Clinical depression symptoms

Clinical depression symptoms are similar to the symptoms exhibited by normal depression but are more severe and persistent. Before we embark on the symptoms of clinical depression its first important to look at what makes clinical depression different from normal depression.

Is clinical depression the same as normal depression?

Fleeting moments of feeling sad and blue or feeling depressed are part of the human condition. These mood changes are normal and tell you that something is not quite right in your life and usually pass. Clinical depression is different. It is persistent, impairing and includes a range of symptoms. There are different types of depression. Clinical depression is a type of depression called major depressive disorder.

Identifying clinical depression symptoms

Clinical depression is the most common of depressions. Clinical depression symptoms include a sad or dysphoric mood and loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all usual activities or pastimes. This mood states persists for several weeks and is associated with other  symptoms which occur nearly everyday including:

  • disturbance in your appetite(loss or increase in appetite),
  • changes in weight
  •  sleep disturbance(trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back and sleep, waking up early in the morning and feeling dreadful)
  •  loss of interest and pleasure in things you used to enjoy: food, sex, work, your family and friends
  •  feeling sluggish
  • decrease in energy
  • feeling worthless or guilty
  • having trouble concentrating or thinking
  • thoughts of death, feeling life is not worth living
  •  suicide attempts or even suicide

You do not need to have all the symptoms to have clinical depression. However, if you have at least 5 symptoms and they persist for several weeks, resulting in impaired  ability to take care of yourself or your family, or impaired ability to go to work and carry out your daily life, then you have clinical depression or major depressive disorder.

Is there treatment for clinical depression?

When you have clinical depression symptoms, it feels like they will last forever, but this is not true. However, with proper treatment, 80% of the patients will be symptom free in 4-6 weeks. Once the sleep and appetite problems start to resolve, you will find that your mood is better. It is important to remember there are different types of  effective treatments for clinical depression such a:

  • psychotherapy
  • prescription medication
  • herbal remedies

If one treatment does not work, your therapist and you should seek other alternatives. Give the treatment enough time at least six weeks to work. Don't let the hopelessness of  clinical depression discourage you from continuing.

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