Clinical Depression : Definition, Symptoms, Types and Treatment
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Clinical Depression : Definition, Symptoms, Types and Treatment

We all feel hopeless, lazy, low-mood, sad, and guilty from time to time. But Clinical Depression is more than that. It has become a major part of mental health discussion around the world.

 

What is Clinical Depression?

 

Major Depression or Clinical depression is a mental health condition with affects a person’s daily life because of consistent downfall in mood, low-energy behavior, inability to enjoy things you love or do activities that you enjoy, and anhedonia for short.

 

We all see these types of changes in our life except for depression which is persistent and lasts longer than usual. 

 

Clinical Depression Symptoms

There are other major symptoms that should be kept in mind like

 

  • Restlessness or low energy and fatigue
  • Loss in appetite or gaining an appetite
  • Sleeping less or more than usual
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, remorse, or guilt
  • Feeling irritated or angry over things that didn’t provoke you before
  • Crying over little things continuously
  • Lack of concentration
  • Thoughts of suicide

 

These symptoms require to be persistent for a whole day for at least two weeks.

 

6 Different Types of Depression

Here are 6 different types of clinical depression.

 

1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

In MDD, the patient experiences for more than two weeks are persistent. MDD can range in severity from mild, to moderate to very serious. In severe cases, more symptoms are present which are very intense.

 

2. Dysthymia

Dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder is a mild type of depression that lasts for longer periods of time like 2 years or more affecting the patient’s life. But sometimes the symptoms go unnoticed because they are not that severe.

 

3. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a type of depression in which the patient experiences episodes of highs (elation/mania) and lows (depressive episodes). Severe elevated episodes are called hyper mania or manic phase. The less severe phase of mania is called hypomania which is less intense than hyper mania.

 

4. Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is similar to all the symptoms but what makes it different is that the patient also experiences psychosis in psychotic depression. Psychosis is when the person cannot differentiate between what is real and what is not. Delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations are present.

 

5. Postpartum Depression

Some mothers experience depressive symptoms after childbirth which is called postpartum depression. Hormonal changes during and after pregnancy are said to be the reason behind these symptoms. Psychotic symptoms are also observed in some.

 

6. Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder observes seasonal patterns. Most people experience it during winters which have been linked with a lack of vitamin D in the body, of which the sun is a major source.

 

Clinical Depression Causes

There are some major causes of clinical Depression but we can not exactly pinpoint a single cause. The reasons can differ from person to person.

 

1. Genetic Factors 

Researches show that people who have had a history of family depression are more likely to develop Clinical Depression though it is not necessary. The chances seem to increase with how close the family members are.

 

2. Biological Factors

Biological factors include the brain function of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are molecules in the brain responsible for relaying messages or signaling functions between one neuron to another. 

 

This process of transferring signals is responsible for maintaining brain functions like mood, sleep, appetite, and cognition. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are shown to be effective in depression. The deficiency of these neurotransmitters is said to be the underlying factor the cause of depression. 

 

Each of these neurons is said to have different sets of symptoms that lead to depression. Though it is still unknown why there is a decrease in the levels of these neurotransmitters in the first place.

 

3. Environmental Factors

Environmental factors also influence the severity of depression or may be a cause of it. Past or recent trauma, loss of a close one, physical or mental abuse. Major life changes like migrating from one to another or giving birth.

 

4. Other risk factors

Chronic diseases may also be a cause of depression. Having no response or minimum response to the treatment for any chronic disease may trigger symptoms of depression.

 

Clinical Depression Treatment

Clinical depression is treatable and most patients gain full recovery. The patient may find some relief from symptoms with time if not full recovery.

 

1. Through medication

Specialists or professionals may prescribe antidepressants like

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic and Tetracyclic Antidepressants

The effect may be seen 15 to 20 days after the start of the medication course.

 

2. Through therapy 

In therapy one talks to identify and try to cope\cure their condition. It is the most effective and popular treatment for depression in today’s world if done perfectly with medication that suits the patient. It can be used alongside medication treatment to help get better. There are different types of therapy and one can find which suits best.

 

3. Brain stimulation therapy

Sometimes medication and therapy do not have an effect on depression and your doctor may recommend these treatment options to help with depression.

  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation 

 

4. Meditation

Meditation can help overcome feelings of anger, anxiety, and stress by changing how your brain responds to them and helping you calm down, reducing the chances of depression relapse. Yoga and breathing exercises are most common.

 

5. Exercise

Exercising can help in certain hormone production like endorphins which can help improve mood.

 

6. Supplements

Taking certain supplements also help in coping with depression. Here are some suggested supplements.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D 

 

Avoiding alcohol and substance is advised, the use of these components can worsen the situation. Taking care of yourself, having plenty of sleep, having a healthy diet, surrounding yourself with positive people, and doing activities that makes you feel good.

 

Conclusion

Doing all the things that give you a good mood can help with depression. Sometimes treatment does not always make your depression go away completely but it makes the symptoms manageable and makes the condition better.

 

You can prevent Clinical Depression by noticing the symptoms and treating them in the early stages. Talk with your doctor through your treatment about the effect it has on your condition to find the best medication for you.

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Depression FAQ

What is Clinical Depression?

Major Depression or Clinical depression is persistent and lasts longer than usual. It is a mental health condition with affects a person’s daily life because of consistent downfall in mood, low-energy behavior, inability to enjoy things you love or do activities that you enjoy, and anhedonia for short.

How long does Clinical Depression Last?

Clinical Depression changes our life except for depression which is persistent and lasts longer than usual more than months.

What Causes Clinical Depression?

Clinical Depression Causes

1. Genetic Factors 

Researches show that people who have had a history of family depression are more likely to develop Clinical Depression though it is not necessary. The chances seem to increase with how close the family members are.

 

2. Biological Factors

Biological factors include the brain function of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are molecules in the brain responsible for relaying messages or signaling functions between one neuron to another. 

Why is it important to Identify and Treat Clinical Depression?

Clinical Depression must be identified and treated with care. Sometimes treatment does not always make your depression go away completely but it makes the symptoms manageable and makes the condition better.

 

You can prevent Clinical Depression by noticing the symptoms and treating them in the early stages. Talk with your doctor through your treatment about the effect it has on your condition to find the best medication for you.

How to treat Clinical Depression without Medication?

You can use therapy to treat Clinical Depression.

  • In therapy one talks to identify and try to cope\cure their condition.
  • It is the most effective and popular treatment for depression in today’s world if done perfectly with medication that suits the patient.
  • It can be used alongside medication treatment to help get better.
  • There are different types of therapy and one can find which suits best.

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