10 Minutes

By THE BALANCE
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Life is a long-drawn venture where a person stumbles across some cheerful episodes at times while some terrible and traumatic chapters at some other times, often these unwelcome traumatic episodes occur so overwhelmingly and are of such a high intensity that leaves a long term effect on the mental health of a person. One such agonising event is clinical depression, an inevitable medical state of depression defined by feelings of gloominess, hopelessness, crestfallen, and low-spirited all the time. 

The main indications of this disease vary differently in teenagers, children, and adults. The emotions like sadness, tearfulness, agitation, irritability, frustration, and emptiness are temporary, but their adverse nature makes them hard to bear. The main incentive behind clinical depression can not be determined precisely as it can develop due to various genetic, environmental, and psychological elements. 

Recent research in 2019 by the National Health Interview Survey suggests us a statistical analysis that about 4.7% of the US individuals of age group between 18 years and above are tackling this clinical depression, 10.6% of individuals were those who reach in the hospital to consult about this, and 11.2% were in the emergency department of clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a severe medical problem that badly affects your feelings, thinking, and behaviour. Depression exists on a spectrum of severity, temporary states of low mood to severe, long term symptoms having a significant impact on a person’s daily life. In this condition, patients feel that something is pulling them back. 

 When depression reaches the end of that severity and requires treatment, it is called clinical depression. Clinical depression is not just sad feelings and grief. It is an illness that challenges your ability to perform in your daily life. At its worst point, depression can lead you to commit suicide. 

What is depression Counselling?

Most people go through periods of sadness, but when you feel sad constantly for weeks or months rather than a few days, you are suffering from clinical depression. Some people think that depression is meaningless and not a genuine health problem, but they are wrong as it is a real mental health problem with real symptoms. 

Clinical depression is one of the most common psychological health problems in the US. Researchers suggest that more than 7.8% of US adults experienced clinical depression in 2019. Some people with clinical depression do not seek treatment, but most people learn to cope with it. Some patients do not even realise throughout their lives that they are suffering from clinical depression and lose their precious lives in this ignorance.

People experience clinical depression in different ways. Some people can experience just a few symptoms, while others feel many. Some signs recover with time, while others get worse. Some of the common symptoms of major depression are severe or persistent low mood, a sense of despair, or profound sadness. The traits, characteristics, or signs of clinical depression vary in severity. 

Physical Symptoms

  • Sleeping disturbances like insomnia, waking up earlier than usual or oversleeping. 
  • Changes in appetite or eating more or less than normal
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Slowed speaking, thinking, or body movements
  • Unexplained physical problems like headache or back pain
  • The digestive issues, headaches, stomach aches, or other physical symptoms

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in different activities that you used to enjoy sometimes like going out with family or friends, hobbies, sex, sports etc. 
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Angry outbursts
  • Tiredness and then it feels like small tasks will need an extra effort
  • Start forgetting different things
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Neglecting personal appearance or responsibilities

Emotional Symptoms

  • Continuous sadness, lasting for two weeks or more
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, guilty or worthless
  • Feeling agitated, anxious, or irritated
  • Feelings of suicide or death
  • Feelings of tearfulness, emptiness or restlessness
  • Frustration or irritability

Clinical depression affects people of any age, including children. However, severe depression symptoms can be recovered through psychological counselling, medications, antidepressants, or both. 

There is no single clear cause of clinical depression. It can happen for various reasons and has many triggers. Different stressful or traumatic life events can also trigger clinical depression. These reasons include:

  • Illness
  • Divorce
  • Bereavement
  • Job or money worries 
  • Redundancy

Different causes can combine to trigger clinical depression. You can feel ill after experiencing grief and any other traumatic event together. 

Stressful Events

Relationship breakdown and bereavement are tough to cope with. You are nearer to suffering from clinical depression after a stressful life event. If you cut off with your friends and family, you will be more at risk. 

Personality

You will be more exposed to clinical depression if you have particular personality traits. This includes people being overly self-critical and with low self-esteem. Your personality can be caused by inherited genes, early life experiences, or both. 

Gender

Women are two times more likely to become depressed than men. No one knows why but it might be due to specific hormonal changes that women experience at different stages of life. 

Genes

A family history of clinical depression can also increase the risk. If your close family member had clinical depression, the chances for you to become depressed are increased. The genetics of depression is not as straightforward as in purely genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s chorea.  

Major Events

Even good events such as graduating, starting a new married life, starting a new job can also lead to depression. Problems such as social isolation due to any severe mental illness can also lead to clinical depression. 

