Clinical Depression

Learn how I beat Depression

Major depression is also known as clinical depression, unipolar depression, and major depressive disorder. People who experience major depression feel persistently sad. They do not take pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable. Other physical and mental problems often experienced include sleep problems, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and aches and pains. People who suffer from this condition often feel worthless, helpless, and hopeless about their ability to fix things. They often welcome sleep and experience their waking life as a living nightmare. No matter how hard they try to snap out of it, they feel as though they are falling into an abyss with nothing to hold on to.

Clinical depression usually strikes people between the ages of 25 and 44, although it can affect any person at any age. For most people, episodes of major depression last from six to nine months. Sometimes, even if major depression goes untreated, it will run its course and leave by itself. Doctors are not sure why this happens, but it is often attributed to the body’s tendency to correct abnormal situations.

What Causes Clinical Depression

The dramatic success of antidepressant drug therapy for severe major depression has made many scientists question if depression has a strong biological, rather than psychological, basis. Thus many are questioning whether genetics or stress plays the major role in causing major depression. Recent research has shown that both play a major role in major depression.

Surprisingly, stress has been shown to play a major role in the patient’s first two episodes of major depression, but not in later episodes. Genetics and temperament appear to play the most important role for later episodes of a patient’s depression.
It appears that major depression often requires stress to “get the ball rolling”, but after a few episodes, the illness develops its own momentum and no longer needs stress to “keep rolling”. This is a familiar pattern seen in many medical illnesses. Thus, the treatment of major depression must address the major contribution that stress, genetics and temperament play in this disorder. Unfortunately, most current therapies lack this well-rounded approach.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either: (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. (Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.)

  • depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
  • markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
  • significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
  • insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
  • psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
  • fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
  • diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
  • recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

The symptoms are not better accounted for by bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.

Learn how I beat Depression

9 Comments

  1. Claudia Herrera
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    I have just finish reading your testimony, and like you I have spend years trying to understand the root cause of my depression. I have try with many different types of medication but two years ago I decided not to rely on drugs and go through the self help route, however is been quite hard due to family problems and unfortunately my depression has been exacerbated due to this.To read about someone who has found a better way to deal with depression is a real eye opener, because you are doing things that are so positive and practical in the management of your depression that is, in my case a real inspiration to not give up, and continue searching for better ways with which to deal with this crippling condition.
    Many thanks.
    Claudia Harwood

  2. admin
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you Claudia , just remember , never give up and you are never alone !!

  3. shreevia Brown
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I just found out that I’m a person of depreesion and Anxiety. I have not yet told my father and mother as well as friends . I don’t want people to look at me different and think I’m looking for attention . My husband told me that I need to talk to my family and let them know what’s going on but I’m scared at what they may think of me like (she is crazy or nothing is wrong with her its in her mind).
    Many things have happen to me when I was younger and I don’t know is that why I’m going through this right now. My weight gain has went form 0 to 30 over time and I dont know what to do, I lay down at home all the time I dont want to go hang out with friends and I just dont care about anything right now. This week I had to go to the Hostipal in the phycward for trying to kill myself and this was the first time ,I tryed when I was younger off and on. Now I’m 26 about to turn 27 and it has gotten real bad for me my husband dont want to leave me at home but he knows he has to work. Please Help

  4. Carrol
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Shreevia

    I just came across your post. I am not a Dr. but I have struggled with this since age 16. (I am now 48). I can at least be an ear when you need someone that understands! Honey, dont give up I promise things arent always as dark as they seem now.

  5. Wendy
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    I have just learned today after months of feeling angry, hated, wortless, arguing with everyone and blameing everyone for the way I was feeling?, nearly.. (and still not knowing if I have lost my job)?…. I have lost most of my friends and my partner I dont know how she puts up with me…….!!!.. I have blamed my work for me not being able to do my work to my full ability, as it is them picking on me!..
    I have lost all interest in things I used to hold dear to me. I have blamed my family, sent horrible txts and emails, and up until today when I met a lady from my works Occupational health…. even although I have attended my GP for the past 9 weeks, who put me on anti depressants…. which didnt agree with me ( during this period I self harmed nd took an overdose), however I knew it wasnt enough to kill me…. so I decided to stop all my medication, being diabetic etc it wasnt a good idea, but I didnt care. I thought until today that every one was to blame… until I was diagnosed Clinically deprssed??????
    Having read all the symptoms of this illness I am gob smacked that every thing detailed is exactly the way I feel?!………..I thought every one else was wrong, and they were all against me!!!
    As yet it still hasnt sunk in. but at least I can now see a way forward…. I am going for councilling and hopefully I may become aware of where this came from….. WISH ME LUCK.XX

  6. Wendy
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Hope we can all help each other.xxx By the way the ironic thing is my job………. I am a support worker with Mental health.x

  7. sal
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m a 41 yo mum in Queensland, Australia. I’ve battled with depression for 11 years. My depression is directly related to my husband’s verbal and emotional abuse of me. (I have left him for 2 years now.)
    I am happy to find this site. I’ve talked to several psycologists and psychiatrists over the years,but I’ve wanted to talk to other battlers of depression for a long time. I need to know how ‘normal’ I am within the boundaries of this illness. Some changes in my behaviour since battling this illness make me feel very embarrassed. So, I’m going to ask:
    I know that most who deal with depression find life more difficult to deal with, but, does anyone out there neglect their personal hygiene? Does anyone go for 3 or 4 days without showering or brushing their teeth? Does anyone have nothing to wear because all their clothes are either in the washing machine, not hung and needing to be washed again (sometimes for the third time) because they’re starting to smell. Or they’ve been on the washing line for 3 days? Or they’re in a pile that gets moved from the lounge chair to bedroom (without being folded) when you get visitors? Or there’s a great pile of clothes on the ironing board that you haven’t worn for ages? And things have been like this for 11 years.
    Before depression happened to me I was a competent, organised person. I showered everyday, I got my housework done pretty well. Tonight, I could barely make dinner. I have this ‘chronic procrastination’ problem, coupled with a total lack of motivation to do almost anything, even things I used to enjoy.

  8. karon
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    i have been suffering with sever deppression for the last 5 years….i try to fight it each day..and pretend to family iam ok…iam on anti depressants at the moment and have been for the last three years they do make a diffrance to my life…i took an over dose last year as i know longer wanted to be here it was planned weeks before i attempted it…i was founf by the police and i was admit into a pysiatric unit… which i felt didnt help me and my needs it was only my local social services who have come on board and helped me in my daily tasts…and to take small steps..my family are not surportive..think they are more imparissed.. hopefully one day i will get out of this nightmere…

  9. debbie
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    hi

    my friend (well i was at the start of a new relationship when it all went wrong) had lost his job in between xmas & new year – he has completely withdrawn from just about everything & seems so sad – he will answer an email now & then but disregards most things – not just from me – one message i got recently was – i thought i was better but im not – i have nothing left to give – i have reached the end of the line :(

    i dont know what to do for him – im sure he is depressed – i dont know if he knows that or if he has been like this before as i have only known him since november last year

    is there any way i can help him

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