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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Clinical Depression Symptoms and Causes | How to Deal with Major Depressive Episode

Clinical Depression Symptoms and Causes
Clinical depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder, is the most severe form of depression

Clinical Depression Symptoms and Causes | How to Deal with Major Depressive Episode




What is Clinical Depression?

Depression ranges from mild depression and temporary episodes of sadness to severe and chronic depression (dysthymia). Clinical depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder, is the most severe form of depression. It is not similar to depression due to loss, such as the death of a loved one, or due to a medical condition, such as thyroid disorder.
The constant sense of despair is a sign of clinical depression, where it is difficult for the patient to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy friends and activities.
Some people develop this type of depression only once in their life while others have it several times. Clinical depression is characterized by depressed mood daily and most times of the day for at least two weeks, especially in the morning.
In order to diagnose clinical depression, a doctor must meet the criteria for major depressive symptoms described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

As for clinical depression, symptoms must be severe enough to cause significant problems in relationships with others or in everyday activities such as work, school or social activities. Symptoms may be based on how you feel or on someone else's observations.
A person must have five or more of the following symptoms within a period of about two weeks, most of the day, or almost daily, and at least one of the symptoms should be mood depression, loss of interest in things, or a lack of happiness.

- Depressive mood, such as feeling sad or lack of meaning of life or crying (in children and adolescents, depressive mood can appear as a constant agitation).
- Lack of desire or lack of feeling of happiness when doing almost all or most of the activities.
- Significant weight loss despite not following a diet, weight gain, or decreased appetite or height (in children, lack of expected weight).
- Insomnia or increased desire to sleep (almost every day).
- Boredom or slow behavior that others can observe.
- Fatigue or loss of energy every day.
- Feeling a lack of value or severe guilt.
- Difficulty in making decisions, thinking or focusing.
- Frequent thoughts about death or suicide or his attempt.

Clinical depression can occur for anyone of any age including children, however, even if the symptoms of clinical depression are severe, they are usually improved through psychological counseling, antidepressant medications, or both.
Clinical depression appears to be passed down from generation to generation in some families, but the individual may be infected with no family history of the disease.
Between 20% and 25% of adults are at risk of major depression and may have a seizure at some point during their lifetime.
Women have the highest incidence of major depression or clinical depression. The number of women at risk is twice as high as men. The risk factors that enhance the risk of depression in women include stress at home or at work, balancing family and career life, and caring for an elderly parent and children.
Men with depression may not ask for help or even talk about their experience. Signs of clinical depression in men can include irritability, anger, or drug and alcohol abuse. Trying to suppress their feelings leads to violent behavior directed both internally and externally. It can also lead to complications of the disease, suicide, and murder.


Causes of Clinical Depression

The exact cause of clinical depression or major depressive disorder is not known. For chronic depression, this may include more than one cause, such as:

Biological Differences: People with clinical depression or major depressive disorder may notice physical changes in the brain. The significance of these changes is still uncertain, but may ultimately help determine the causes.

Brain Chemistry: Neurotransmitters are chemicals naturally present in the brain that are likely to play a role in depression. Recent research suggests that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neural circuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play an important role in clinical depression and its treatment.

Inherited Traits: A clinical depression is more pronounced among people whose blood relatives suffer from the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that can cause clinical depression.

Personal Traits: Personal traits that include negativity, such as low self-esteem, high self-reliance, self-criticism or pessimism.

Life Events: For severe depression, traumatic events such as the loss of a loved one, financial problems or high stress may trigger clinical depression in some people.

Some common causes and risk factors of major depression may include:
- Grief over the loss of a family member through death, divorce, or separation.
- Social isolation, or feelings of psychological and biological deprivation in various forms.
- Major changes in life, such as immigration, graduation, job change, and retirement.
- Personal conflicts in relationships, or emotional abuse.
- Different psychological pressures.

The Relationship between Clinical Depression and Organic Diseases

Heart disease: Clinical depression occurs in 40 to 65 percent of patients who have had a heart attack, 18 to 20 percent of people who have coronary heart disease. Men and women with depression are at increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Stroke and depression: Clinical depression occurs in 10 to 27 percent of stroke survivors, and 15-40 percent of stroke survivors experience some symptoms of depression within two months after a stroke.

Cancer and depression: One in four cancer patients also suffers from clinical depression. Sometimes it occurs as a side effect of corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or both treatments for cancer.

Diabetes and depression: 25 percent of people with diabetes are at risk of clinical depression also affects up to 70 percent of patients with diabetes complications.

When to visit a doctor

As these feelings last for a long time, you may think they will always be part of your life. But if you feel any symptoms of clinical depression or major depressive disorder, seek medical help immediately.
Talk to your doctor about symptoms or seek help directly from a mental health professional. If you are reluctant to see a mental health professional, you can communicate with someone else who may be able to help guide you to treatment, whether it is a friend or lover, a teacher, a religious leader, or someone else you trust.
If you think you may harm yourself or attempt suicide, call your local emergency number immediately.


How to Deal with Major Depressive Episode?

People with clinical depression may reach the stage of suicidal thinking. Therefore, people should be careful when dealing with a depressed patient, so as not to be a cause of the development of the patient's condition, it is imperative for friends and family as well as colleagues to advise the patient and try to alleviate clinical depression.
The most important advice that can help is to convince the patient to go to the doctor, because the patient may sometimes need some sedative medications but as a general, the person can deal with the patient of clinical depression in a way that does not include professional assistance such as providing advice and help the patient in the following:

Exercise regularly: Physical activity can strengthen the immune system and boost energy, and exercise also increases the body's production of endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce clinical depression.

Keep the patient busy: Exploring hobbies and keeping the mind busy, by reading a book, going for a walk, or starting a business project may help alleviate clinical depression.

Get enough sleep: Getting enough rest can also improve mental health and help the patient cope with the major depressive episode and alleviate its effects.

Adopt natural remedies: If the patient does not want to go to the doctor, they should be helped to get alternative treatments for clinical depression, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and meditation, to get rid of the major depressive episode.

Other important strategies that help relieve the symptoms of clinical depression may include:

Take steps to control stress, increase your resilience and enhance your self-esteem.
Connect with family and friends, especially in times of crisis, to help you withstand difficulties.
Get treatment at the earliest signs of a problem to help prevent symptoms from worsening.
Consider getting long-term maintenance treatment to help prevent relapse of symptoms.

By: Mahtab Alam Quddusi
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