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Clinical Depression – Risks, treatment, symptoms.

Clinical Depression, Depression, Anxiety, Mental Health

Mental health issues are potentially strong to hamper your normal life. A person with mental health issues not only feels frustrated but also feels weak, physically and mentally. This clearly shows that mental health issues not only affect your brain but the rest of your body too. Issues like anxiety disorder, Clinical depression, ADHD are some of the severe mental health disorders that need proper care and treatment.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder. The intense and constant feeling of being sad, lonely, loss, or angry hampers your daily life. Also, it is quite common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source estimates that 8.1 per cent of American adults ages 20 and over had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016. Depression affects people in different ways. In some cases, it can hamper work-life that resulting in loss of time and working quality. It may also affect relationships and any chronic disease.

What is clinical depression?

When a person’s depression reaches a severe stage and needs proper medical treatment, then it is clinical depression. Depression can be categorized into many types based on severity, symptoms, period, etc. Primarily, there are two types of clinical depression as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5).

  1. Major depressive disorder (unipolar depression) 
  2. Depressive phase of bipolar disorder.


Depression is different for different people. It affects differently from person to person. For some, it passes on very quickly and for some, it just doesn’t seem bearable. For some, it stays for a lesser period of time, and for some, it can last for a long time. But in different types of depression, some symptoms are absolutely common.

Also Read – Anxiety – Causes, Symptoms, Types & Treatment

Symptoms of Major depression

Major depression (Unipolar) affects people severely. Some of the symptoms a person might face if he is suffering from Unipolar depression are-

  • Sadness, feelings of emptiness
  • Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, work, other activities
  • Appetite changes, weight loss or gain
  • Trouble sleeping (too much or too little)
  • Feeling “slowed down” or being excessively agitated
  • Tiredness, fatigue, lack of energy
  • Physical symptoms and pain (such as body aches, stomach upset, headaches)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Problems with concentration or focus
  • Inability to make decisions or poor decision-making
  • Thinking about death or dying; planning or attempting suicide

Symptoms of Depressive Phase of Bipolar Disorder

This is another type of depression. People with Bipolar disorder can experience periods of depression and then periods of great elevated mood which is known as the manic phase. Symptoms of Depressive Phase of Bipolar Disorder are –

  • Increased energy
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Rapid speech
  • Hypersexual behavior
  • Racing thoughts
  • Grandiose ideas
  • Greatly increased activity
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor judgment

Causes of clinical depression

Though, there is no particular reason or hormone that causes depression. Still through history, patient’s records, and medical studies these can be the potential reason for a person to have depression –

  • Family history – You are at a higher risk of having depression if someone in your family had depression. That means it can be passed on genetically.
  • Career loss – Constant failure in career can result in severe hopelessness that can cause depression.
  • Early childhood trauma- Any painful childhood trauma can affect you in your future too. A sense of fear always stays. Fear that you experieneced as a kid often leaves a mark.
  • Brain structure. There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
  • Medical conditions. Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Drug use. A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.

Reports show that 21 per cent of people who have a problem with substance use issue have depression. Substance use refers to an addiction to any harmful substance such as alcohol, drugs, etc. Factors like low self-esteem or being self-critical, personal history of mental illness, certain medications, stressful events such as loss of a loved one, economic problems, or a divorce can also contribute to depression.

Also, Read- Depression – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What conditions can occur along with clinical depression

Mental health issues are co-dependent. As depression affects the mind, it can result in more mental health issues. Some other mental health conditions that a person might face while having depression are –

Generalized anxiety

With this common anxiety disorder, a person worries excessively about many things. Any person with this disorder may over worry about their health, career, school, family, or any other issue which doesn’t even require this much attention. They may think of the worst possibility for any situation or problem. Physical symptoms in people who have generalized anxiety are chest pain, headache, tiredness, tight muscles, stomachaches, or vomiting.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

For a person with OCD, anxiety comes in the form of obsession and compulsion. Obsession of thought or something to happen whereas compulsion to things that relieve their anxiety.


Intense fear of any particular thing or situation that is not dangerous is called having phobias. People have phobias like phobia of heights, dogs, or flying in an aeroplane. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the things they are afraid of.

Social anxiety

It is also known as social phobia. If intense anxiety triggers you while doing any social activity such as going to a party, speaking in front of others, etc, then you have social phobia In this, the person avoids social interactions as much as he can. An extreme form called selective mutism causes some kids and teens to be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks have symptoms like anxiety attacks in a more intense form. A panic attack needs no triggering point to start. Though when a person is suffering from panic disorder, any small or big problematic situation or thing can trigger anxiety and that can easily lead to a panic attack. But even if the person is calm, he/she might get hit by a panic attack. A panic attack can happen without a warning and you can’t prevent it. A panic attack can occur even if the person feels calm, anxious, or even during sleep. In fact, according to the APA, the reaction is unrelated to the situation. A person might feel that he or she is going to die, faint, or lose control over themselves.

Treatment for clinical depression

There are various treatments needed for depression. Different types of treatment affect different people. Hence it is very important to acknowledge and explore what suits you the best. Some of the treatments available are –


It is the most basic and important way to treat clinical depression. There are many anti-depressants that doctors recommend to treat clinical depression. Most of the prescribed medications for clinical depression are belong to a class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Paxil (paroxetine) are generally preferred by both doctors and patients because they have lesser side effects than other antidepressants that belong to the older class. But, it is very important to consult your doctor. Anti-depressants can have worse side effects on patients of 25 years and less age. It can worsen symptoms for them and can even introduce them to suicidal instincts.


This is another way to reduce depressive episodes. Psychotherapy means working on your Depression with a therapist, either alone or with a group of people. It helps you to take out your thoughts and express your emotions. Therapies can make you feel socially accepted and give you a sense of belonging. It can boost up your self-confidence. Hence, Therapy can give you all the things and feelings that depression takes away from you. So, make sure you talk to your doctor about needing psychotherapy.

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