Clinical depression is a serious health problem that warrants immediate professional intervention. Depression is one of the world’s most frequently encountered maladies, and recent United Nations World Health Organization research indicates that the problem will continue to increase and will soon be the second most dangerous global medical problem, following only heart disease.
Not all depression is the same, however. A passing sense of sadness is normal for all of us. Depression exists when those normal emotions are experienced without sufficient motivation or remain after they should have passed. Clinical depression is the most severe form of the problem. Others suffer from situational depression or chronic low-grade depression (dysthymia). All incidences of depression deserve careful attention, but those experiencing clinical depression should immediately seek treatment from a qualified physician.
Situational depression is usually brought on by specific events and tends to dissipate within a few weeks. Although it may share many of the same features of clinical depression (agitation, nervousness, changes in appetite or sleeping habits, etc.), it is not as severe or long-lasting.
One may be experiencing clinical depression when their “down mood” lasts for over two weeks. Generally, those suffering from the illness are virtually unable to enjoy any part of their life. Suicidal ideation and a sense of complete hopelessness is common.
Clinical instances of depression do not necessarily require any specific trigger. However, events in one’s life can precipitate the onset of the condition. This means that episodes of depression which can seemingly be easily linked to a particular happening should not be automatically assumed to be situational in nature.
Whereas situational depression may disappear as the sufferer finds ways to cope with the problem’s triggers, clinically depressed individuals generally require professional assistance to deal with the condition. Frequently, antidepressant medications and/or therapeutic solutions are prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression. Those who fail to seek out help for their depression may experience an escalation in the severity of symptoms that will certainly undermine one’s quality of life and that can even be fatal.
All forms of depression adversely impact the quality of life for sufferers and should be taken seriously. However, clinical episodes of depression are of such tremendous potential severity that one must take action to stave off a worsening of the situation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing common symptoms associated with depression and has been in that rut for more than a few weeks, medical intervention should be immediately sought. The age-old stigma regarding mental illness in our society should not be an excuse to avoid seeking treatment. Not only are those biases beginning to disappear as the extent of the depression epidemic becomes more widely known, the stakes are simply too high to justify such behavior. The condition can be successfully treated. Thousands of people recover from the illness and go on to live happy, well-adjusted lives after dealing with clinical depression.
Clinical depression vs situational depression
Depression blood test may lead to better treatment CBS News
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Depressed moms disturb their babies sleep study msnbc.com
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