Depression is a common mental illness where there are feelings of sadness, despair, and loss of interest in daily life and activities. It is important to understand that feeling sad is different from clinical depression. While a low mood due to sadness is temporary and situational, depression is a serious condition and all-pervasive. Unlike believed by many, it is not imagined by the patient, and it is not in their control to get back up. Nor are they weak people who cannot boldly face the troubles of life. This is a misunderstanding. Clinical depression is an illness, a disorder. Depression works the same way as any other physical illness, say, ulcer, cancer, or tuberculosis. A person suffering from it cannot do much against it without proper attention and treatment from a psychiatrist.
What Is the Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression?
Depression and clinical depression are two different things. Depression is just sadness, which everyone suffers at some point, while clinical depression is a disorder or illness in which a person remains sad and despaired for an unreasonably long time. This condition hampers his daily activities as well as the people around him.
There are many symptoms that differentiate sadness from clinical depression. Some of the notable criteria are:
These are some of the notable criteria by which you can judge and differentiate between a person with mere sadness and a patient with clinical depression.
What Are the Types of Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression is an expansive term and covers many different types of depression in it. Doctors often use the term clinical depression for ‘major depression.’ Although there are many different types, none are as severe as major depression. Since many of their symptoms are common, they are grouped under the same disorder.
1. Major Depression:
Major depression is basically clinical depression. It is also known as “unipolar disorder.” The symptoms are the same as some of those mentioned above. It is the most severe type of depression. It occurs in episodes, which may be a single episode, twice, or several times in a person’s lifetime. It is believed to affect people below 40 to 45 years of age. It is severe enough to totally disturb and entangle one’s life and daily activities.
2. Dysthymic Disorder:
This is a less severe form of depression but involves long-term and chronic symptoms. Although it is a less severe form, it still prevents the patient from enjoying his or her life to the fullest. It prevents one from feeling good and acting to one’s full potential.
3. Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. It consists of alternating periods of mania (elevation of mood) and depression. When the manic cycle goes up, a person feels over-energetic and talkative. It may increase their sexual activities with little or no sleep. At this stage, a person might feel that he has superpowers and can do anything, which may bring embarrassment and a lack of ability to work at full potential.
4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a depression that directly relates to the weather and changes in weather and/or seasons or changes of seasons in a year, and/or brightness and duration of daylight. This sort of depression is often treated by artificial light therapy along with some medications. In this type, exposure to bright sunlight or artificial lights can effectively cure depressed moods.
5. Postpartum Depression:
Most commonly, new mothers are affected by postpartum depression. It has to be treated the same way, with counseling and antidepressants. New mothers affected by depression exhibit characteristics like loss of appetite, difficulty bonding with the child, anger, and frequent panic attacks. People affected by postpartum depression have high chances of developing depression again in later stages of life.
What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Clinical Depression?
The person feels sad and gloomy for an unreasonably long period of time.
The depressed person feels absolutely hopeless, and he thinks that nothing will improve. He will not make attempts to better his situation in any way possible.
A depressed person loses interest in his daily activities as well as his job. He or she does not work at full potential and does not bring out their full ability.
A person with a depressive disorder often does not take an interest in activities that were once his or her favorite hobbies. They often do not take interest in sexual activities and pastimes.
Significant changes in appetite and weight are one of the common symptoms and signs of depression. The change may be more than five percent a month.
Another evident symptom of depression is that the person has changes in the sleep routine. He or she eithersuffers from insomnia (cannot sleep) or hypersomnia (oversleeping).
Another sign of depression is when a person cannot control his temper and anger. He or she turns out to be a violent person. Everything seems to get on their nerves. Sudden outbursts of emotions can be noticed frequently.
Another symptom of depression is the loss of physical energy and strength. Even ordinary tasks seem to take longer than usual. A depressed person feels fatigued and exhausted all the time.
A person with depression disorder often suffers from low self-esteem and blames himself and criticizes himself for the mistakes he has made.
Another symptom of depression is that the person cannot concentrate. He finds trouble in concentration, focus, and/or decision making.
Headaches, physical pain, muscle pain, and stomachache are also witnessed in patients with depression.
Thoughts of death and/or suicide are also considered symptoms of depression. A person suffering from depression especially thinks of suicide with or without reason. Few will think of ways to harm themselves.
Depression is a disorder and not an assumption, it is something everyone should understand. It needs proper treatment to prevent it from affecting our daily life and activities. With proper counseling and medications like antidepressants, depression can be cured. Hesitation and societal fear are the biggest curses of today’s world, deteriorating people’s wellness. The best thing we can do for ourselves while suffering from depression is to seek help from a medical professional.
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