Other Reasons

  • Serious illnesses
  • Substance abuse
  • Age 
  • Abuse
  • Giving birth
  • loneliness
  • Certain medications
  • Conflict
  • Death or a loss

Some other disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, can also trigger clinical depression. Anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and phobias also cause clinical depression to increase. 

Following are some of the known types of clinical depression. Clinical depression interferes in your daily life and leaves a worse impact on your both physical and psychological health, and affects your ability to perform duties properly. These types can last for weeks or months.

Major Depression

Major depression is a combination of symptoms that affects one’s ability to sleep, eat, work, and pleasurable activities. These episodes can occur several, twice, or once in a life. It is also known as unipolar depression.

Postpartum Depression

This is a type of clinical depression that affects women who have given birth to a new baby. It causes new mothers to feel doubtful whether they can take care of their baby or not. Researchers believe that this results from hormonal changes that occur in mothers after giving birth. 

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar disorder is another form of clinical depression, but it has some specific characteristics. People who have bipolar disorder also have cycles of manic depression.

Dysthymia

Dysthymia is a less dangerous type of clinical depression that involves long-term and less severe chronic symptoms. It is known as persistent depressive disorder. A person diagnosed with dysthymia can experience major depression along with less intense symptoms, but these less severe symptoms can last for two years or more. 

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a type of clinical depression accompanied by psychotic symptoms. It can occur in the context of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. People who have psychological health conditions that cause them to experience delusions or hallucinations can also suffer from psychotic depression. 

There are different ways to treat depression. You might have to try different treatments or combine two or more medicines at a time. This is not necessary that if something is helpful for you, it will also help others. Might be they are suffering from any other type of clinical depression and need any further treatment. 

You should consult with your doctor to advise you of a remedy that is good for you. If your symptoms are severe or your doctor feels that you can hurt yourself, don’t ignore that and start seeking treatment in hospital and also, do not forget that it requires time, and this should be given to it. 

Medications

Antidepressants are the most effective medications in people with clinical depression. There are lots of types of antidepressants. You will have to experience several kinds to find out which one is better for you. Your doctor can also prescribe you some other types of medications to help your antidepressants work more effectively, such as:

  • Mood stabilizer
  • Antipsychotics
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Some of the commonly taken depression drugs are categorized as:

  • SSRIs: include Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro
  • SNRIs: include Effexor, Savella, Strattera, Pristiq, and Cymbalta
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: have Pamelor, Elavil, Asendin, silence, and vivacity
  • Atypical antidepressants: have Desyrel, Wellbutrin, and Remeron

But make it necessary to consult with a doctor before taking any medicine by yourself. If you take any incorrect medicine, this can cause serious health problems and lead to your death. 

Psychotherapy

Talking to a psychical health professional regularly about your feelings and other issues can help treat your depression. Different other methods are also available, including talk therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. Moreover, psychotherapy involves regular weekly sessions with a psychological health professional. Your therapist guides you with:

  • Building a support network
  • Preparing a self-care plan
  • Learning skills to help cope with distress
  • Replacing or reframing negative thoughts

Residential Or Hospital Treatment

Suppose your depression has reached that level where you try to harm yourself or your family. In that situation, you should consult a psychiatrist because you require psychiatric treatment at the hospital or residential facility.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

During this therapy, an electric current is passed through your brain to help your neurotransmitters work in a better way. It will be good if you don’t use this therapy till your antidepressants stop working, and also, you can’t use it for other health problems. 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Usually, your doctor suggests this when your antidepressant do not show any effectiveness. In this method, magnetic pulses are sent through your brain to stimulate nerve cells that regulate mood. 

Changes That Are Required By Your Body

Whether the problem is physical or psychological, it can’t be recovered without your little effort. So, for recovery, you should help yourself and make some positive changes in your lifestyle.

  • Try to do exercise regularly and be active
  • Set attainable goals for yourself
  • Don’t try to isolate yourself and let others help you
  • Try to spend time with your friends, family, and other people
  • Expect your feelings to improve slowly, not immediately
  • Postpone important decisions such as divorce, getting married, or changing your job until you feel good
  • Continue educating yourself about depression

If you or anyone you know has clinical depression, you can be overwhelmed by experiencing or seeing all the aspects of living with psychological illness. While everyone’s depression experience is unique, there are some resemblances regarding causes, symptoms, and treatments. 

Don’t forget that clinical depression is an alarming mental illness, but treatment is available. While going through depression, you should not worry that you are alone and nobody is there for your support; you are wrong. There are many people whose job is to support you and make you feel relaxed. 

With the help of proper treatment and counselling, you’ll feel relieved by yourself. It is beneficial to remember that there is no need to treat several aspects of clinical depression simultaneously, be patient and don’t try to face it alone and seek medical assistance. 

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