One of the screening recommendations of the Preventative Health Task Force is that your General Practitioner asks you about your mood. In practice I don’t think this is done very often in the clinical setting so you really try to be self aware and if you feel consistently low in your emotions consider mentioning it to your Doctor.
Depression is a serious illness that causes changes in mood, thinking, physical well-being and behavior. It can affect all aspects of your life. While the exact causes are unclear, it may involve many factors, such as biological differences, inherited traits and stressful life events. In some cases, it seems to happen with no identifiable cause. No matter what triggers it, depression is much more than grieving or a bout of the blues.
Depression may happen only once in a person’s life. However, it may occur repeatedly with depression-free periods in between, or it may be an ongoing condition. With proper treatment, most people with serious depression improve and return to normal, daily activities.
If you would like to do a ‘Depression Self assessment’ have a go at the questions at this reputable site from the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/MH00103_D