You may have serious depression, also known as clinical depression, if you feel hopeless and depressed all the time.
It could be challenging to work, study, sleep, eat, enjoy friends and hobbies when you’re suffering from major depression. Some people only experience clinical depression once in their lifetime, whereas others do it numerous times.
Although major depression frequently affects people without a family history of the illness, it can occasionally run in families and be passed down from one generation to the next.
What Is Clinical Depression?
A sad or depressed mood is a common human emotion. A loss of interest in routine activities and relationships, however, as well as a melancholy mood throughout the majority of the day, sometimes especially in the morning, are indicators of clinical depression and must be present every day for at least two weeks. You may also have other symptoms of serious depression, according to the DSM-5, a guidebook used to diagnose mental health issues. These signs may consist of:
- Virtually daily feelings of worthlessness or remorse
- Almost daily fatigue or energy loss
- A change in body weight of more than 5% in a month indicates significant weight loss or increase.
- Having trouble focusing and making decisions
- Practically daily insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
- Markedly reduced enjoyment or interest in practically all activities
- Almost every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)
- Unease or a sense of slowness
- Recurring suicidal or death thoughts
Are Females More Prone to Clinical Depression?
Major or clinical depression affects nearly twice as many women as males, and hormonal changes associated with puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause may increase the risk.
Additional risk factors for clinical depression in women who are physiologically predisposed to it include increasing stress at home or at work, juggling a profession and family, and providing care for an elderly parent. The risk will also rise if a child is raised by one person.
Who Is At Risk For Clinical Depression?
Approximately 6.7% of Americans over the age of 18 experience major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Between 20% and 25% of individuals may experience a significant depressive episode at some point in their lives.
Although older individuals, teenagers, and toddlers are also affected by major depression, these populations usually lack a diagnosis and receive no treatment.
What Indicates a Man Is Suffering from Clinical Depression?
Men’s depression is vastly underreported. Men with clinical depression are less likely to seek assistance or even speak with others about their condition.
Men who suffer from depression may exhibit signs such as irritation, hostility, or drug and alcohol misuse (substance abuse can also be a cause of depression rather than the result of it). Negative emotions that are suppressed can lead to both internalised and externalised violence. Additionally, it may lead to an increase in violence, suicide, and sickness.
The Diagnosis of Major Depression
A full medical evaluation will be carried out by a healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician or a psychiatrist. During a routine checkup with your doctor, you might have a depression screening done. The specialist will enquire about your own and your family’s psychiatric histories and ask you questions that test for major depressive disorder symptoms.
Major depression cannot be identified with any laboratory test, including X-rays, blood tests, or other imaging procedures. To help identify any other medical conditions that exhibit symptoms comparable to depression, your doctor could perform blood testing. For instance, hypothyroidism, drug or alcohol misuse, certain medications, and stroke can all result in some of the same symptoms as depression.
Clinical Depression: Is It Preventable?
After experiencing a major depressive episode, your risk of experiencing another is very significant. The best strategy to avoid another episode of depression is to continue taking the recommended medicine to prevent relapse and to be aware of the triggers or causes of major depression (see above). It’s also critical to be aware of the signs of serious depression and to consult your physician as soon as you notice any of these signs.