Irritability And Angry Outbursts
Typically, symptoms must last at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed, so take this into consideration throughout the depression quiz then ask for an assessment from a mental health professional for further information and treatment, Furthermore, medical conditions such as vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for symptoms of depression so it is important to fully consider all possible causes as you take any depression quiz or inventory. Mental health can impact your energy levels, how tired you are, your stress, sleeping habits, mood, thoughts, and so much more. Keep reading to find out more about what treatment might be right for you.
Recognize The Importance Of Self
Self-care is essential for good physical and mental health. Self-care activities are any actions that help people look after their wellbeing.
Self-care means taking time to relax, recharge, and connect with the self and others. It also means saying no to others when overwhelmed and taking space to calm and soothe oneself.
Basic self-care activities include eating a healthful diet, engaging in creative activities, and taking a soothing bath. But any action that enhances mental, emotional, and physical health can be considered a self-care activity.
Looking After Someone Who Has Depression
If you’re close to someone with depression, their condition can affect you too. Your relationship, and family life in general, can be strained, and you might not know what to do or how to help.
Talking about the situation can help. Finding a support group, or talking to other people in a similar situation, can make it easier to cope. If the condition is causing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, you could contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with both of you.
When suffering from depression, men are less likely to ask for help than women. They’re also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms.
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Severities Of Clinical Depression
Clinical depression can often come on gradually. So it can be difficult to notice when something is wrong. You might try to cope with the symptoms without realising you’re unwell. It can sometimes take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong.
The severity of clinical depression depends on how much impact it has on your daily life:
- mild clinical depression has some impact
- moderate clinical depression has a significant impact
- severe clinical depression almost impossible to get through daily life
You can have clinical depression and other mental health disorders. For example, anxiety, psychosis or other difficulties.
Why Some People Call It Crippling Depression
Depression is a common mental health issue, but in some cases it can be especially debilitating. It can prevent people from completing daily tasks such as working, eating, and sleeping.
People who have experienced severe depression sometimes say it feels crippling. However, this word has also been used as a hurtful or insulting way to refer to people with physical disabilities.
For this reason, its better to use the clinical term for severe depression, which is major depressive disorder , or to use words like debilitating, overwhelming, and devastating to describe it.
Many people with physical disabilities find the word crippling offensive because they feel it diminishes the impact of having a disability and contributes to ableism. According to the Center for Disability Rights, ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities.
For some people, MDD may lead to a significant decline in functioning.
Read on to find out how MDD is treated and what you can do if your depression feels debilitating or overwhelming.
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Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
What Does Depression Feel Like
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Sadness is something we all experience from time to time. For some, this feeling is temporary and goes away on its own. But for others, this persistent feeling of emptiness, unhappiness, and hopelessness becomes a regular part of their day.
If your mood has changed over the last few weeks and engaging in routine daily tasks is getting more difficult, you may have depression, and you’re not alone.
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. According to data from 2017, it is estimated that 17.3 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had a least one major depressive episode in the past year.
Depression, a mood disorder that can cause mild to severe symptoms, can affect how you feel, think, and manage daily activities.
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Separate Yourself From The Depression
A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.
A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.
Mixed Anxiety & Depression Explained
Depression and anxiety have similar causes and some people can experience symptoms of both conditions at the same time. If youve been experiencing both low mood and persistent worry, tension, and unease, click below to learn more about the relationship between anxiety and depression.
How To Deal With Depression
There are a range of ways to deal with depression, and often they are best used in conjunction with each other. The primary medical options are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , antidepressant medication, and in some severe cases, Electroconvulsive Therapy .
Education and coping strategies are also important when learning to manage your depression.
ECT is an effective form of treatment for depression, especially if:
- There are medical contraindications to medication.
- There is a need for rapid improvement because of suicidal intent or refusal to eat.
- The person has experienced treatment failure following CBT, several medications, or combined medication and CBT treatment trials.
- The person has had a previous positive response to ECT.
- Somatic symptoms are prominent.
- Psychotic symptoms are present.
What is CBT?
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Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.
Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depression’s most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.
According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.
There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.
Symptoms Of Severe Depression
What are the symptoms of severe depression?
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Persistent thoughts of something bad happening
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
- In very severe cases, psychotic symptoms
- Inability to take care of oneself, such as eating, bathing, or fulfilling family or work responsibilities
Although you might feel that there’s no hope, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Even severe depression symptoms can be treated.
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What If My Symptoms Dont Improve
If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.
There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.
What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.
The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.
Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.
Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.
What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.
Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.
- NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.
