How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression
Clinical depression affects people in different ways.
The symptoms of clinical depression can be complex and vary from person-to-person.
Generally, if you have clinical depression:
- you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy
- you experience these symptoms for at least 2 weeks
- the symptoms are serious enough to interfere with work, social life or family
There are many other symptoms of clinical depression and you’re unlikely to have them all.
You Can Struggle To Focus And Feel Like Youre Not Performing To The Best Of Your Ability
Sometimes, nothing gets done. I can be in a long drawn out daze all day, or it takes all day to complete a few things. Since Im in public relations and I work with individuals and companies that champion a great cause, which often pull at peoples heartstrings, my work can take me into an even deeper depression.
I can be working on a story, and while Im typing I have tears streaming down my face. That may actually work to the advantage of my client because I have so much heart and passion around meaningful stories, but its pretty scary because the emotions run so deep.
Tonya, publicist, California
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You have some symptoms of depression. Right now, these symptoms are likely causing problems in your daily life. These problems may be big, like making it hard for you to take care of everyday activities and enjoy the things you usually do. You should get help right away.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Also known as SSRIs, these typically have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. Fluoxetine , sertraline , and escitalopram all fit into this category.
Depression is linked to low levels of serotonin . SSRIs work by preventing your blood from absorbing some of the serotonin from your brain. This leaves a higher level of serotonin in the brain, and increased serotonin can help relieve depression.
But The Bad Days Are Unbearable
Now for a bad day I fight with myself to wake up and have to truly shame myself into showering and getting myself together. I put on makeup alert people about my internal issues. I dont want to talk or be bothered by anyone. I fake being personable, as I have rent to pay and dont want to complicate my life any more than it is.
After work, I just want to go to my hotel room and mindlessly scroll on Instagram or YouTube. Ill eat junk food, and feel like a loser and demean myself.
I have more bad days than good, but Ive gotten good at faking it so my clients think Im a great employee. Im often sent kudos for my performance. But inside, I know that I didnt deliver at the level I know I could.
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What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
How To Know If I Have Clinical Depression Symptoms
For many people, grief over the loss of a loved one is their first brush with depression. Most anyone can have a short period of depression. If youve just found out that you have a serious illness, you may experience depression. Those who have a thyroid problem may experience a bit of depression due to hormonal changes. A bad breakup or divorce can bring on depression symptoms. Youll be happy to know that none of these situations necessarily leads to clinical depression. However, if your feelings of sadness start to go deeper and darker, and it last for months, you may have clinical depression symptoms.
The only way to know for sure is to have an evaluation by a therapist. No one has to suffer from clinical depression because its a mental health disorder where treatment can be quite effective.
Also Check: University Of Utah Depression Study
Get A Workout Routine
I know this is an annoying thing to hear someone say when youre depressed because it is incredibly difficult to make yourself work out when youre depressed.
Even people that dont have depression struggle with getting into a regular fitness routine and sticking with it.
Getting in shape takes a lot of discipline and it is not an easy thing to do.
However, I have to talk about it here because of it freaking works.
If you struggle with depression you need to be working out.
There have even been studies that show exercising can be just as effective as a lot of medication when it comes to treating depression.
I take anti-depressants and wholeheartedly advocate for them so Im not suggesting you substitute medication with exercise.
I am just telling you that the reason everyone is always saying to work out when youre depressed is that it really does freaking work.
Commit to doing some kind of exercise every single day.
Yes, every day. You dont have to become a cross-fitter or even join a gym but you do need to go for a walk, do some yoga or do something.
For my exercise is VITAL for my mental health. It might actually be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I do to manage my depression and anxiety.
When I was depressed I thought people telling me to exercise was the most annoying thing in the world.
Now Im the person doing the recommending because it worked for me and quite honestly it changed my life.
Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Depression is about being sad, surebut its more than that. Depression is a mental illness that involves a lot of symptoms, like feeling exhausted all the time, losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, or thoughts of death and suicide. Episodes of depression last at least 2 weeks at a time. They can be triggered by a sad event or they can seemingly come of out of nowhere.
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Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
You Answered Yes To Question
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, you might have an anxiety disorder. Most people deal with stress in their lives, but when stress begins to significantly interfere with our functioning and/or causes impairment, it might be more problematic than âeveryday stressâ. The good news is that anxiety disorders can be successfully treated. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, and think that they are negatively interfering with your life, it might be time to seek treatment!
It will be important to begin with a structured clinical evaluation by a professional to see if you meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, which will inform your treatment plan. Our mental health impacts many aspects of our lives, such as our physical health and our quality of life, which is why it is so important to address any mental health problems with effective treatments!
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. To begin your search for a mental health professional, go to the ADAA’s Therapist Directory.
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You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression
Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.
How Much Does Online Therapy Cost
The prices vary by company, but typically online therapy services charge a monthly fee to use the service, and don’t charge by minute or hour or text. For instance,BetterHelp , one of the bigger names in the industry, charges a flat fee of between $40-$70 per week, including all messaging, chats, phone, and video sessions.
These memberships tend to be quite flexible, and allow you to quit at any time.
Most online counseling is not covered by insurance, so while its cheaper than in-person therapists, you will typically have to pay out of pocket.
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Treatment: Medication For Depression Symptoms
Since depression disorders are caused in part by chemical imbalances in the brain, the use of psychiatric treatments is sometimes the only way patients can get back on their feet, improve sleep, and decrease stress. Depression is treatable with the right care, and a therapist can support you to get the help you need and start feeling more like yourself and less like your depression symptoms.
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How Do I Know When To Seek Help
The biggest hurdle to diagnosing and treating depression is recognizing that someone has it. Unfortunately, about half of the people who have depression never get diagnosed or treated. And not getting treatment can be life threatening: More than 10% of people who have depression take their own lives.
- When depression is hurting your life, such as causing trouble with relationships, work issues, or family disputes, and there isn’t a clear solution to these problems, you should seek help to keep things from getting worse, especially if these feelings last for any length of time.
- If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, seek help right away.
Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.
Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
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You Can Play A Role In Research By Joining A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a critical role in our studies.
For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.
Electroconvulsive Therapy Electric Shock Treatment
If you have severe depression and other treatments, like medication, haven’t worked, ECT might be recommended for you.
When receiving ECT, you will be given an anaesthetic and medication that relaxes your muscles to begin with. Electrodes will be placed on your head that give an electrical “shock” to your brain.
ECT is given over a series of sessions, normally twice a week for three to six weeks.
ECT can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, aches in the muscles and memory problems.
Most people find that ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effects tend to wear off when several months have passed.
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Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
Take The Depression Test
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.
Depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. This depression test is a tool that may help you recognize the symptoms of depression and decide to get help. Please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression.
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Learning More About Clinical Depression
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe, and they can be temporary or long-lasting. Clinical depression is also referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder, and its a more severe type of depression than temporary sadness that doesnt prevent you from participating in your daily activities.
Clinicians rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published by the American Psychiatric Association for the criteria to diagnose someone with clinical depression symptoms.
Depression symptoms must be present for at least two weeks to be considered clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious mood disorder because it interferes with normal functioning. People with depression experience symptoms that affect how they feel, think, and handle their daily lives. The symptoms of depression often interfere with sleep, diet, and work.
Certain types of depression develop under specific, unique circumstances.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
A persistent depressive disorder is also called dysthymia. This type of depression requires the presence of symptoms of depression that last for at least two years. The persistent depressive disorder causes symptoms that alternate with major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms. This diagnosis holds as long as the symptoms continue for at least two years.
Seasonal Affective Disorder