being outdoors more often, there is a lot you can do on an individual level to treat depression and prevent it from creeping back into your life. 

Psychological treatments

According to research, psychological treatment (such as cognitive behavioural therapy or interpersonal therapy) is more effective, lasts longer than medications, and can be applied flexibly on a case-by-case basis.[7] These therapies can be used in tandem to address suppressed or underlying issues in your life that may be affecting your mental health or triggering your depression. 


Lastly, the medication approach refers to the consumption of antidepressant medications that may be prescribed to you by your doctor as a way to manage your depressive episodes and emotions. Moreover, the medicines recommended to each person change depending on their unique case, among several other factors (age, sex, and medical history).

Each case of depression is unique and deserves a tailor-fit treatment plan that would best address their concerns and allow them to achieve their desired results. It’s essential that, whichever treatment approach you feel would be proper for you, you consult a doctor first. Speaking to a doctor would allow you to learn more about each treatment approach and how it may affect your depression. 

Instead of just searching for ‘how to know if you have depression’, we encourage you to learn more about ‘What are the symptoms of depression?’ so that you catch the early signs and consult a doctor as soon as possible. 

Receive support from Mosh today.

Depression can be triggered for various reasons that may be out of your control; it is not a lifestyle choice. The feeling that you are all alone may be overwhelming, but it’s not true. You don’t have to deal with depression alone. When you’re wondering how to know if you have depression, talk to a Mosh doctor and receive science-backed and personalised advice.

Depression is not something to be ashamed of. Our only concern at Mosh is helping you get back on your feet and prevent it from creeping back into your life. 

If you ever asked yourself, ‘What is mental health?’ and ‘What is depression?’ Mosh is here to help you learn more about mental health and how depression affects Australians. 

Talk to a Mosh doctor today.

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