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Clinical depression

Clinical depression What is clinical depression?


Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, recurrent depressive disorder and major depression, refers to a mental disorder which is characterized by periodic episodes of intense low mood, low self-esteem and a general loss of interest in daily activities which might normally be enjoyable. Clinical depression encompasses a range of mood lowering behaviors which result in an overall low-mood for a period of time; clinical depression, in some instances, tends to occur in brief episodes which repeat or reoccur at random.
During a clinical depression episode, or a major depressive episode, individuals with this disorder are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or contemplate committing suicide. Some people with major depressive disorder report experiencing hallucinations or even delusions during a major depressive episode, although these only occur in the most severe cases of clinical depression.

What are the symptoms of clinical depression?

Clinical depression

The symptoms of clinical depression are varied but numerous. Some individuals who develop clinical depression may only experience several of these symptoms while others may experience a multiday of symptoms; studies have shown that symptoms for clinical depression can even change episode-by-episode in the same individual. The most common symptoms and signs of clinical depression are the following: a very low or intensely low mood which affects all areas of life; an inability to enjoy or experience pleasure in events or activities that were once enjoyable; a general preoccupation with feelings of helplessness; general feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness; a feeling of hopelessness; self-hatred; the inability to concentrate; difficulty in remembering things; withdrawal from social activities; insomnia or sleep disruption; reduction in sex drive; fatigue; headaches; other physical complaints; weight loss or weight gain, etc., etc. Studies have shown that the symptoms experienced by those with clinical depression may vary depending on their age, gender, or even where they live—research has shown that physical complaints such as headaches and fatigue are more likely to occur in individuals who live in developed countries, while older people diagnosed with clinical depression are more likely to experience forgetfulness.

Clinical depression

Diagnosing clinical depression

Clinical depression can be diagnosed by a psychologist, psychiatrist or a generalpartition who has received suitable training in psychological disorders. Most assessments will involve a discussion about symptoms the individual is experiencing along with a mental state examination or an examination which assesses someone’s current mood and thoughts and measures feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, and tendencies or thoughts about self harm and suicide. It may be difficult for people in rural areas or areas without a properly trained psychologist or physicians to receive a proper diagnosis for clinical depression. This often leads to an exacerbation of the disorder caused by frustration and insufficient treatment—some physicians who are not well trained enough to properly diagnose depression may simply prescribe painkillers for physical ailments or rest and relaxation for stress and a low mood, rather than recognizing clinical depression which is usually best treated through a combination of psychological therapy and medication.


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