PlusFour Solutions: Guidance through Assessment

Emotional and Behavioral Assessment


One in every ten Americans is depressed. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood, rather it is a persistent psychological problem. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. Often a person has a genetic predisposition for a depressive disorder.

Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities.

A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts.

Dysthymia is a less severe type of depression which involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good.

Bipolar disorder is another type of depression, also called manic-depressive illness. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).

Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness & pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or 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 chronic pain

Additional information about Depression: