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What is Clinical Depression?

What is Clinical Depression?

Are you not feeling like yourself lately? Have you been sad and having bad thoughts for a long time? Then you need to know what is clinical depression. Learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of this major depressive mood disorder.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Clinical depression is essentially a mood disorder that has an effect on your thoughts, social behavior, eating habits, and can be a major hindrance in maintaining good health. There are many forms and types of these disorders ranging right from stress to bipolar disorder. Clinical depression involves more than just feeling low, sad and depressed.

Clinical Depression

Causes
Psychological or mental illnesses are hard to define as it is very difficult to diagnose and pinpoint a single factor causing it. Clinical depression is also caused due to various factors, right from social stress to physiological alterations. Following could be the causes of the mood disorder that needs prompt medical attention.
  • Early life experiences, such as mental trauma, loss of a family member or physical abuse.
  • Adolescents and students beginning college often undergo stress due to peer pressure, inability to cope in academics or fulfill expectations of a loved one.
  • Diseases like hepatitis, mononucleosis, hyperthyroidism.
  • Sometimes it's a family trait or just living in the company of a depressed person.
  • An alteration in neurotransmission, due to an abnormality in secretion of neurotransmitters that control a person's moods.
Thus, a wide range of experiences and abnormalities can cause depression. But it is important to remember that the susceptibility of an individual to clinical depression would vary and mostly depend on his or her constitution.

Symptoms
Diagnosing clinical depression is made easy by observing a step by step progression or pattern of symptoms. A person diagnosed with this disorder has to show at least 4 of the symptoms from the mentioned list.
  • The first symptom is of course depression or sadness that is marked by a general loss of interest in daily life.
  • Sadness is often accompanied by fear with a loss in the ability to express emotions.
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss
  • Drastic changes in sleeping habits, that is a person either experiences insomnia or then excessive sleep
  • General restlessness, fatigue, and decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
These symptoms don't go unnoticed but many a times, are passed off as stress.

Natural Cures
Clinical depression is treated medically by prescribing antidepressants. Therapy is a must for clinically depressed individuals. There are however a few other natural cures for depression which can enhance recovery.
  • Meditation is the best way to focus yourself and train your mind to get rid of bad thoughts.
  • Vitamin and amino acid supplements such as B12, B6, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine have shown to alleviate certain symptoms of this disorder. Be sure you consult a doctor before you begin with a course.
  • Exposure to morning sunlight is also a good way to begin your day and fill it up with positive and encouraging thoughts.
Omega 3 fatty acids mainly present in fish do play a role in natural treatment for depression. However, it cannot be the only mode of treatment, it can only supplement the main course of treatment.

Overcoming clinical depression is not difficult. All you need is the will power to know what is right for you. Strong people are not just characterized by their physique but also their thoughts and the way they overcome hurdles in life. Now that you know what is clinical depression you must also realize that simple failures must not deter or distress you, it should be a lesson that teaches you to avoid mistakes in the future. You are what your thoughts make you, so be brave and confident and nothing will stop you from achieving your goals.