Remember That Depression Is An Illness
Shifting my perspective has helped me to react with less fear when my symptoms present themselves. They make more sense within the context of depression as a legitimate medical condition.
For a long time, I didnt think of depression as an illness. It felt more like a personal defect that I needed to try to get over. Looking back, I can see that this perspective made the symptoms of my depression feel even more overwhelming. I didnt view my feelings or experiences as symptoms of an illness. Sadness, guilt, and isolation loomed large, and my panicked reaction magnified their effects.
Through a lot of reading and conversation, I have come to accept that depression is, in fact, an illness. And for me, one that needs to be treated with both medication and therapy. Shifting my perspective has helped me to react with less fear when my symptoms present themselves. They make more sense within the context of depression as a legitimate medical condition.
I still feel sad, afraid, and lonely, but I am able to recognize those feelings as connected to my illness and as symptoms that I can respond to with self-care.
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Symptoms May Vary Based On Vaccination Status
Experts say that Omicron produces milder symptoms than previous variantsif you’re vaccinated.
“Every patient I’ve seen with Covid that’s had a 3rd ‘booster’ dose has had mild symptoms. By mild I mean mostly sore throat. Lots of sore throat. Also some fatigue, maybe some muscle pain. No difficulty breathing. No shortness of breath. All a little uncomfortable, but fine,”tweeted New York City emergency room physician Craig Spencer recently.
“And almost every single patient that I’ve taken care of that needed to be admitted for Covid has been unvaccinated,” he added. “Every one with profound shortness of breath. Every one whose oxygen dropped when they walked. Every one needing oxygen to breathe regularly.”
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
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You Notice Changes In Eating And Sleeping Patterns
Depression often affects appetite and sleep habits.
Sleep changes often happen on a similar spectrum. You could have a hard time staying awake and feel exhausted enough to sleep all day but you could also struggle to fall asleep or wake up often throughout the night.
Trouble sleeping at night can mean you need to nap during the day to catch up, so you might end up drifting off at unusual times. This can affect your energy and concentration and further disrupt your sleep.
Take A Test To See How You Feel
If youre unsure about the way you feel, take our anonymous online test to check whether your levels of stress, anxiety, or depression are within a healthy range, and see if one of our online courses could help.
What Causes Depression?
No one knows exactly what causes depression. It is clear that genetic factors are important in many cases of depression. Depression seems to run in families , and about 30% of the predisposition for depression is due to genetic influences.
Stressful life events play a part in the onset or relapse of depression. Ongoing conflicts with others can take their toll on our well-being, as can other social and environmental stressors such as financial difficulties, retirement, unemployment, childbirth, loneliness, or loss of someone or something important. In vulnerable people, these unpleasant life events may be enough to cause or worsen a depressive illness.
A persons personality characteristics are an important factor. When people are depressed, they usually have a very negative view of themselves and the world. They do not appreciate good things, and bad things seem overwhelming. Some people have a tendency to view things this way even when they are not depressed. In other words, they may have a depressive personality style.
Did you know
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What Are The Causes Of Depression
People usually associate depression with trauma. However, adverse events arent its only cause. It has other triggers.
First of all, studies have linked genes to depression, though the inheritance pattern isnt well-defined. That said, they prove that people who have parents with depression have twice the risk of developing the condition than those who dont.
2. Imbalance of brain chemistry
Depression occurs when the neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation become imbalanced. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that help different areas of the brain communicate with each other. When certain neurotransmitters are in short supply, this may lead to the symptoms we recognize as clinical depression.
These neurotransmitters are chemical substances that enable different parts of the brain to communicate. Depression sets in when they are lacking.
3. Female Sex Hormones
Many studies, including this one, document that twice as many women suffer from depression as men. They are prone to it because their hormones are in constant flux, particularly during their menstrual cycles. Moreover, their risk of depression declines after they go through menopause.
4. Circadian Rhythm Disturbance
Also, a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder happens because of a disruption in the bodys circadian rhythm.
5. Poor Nutrition
6. Poor Physical Health
9. Grief and Loss
What Can I Do If I Have Depression
If you have symptoms of depression, see your healthcare provider. They can give you an accurate diagnosis, refer you to a specialist or suggest treatment options.
If you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves or taking their own life:
- Go to the emergency department of your hospital.
- Contact a healthcare provider.
- Speak to a trusted friend, family member or spiritual leader.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Depression is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Anyone can experience depression even if there doesnt seem to be a reason for it. Causes of depression include difficulties in life, brain chemistry abnormalities, some medications and physical conditions. The good news is that depression is treatable. If you have symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can feel better
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2020.
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