If you constantly feel down and hopeless, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
When you’re depressed, it can be difficult to do the things you normally love, such as job, school, sleeping, eating, and spending time with friends and hobbies. Clinical depression can affect some people multiple times during their lives, while others may only experience it once.
Depression can sometimes be handed down from one generation to the next, despite the fact that most persons with significant depression don’t have a family history of the disorder.
What Is Serious Depressive Disorder?
Humans often experience feelings of sadness or depression. For clinical depression to be present, however, a person must experience persistent feelings of sadness for at least two weeks on a daily basis, along with a loss of interest in their usual activities and relationships. The DSM-5, a manual used to diagnose mental health disorders, suggests that you may potentially be experiencing other symptoms of major depression. Examples of such indicators include:
- Feelings of guilt or inadequacy almost constantly
- Constantly feeling tired or drained
- Significant weight loss or gain is defined as more than a 5% swing from one month to the next.
- Finding it hard to concentrate and make choices
- Constant problems sleeping or staying up.
- Having a drastically diminished capacity to take pleasure in or interest in almost anything
- On a daily basis (reports of this ailment, anhedonia, might be obtained from close ones).
- Discomfort or a sluggish sensation
- Persistent ideas of harming oneself or dying
Is Clinical Depression More Common in Women?
Nearly twice as many women as men experience major or clinical depression, and this disparity may be exacerbated by the hormonal shifts that occur throughout puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause.
Increasing stress at home or work, juggling a career and family, and caring for an aging parent are all risk factors for clinical depression in women who are biologically susceptible to it. If only one parent is involved in a child’s upbringing, the danger increases.
How Common Is Clinical Depression, and Who Is at Risk?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 6.7% of American adults over the age of 18 suffer from serious depression. It’s estimated that between 20% and 25% of the population will suffer from major depression at some point in their lives.
Major depression affects not just adults but also adolescents and young children, however, this age range is rarely diagnosed and therefore not offered therapy.
What Are the Signs That a Man Has Clinical Depression?
There is a severe underreporting of depression among men. Clinically depressed men are less likely to seek help or discuss their illness with others.
Irritation, aggression, and substance abuse are all symptoms of depression in men. Substance addiction can also contribute to depression. Suppressed negative emotions can cause both internal and external aggression. It could also cause an uptick in crime, suicide, and illness.
Major Depression: A Medical Diagnosis
Your primary care physician or a psychiatrist will do a comprehensive medical evaluation. Depression screenings can be performed during regular medical exams. The doctor will ask you questions about your and your family’s mental health and conduct other assessments to rule out severe depressive illness.
No imaging procedure, including X-rays, blood tests, or anything else, can detect major depression. Your doctor may order blood tests to rule out any number of illnesses that share symptoms with depression. Some of the symptoms of depression can also be caused by other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, substance abuse, prescription side effects, and even stroke.
Is It Possible to Avoid Clinical Depression?
You are at high risk for another major depressive episode after having one. The best way to prevent another depressive episode is to keep taking the anti-relapse medication prescribed and to avoid the risk factors for developing major depression (discussed above). Knowing the warning symptoms of clinical depression and acting quickly to see a doctor is also crucial.