Feeling sad and depressed is a normal part of life’s ups and downs. However, when you have prolonged feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, and you feel sad most of the time; this is not a normal day to day reactions to the ebb and flow of life. If you feel sad most of the time, and you have a feeling of helplessness, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
Well, what is Depression? To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must have at least 5 of the 9 symptoms listed in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition). If you are feeling sadness most of the time, feel tired or fatigued, feel a sense of helplessness or hopelessness you may have some of the signs of depression. Other depression symptoms listed in the DSM IV are feeling guilty or have a feeling of unworthiness, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, diminished interest in doing anything pleasurable, agitation or lethargy, and unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
You may ask, what is depression in the clinical sense of the word. Doctors consider you clinically depressed if you have had depression symptoms for a period of 2 weeks or more. Just feeling in a depressed mood isn’t enough to be diagnosed with clinical depression. Some manifestations of the depression effects are mood changes from elation to inactivity.
Depression symptoms can happen to children, teens, and adults. Child depression and teen depression are characterized by a feeling of sadness, disruptive behavior, and lack of interest in activities that once gave them pleasure. If you have a child who has become sad or has become disruptive in school or at home for a period of 2 weeks or more, your child may be having depression symptoms. If your teenager appears to be unhappy for a period of two weeks or more, he or she may have signs of depression.
There are several different types of clinical depression, which include major depression, chronic depression (dysthymia), postpartum depression, bipolar depression, psychotic depression, SAD depression (seasonal affective disorder), double depression, chronic treatment-resistant depression, masked depression and secondary depression. Most everyone has heard of the first four types of depression because they are quite common. The less heard about forms clinical depression are the remaining ones on the list.
Double depression is a mixture of chronic depression and major depression disorders. The people who suffer from double depression often feel isolated, though they isolate themselves. If you have been diagnosed with double depression, you might feel that you are all alone, even though you are among people. You may have a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness. The major symptom of double depression is a sense of hopelessness.
Psychotic depression is characterized by depression symptoms and hallucinations. The hallucinations may be visual and auditory in nature. SAD depression is characterized by depression symptoms at certain parts of the year. For instance, men and women may become depressed in the wintertime, which is thought to be related to decreased exposure to sunlight in the wintertime.
If you feel you or someone in your family might have depression symptoms, consult a physician. It is important to see a physician if you have depression symptoms. People who are depressed are more likely to talk about death and dying. There is also a high risk of suicide in people with clinical depression. Another outward sign of depression is that the person suffering from clinical depression thinks about self-harm. Sometimes depressed people act out on the impulse to hurt themselves. If you have depression symptoms, seek depression help from a mental health professional right away.
Depression is a physical disorder caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine. Sometimes depression does physically hurt because the imbalance of chemicals can cause back pain, joint pain, and gastrointestinal disturbances. If you, family or friends are having depression symptoms seek depression help from a health care provider. If necessary, the health care professional will refer you to a mental health professional for treatment.