Tag Archives: depressive disorders

Clinical Depression – So Much More Than ‘The Blues’

Somehow in our modern, rapidly progressing world, there still remains a cloud of stigma hanging over those who suffer from mental health conditions. This prejudice is founded on ignorance, so the best way to combat ignorance? Facts, education and awareness. Because of said ignorance, many people think of depression in completely the wrong terms. They may perceive a loved one’s diagnosis of clinical depression to be nothing more than a spell of ‘the blues’. Asking the sufferer, why can’t you just snap out of it? Well believe us, people who struggle with depressive disorder are so sick of hearing these tired clichés, and simply want their health condition to be as widely accepted and understood as physical conditions like diabetes are.

So What is Depressive Disorder?

Depression in itself, a short bout of sadness and despair caused by the loss of a loved one or another acutely troubling event, is encountered by nearly everyone at some point in life. A depressive disorder, however, go far beyond a short period of sadness. Depressive disorders, also known as clinical depression, last more than 2 weeks but often lasts much longer. It can range from intermittent waves of despair, guilt and hopelessness, to an all-encompassing physiological condition, affecting the brain as well as the rest of the body. Untreated major depression may lead to self-harm, or suicidal thoughts or tendencies which can be life-threatening if left unattended.

What Causes Depression?

Depression is a serious health condition resulting from neurochemical changes in the brain, but is most often caused by combination of factors including: nutrient deficiencies, the inability to cope with devastating events or circumstances, a chronic or life-threatening illness, genetics, hormonal imbalances, medication (such as certain severe acne treatments) or chronic stress, to name a few.

What Symptoms Does Depression Cause?

As with almost any illness, symptoms of clinical depression vary from person to person, however some of the most commonly experienced symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, apathy, distress or emptiness
  • An ever-present ‘blue mood’ that you often can’t shake off
  • Mood or personality changes such as becoming more easily irritable or angry
  • Newfound insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy such as hobbies, work or love life
  • Fixation on negative thoughts
  • Loss of desire to engage in social activities
  • Or reliving past failures, constantly blaming yourself for things that weren’t your fault
  • Weight loss or weight gain (sometimes loss of interest in food)
  • Generalized pain or discomfort, limb or back pain
  • Psychomotor changes
  • Concentration and focus problems
  • Thoughts of self-harm or death

Is Depression Treatable?

Thankfully, yes! Depression is a highly treatable condition that almost always responds well to a combination of medical and therapeutic treatments and lifestyle changes. There is a wide range of medications available today to successfully treat depression. Unfortunately, people often don’t seek help when depressed, and if you don’t seek help, depression could get worse and worse. Undiagnosed or untreated major depressive disorder can be very dangerous, so if you have any of the above-listed symptoms it is very important to talk to your doctor soon about a treatment plan that best suits your condition.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will be taking a look at how diet changes may help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. For more mental health resources check out our article: Sobering Statistics About Mental Health Thanks for visiting DocChat!