What is clinical depression?
Clinical Depression, also recognized as a major depressive disorder, is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, a continual sense of emptiness towards life, and loss of interest to interact with life on an everyday basis.
Depression affects the way a person thinks, how they process others’ behaviors towards them. It produces a sense of lack of motivation to continue with school, job, relationship with a spouse, and a relationship with one’s family. A long term low state could lead to suicidal thoughts.
Clinical depression belongs to a group of disorders called mood disorders. Mayor Boss has gathered a list of signs and symptoms of depression and will like to share this information with you. So, Let’s get started.
Signs and symptoms of clinical depression
- Overeating and going on a massive binge on food or suddenly starving yourself of all food for days without any desire to eat
- A feeling of sadness and lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating on activities
- Poor memory
- Poor decision making due to a feeling of nothingness and indecisiveness.
- A sense of lack of hope for the future
- Lack of sleep or an excessive amount of sleep
- Feeling irritated and angry
- Losing pleasure in activities you used to love
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- A feeling of guilt over every situation happening around you.
- Lack of energy to do anything
- Low sex drive.
- You have generalized body pain or headache
- Feeling regret over a past event that you have no control over
- Low self-esteem
- Crying uncontrollably
- Thoughts of death and suicide
- Attempted suicide
- Mood swings
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Poor performance at school or work
What causes clinical depression?
The cause is not known, but studies have revealed many factors that are connected to depression. Factors such as:
- Neurotransmitters imbalance (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine)
- Hormones such as estrogen are believed to play a role in clinical depression. Though studies are not so clear, it is thought that estrogen increases serotonin, which is a Neurotransmitter that improves mood, therefore in situations where estrogen is low, for example, menopause. This will cause its effects on serotonin to becomes low as well, leading to mood swings and depression
- Genetic link: Having blood relatives with a history of any mood disorder such as clinical depression, dysthymia (which is a persistent mild form of depression), suicide, or bipolar disorder
- Social factors such as bullying
- Traumatic events such as loss in the family can trigger depression
- Sexual abuse
- Financial problems
- Difficult relationships
- Having History of other mental health disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) or eating disorders
- Chronic illness such as cancer and certain medications such as sleeping pills
How is clinical depression diagnosed?
Clinical depression can be diagnosed using the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) criteria according to reports by Psycom.net. The diagnostic criteria, as outlined below:
- Depressed mood (subjective or observed)
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Change in weight or appetite.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Psychomotor retardation or agitation (observed)
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Worthlessness or guilt
- Impaired concentrate or indecisiveness
- Thought of death or suicidal ideation or suicide attempt
Note: At least 5 of the resulting indications must be present during the same two weeks period, and at least one of the signs should be either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.