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A Numbering Scale for Different Stages of Depression

A Numbering Scale for Different Stages of

By Patrick Day

When I was in the varying stages of depression, my psychiatrist asked me, “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst depression, how is your right now?”

It was such a subjective and open-ended scale, that I found it to be not useful. I needed help for depression, not analysis. Did my psychiatrist understand 8 as I understood 8? It was frustrating. As I studied more about my condition, I found that there were names for the different stages of my condition: mild to moderate depression, serious depression, major depression, and suicidal depression. And each of these stages of had symptoms ascribed to them.

For a number of reasons I don’t want to get into here, I changed psychiatrists. By that time I had devised a scale that I felt was useful in describing my state of by its symptoms. My psychiatrist may have been familiar with a similar scale that was used by some groups affiliated with the and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), but she didn’t say so. And my scale was more detailed than the DBSA 5-point scale (they also use the 10-point scale described above). My psychiatrist found the scale very useful in determining my state of over a period of time.

That scale became incorporated in a book I wrote called Too Late in the Afternoon: One Man’s Triumph Over Depression, which can be found on the website www.pyramidpublishers.com .

Here is the section of the book that explains the scale. This is a psychiatrist named Zeke who is talking to Mitch, the protagonist of the story.

“I also want you to keep track of the depth of your

on a scale of 1-5 so we can both determine where

you are at any given period of time. A 5 is normal. A 4 is

feeling uncomfortable but still able to function; an upper 4

is mild and a lower 4 is moderate depression. A 3

is severe in which you have significant problems

with thinking, eating, sleeping, and socializing; it is where

hopelessness sets in and you just want to cry. A 2 is major

that is not sustainable without some sort of

relief. Thoughts of death arrive at this stage as a means of

escaping the extreme anguish of the psyche. A 1 is a depression

so dreadful and deep that, without intervention, a person

considers suicide, and either embraces it or lives a life more

horrific than anything the worst physical suffering can bring. ”

Now that I have come out on the other side of depression, after five years, I find this a useful tool in determining what state a person I am peer-coaching is in and in describing this to pastors, counselors, and medical doctors in determining what treatment for depression may be indicated.

For those whose depressive condition is a 1, hospitalization is recommended. For those at a 2 or 3, they will not respond well to counseling, prayer, spiritual counseling, or psychotherapy. They need to stabilize first, and that is generally done with medication. Once people reach a high 3 or a 4, talk therapy, pastoral counseling, psychotherapy, and other tools in addition to or instead of medication can be effective. They can get help with depression on a practical basis.

I strongly believe in the depression helps of body, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and spirit for mastering depression. You can find more about this on my non-commercial blog site: www.triumphoverdepression.org .

About Sari Schwartz

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