Depression, also known as clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition that results in constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness within clients. It is normal to go through sad periods in one’s lifetime, but clinical depression is more than just feeling down. Unfortunately, the common advice to “cheer up” or “just be happy” is insufficient in dealing with the complexities of clinical depression. At Excel, we recognize that it’s a legitimate medical condition and, as such, requires compassionate and professional intervention.
Those who suffer from clinical depression are likely to experience a range of more specific symptoms than mere sadness. Symptoms of clinical depression are known to last for long periods of time, and they are severe enough to interfere with employment, family and social life, as well as romantic relationships.
Some of the physical symptoms include:
- Irregular sleep schedule, insomnia, trouble getting out of bed in the morning
- Frequent depressive episodes including crying or sobbing
- Panic attacks
- Shakiness, agitation, and restlessness
- Sudden unexplained physical discomfort or pain
- Weight gain or weight loss brought on by a change in appetite
- Moving and speaking more slowly than usual
- Low sex drive
Some of the psychological symptoms include:
- Extreme feelings of sadness
- Feelings of guilt
- Thoughts of worthlessness
- Lack of motivation
- Trouble concentrating
- Inability to think optimistically
- Recurring suicidal thoughts
- Feeling anxious
Some of the social symptoms include:
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Social isolation and preferring to be alone
- Losing interest in activities that were once a passion
- Loss of productivity at work
- Little interest in leaving the house
Clinical depression can be triggered by a number of different events or circumstances over the course of a lifetime. Depression can be caused by the imbalance of the levels of three particular neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. There are also a number of other factors that can contribute to clinical depression, such as:
Having a history of depression within your family
It is not known what particular gene causes depression, but it is understood that a history of clinical depression within a family can increase the likelihood of developing it.
Having a certain type of personality
Certain types of people are more prone to developing clinical depression, specifically people who suffer from low self-esteem or are very critical of themselves and their achievements. These personality traits may be inherited or developed early on life due to external forces.
Some women develop clinical depression after giving birth, due to the severity of the shifting hormones in their body, as well as the increased responsibility of a child.
Feelings of isolation
Feeling lonely and isolating yourself from family and friends, as well as missing out on responsibilities such as school or work, can contribute to clinical depression.
Abusing drugs and alcohol can contribute to clinical depression, especially due to the changing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain as a result of substance use. Since drugs and alcohol affect the chemistry of the brain, it is not recommended to abuse them if you suffer from clinical depression.
Treating Clinical Depression
There are different levels of treatment suggested for different levels of depression. Those with mild depression are encouraged to improve their diet, exercise regularly, look into self-help media, and spend more time in the sun. If symptoms persist or worsen, there are other options worth exploring.
We understand the severity of this mental health disorder and approach it with the same level of care as we would a substance use disorder. Clinical depression can be caused by a wide variety of factors, which can both be biological or environmental. Our priorities in treating clinical depression are understanding the root causes of this disorder so that we can address this with a bespoke recovery package.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy that involves meeting regularly with a mental health professional to discuss your circumstances. The hope is that discussing your issues in a judgement free environment will assist you in overcoming those issues. Therapies such as this are ideal for people who suffer from mild to severe depression and clients often report feeling a positive difference after just a couple of sessions.
Medication is usually reserved for clients who suffer from moderate to severe depression. There are many different options for antidepressants, but they must be prescribed by a doctor after being diagnosed with clinical depression. The effects usually take several weeks to kick in, and there are side effects that can cause discomfort, which can cause some people to stop taking antidepressants or switch medications. Rest assured that our specialist clinical care team will ensure that you are fully versed in what to expect and will be on hand to support you in any way you may need. In rare cases, antidepressants cause symptoms of depression to worsen, so it is important to note any changes in your mood due to medication to a medical professional.