Clinical depression is typically more than experiencing temporary feelings of sadness; it’s a serious condition that affects the person’s body and mind in one way or another. It affects all aspects of daily life including, sleeping, eating, relationships, working, and how you think about yourself. In other words, it’s a mental illness that requires immediate and appropriate treatment since the symptoms can continue for a quite long time. Just like heart disease, diabetes, and other mental illnesses, depression is also an illness that requires immediate treatment by a qualified mental health professional.
Fortunately, many depression treatments available can be effective in helping those suffering from this condition. However, only a few people suffering from it actually receive treatment. Moreover, not only this condition causes suffering to depressed individuals, but it also causes difficulty for their loved ones and friends who often don’t know how to help. Many people don’t seek treatment for clinical depression for various reasons. For instance, many people don’t seek help because they simply don’t recognize the symptoms and signs of depression. Also, many don’t consider depression as a problem which needs help.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression symptoms vary from one person to another, but the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness – this means nothing will ever be better and there is nothing you can actually do to improve your condition.
- Irritability or anger – feeling restless, violent, or even agitated. Your temper is short, your level of tolerance is low, and everyone and everything easily gets on your nerves.
- Loss of interest in everyday activities – people who are depressed have no interest in their former social activities, hobbies, sex, or past times. They have lost their ability to enjoy.
- Appetite/weight changes – people suffering from clinical depression may experience significant weight gain or loss.
- Concentration problems – making decisions, trouble focusing, or even remembering things becomes difficult for the depressed victims.
- Sleep changes – depressed individuals may also experience either oversleeping (hypersomnia), or insomnia.
- Reckless behavior – a depressed person may engage in escapist behaviors, such as compulsive gambling, dangerous sports, reckless driving, or substance abuse. Certain habits are also associated to this condition.
- Loss of energy – feeling sluggish, fatigued, and even physically drained is also common depression symptoms.
Types of Depression
There are many types of clinical depression and here are some of them:
- Major Depressive Disorder – this mental illness impairs your ability to eat, sleep, function, and work as you normally would.
- Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression/Manic-Depressive Disorder) – it’s a condition characterized by mood, which alternates between periods of elation & excitable behavior and depression periods – a condition referred to as mania.
- Dysthymic Disorder – this is a milder type of clinical depression.
Other types of depression include cyclothymic, substance-induced mood disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), postpartum depression, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.