What does the term “clinical depression” mean?
We all have experienced a lot of stress, grief, unhappiness, and sadness in life. We all have lost our beloved ones in some phases of our life. Many of us have even experienced a personal tragedy or difficulty like divorce or loss of job, we feel the pain, and that pain leads us to feel depressed. Most of the population deals with these kinds of stress with ease and for some, it gets difficult. Most of us can return to our normal activities after a few days or weeks. However, if these depressive feelings and other symptoms make it difficult for us to get through the day and persist for more than a few weeks at a time, we may be suffering from “clinical depression.” In order to distinguish between the illness of depression and less challenging sensations of melancholy, gloom, or the blues, the term “clinical depression” is typically employed.
Grief or sadness alone does not constitute clinical depression. It is a condition that might make it difficult for you to carry out even simple daily tasks. At its worst, depression can cause you to think about, try, or commit suicide. Depression is a burden on you and your loved ones. That weight can perhaps seem unbearably heavy.
Types of clinical depression
Clinical depression comes in a variety of forms, including:
A protracted major depressive episode is one that lasts for a number of weeks or months. One of the worst types of depression frequently manifests as a low or irritated mood or a lack of interest in or enjoyment from routine tasks. It disrupts daily activities and frequently includes physical symptoms. Major depressive disorder can only occur once in a person’s lifetime, but it frequently recurs throughout a person’s lifespan.
In bipolar disorder, there are typically severe depressive periods that alternate with manic bouts of great euphoria or agitation. Sometimes this ailment is referred to by its previous term, manic-depressive disorder. the bipolar depression that is connected to it. We refer to it as unipolar depression.
Dysthymia, often known as melancholy, lasts longer than serious depression but is less severe. It frequently lasts for several years. In between episodes of depression, there are typically times when you feel relatively normal. Typically, the symptoms do not entirely interfere with daily activities.
Seasonal depression is referred to in medicine as SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. Only during a specific season of the year does this depression arise. Due to the short daylight hours throughout winter, it frequently happens. “winter blues” is another name for seasonal depression. Despite being expected, it can nevertheless be highly serious.
The term “psychotic depression” describes a circumstance in which depression could result in the emergence of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions. This could be the outcome of depression that gets so bad that the person loses all sense of reality. It is believed that people who experience a loss of reality as their primary symptom (such as those with schizophrenia) have an imbalanced dopamine system and are susceptible to developing depression later on.
A distressing condition known as adjustment disorder develops in response to a traumatic life event. Usually, it is a singular reaction that goes away as the tension subsides. However, it might also be accompanied by a downbeat attitude. It is not regarded as a form of depression.
Some people think that depression is “natural” in older people, persons with various health issues, those who experience setbacks or other catastrophes, or people who are in difficult life circumstances. Contrarily, clinical depression is never normal and needs treatment from a medical or mental health professional. The good news is that most people can be diagnosed with depression and given appropriate treatment. Recognizing depression and finding the right treatment are the biggest obstacles to recovery.
What are the symptoms of clinical depression?
Clinical depression is not a condition that you experience for a few hours or days before getting better. If you don’t seek therapy for a truly depressed disorder, the symptoms can linger for weeks, months, or even years. When depressed, it’s common to find it difficult to carry out daily tasks. You might not have the motivation to get out of bed, dress, let alone go to work, run errands, or interact with others.
- Adults: You may be diagnosed with a severe depressive episode if you exhibit at least five of the following clinical symptoms and are depressed for at least two weeks: sobbing fits, a marked change in hunger, agitation or irritation, feeling down or blue, a marked change in weight, attention issues, a sense of worthlessness, and excessive guilt, thoughts of death or suicide, loss of energy, loss of interest or pressure in usual activities.
Depression can occasionally manifest differently in men and women. Men are more likely than women to experience overt melancholy, feelings of worthlessness, and guilt when depressed, as well as irritability, sleep issues, exhaustion, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. A typical depression is characterised by an increase in appetite, fatigue, and a propensity to sleep, and it can occasionally be accompanied by a need for carbohydrates, particularly for chocolate. That has been discovered to occasionally be a sign that the person has the propensity to experience irritability, anxiety, and depression together.
- The typical signs of depression in children include difficulty in school, chronic boredom, and recurrent complaints of physical ailments like headaches and stomachaches.
Children may also exhibit some of the standard adult depression symptoms more overtly, such as changes in eating or sleeping habits. Teenagers who are depressed may exhibit greater risk-taking behaviours and less concern for their safety. Driving recklessly, getting high on alcohol or other drugs, particularly when driving or maybe around others who are doing the same, and having promiscuous or unprotected sex are some examples of risk-taking activities.
- The following behavioural changes have been reported by parents of children with depression. Discuss any of the following with your healthcare physician if you experience any of them: The child cries more frequently or readily, changes substantially in eating, sleeping, or weight, exhibits inexplicable bodily concerns, and becomes more “clingy” and possibly more reliant on particular relationships. The child seems extremely pessimistic, shows remorse or feelings of worthlessness, has thoughts of injuring himself or herself, or engages in hazardous or other destructive activity, though these are less frequent than social withdrawal.
- Older people: In addition to any of the typical symptoms and warning signs of depression, aged men and women may also experience the following symptoms: reduced capacity for thought or concentration, physical issues that are not discussed, and memory loss.
How is depression treated?
Your healthcare practitioner will strongly advise treatment if your symptoms point to clinical depression. Any medical issues that contribute to or exacerbate depression may also be addressed as part of treatment. Levothyroxine, for instance, may be used to replenish thyroid hormone in someone whose levels are determined to be low.
Supportive therapy, lifestyle and behaviour adjustments, psychotherapy, complementary therapies, and medication are some other treatment facets. If your depressive symptoms are severe enough to require medication, the treatment also includes psychotherapy. The best care is available at the Delhi-based Nasha Mukti Kendra. They offer 24-hour service and employ top psychologists. Since they have been treating patients for so long, the outcomes have been overwhelmingly favourable.