Clinical depression is a disorder that affects an individual’s mood, thoughts, behavior and physical health. Depression can be defined as severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. Depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Clinical depression can affect a person’s family life, work, intimate relationships, sleep habits, appetite and motivation. Health professionals agree that untreated depression can lead to a deterioration of an individual’s mental health. Treatment is recommended for anyone suffering from clinical depression.
Symptoms of Clinical Depression
Depression changes the way an individual views their relationships and surroundings. They may no longer participate in activities that once brought them joy. Depression has been found to be related to a low self esteem. According to medical professionals, clinical depression is something that can come and go. The symptoms of clinical depression show how debilitating this disorder can be.
Symptoms of Clinical Depression:
- Sleeping too much, or not enough
- Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
- Irritability or restlessness
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of energy
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Aches and pains
- Thoughts of suicide
Factors That May Contribute to Depression Include:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Postpartum depression
Psychotherapy is commonly used to treat clinical depression. Supportive counseling helps an individual to deal with the pain of their depression. The feelings of hopelessness are addressed and therapists work with clients toward shattering these ideas. Therapists use cognitive therapy to help change pessimistic ideas, un-realistic expectations and overly self-critical judgments that help perpetuate depression. Cognitive therapy allows an individual to realize what problems in their life are actually major and what problem are minor. This allows them to disassociate negative thoughts with minor problems.
Therapists and clinicians also help to shape an individual’s positive thinking. Work is done to reduce stressful situations that can increase thoughts of depression. Safe medications are also available to treat depression. Experts recommend that psychotherapy still be pursued even if someone is taking prescription medication to help deal with their disorder.
The length of treatment needed to help deal with clinical depression can vary. Studies show that most individuals start to experience relief after six to ten sessions with a licensed professional. Mild cases of depression may be treated with less frequent visits while more serious cases may need extensive therapy. On average, treatment sessions occur once weekly. Therapists evaluate the situation to determine the severity of the case and model a treatment plan accordingly. Additional sessions can be added per week or month depending on the level of care needed. There are steps that someone can take to help deal with their depression and treatment is available to anyone who suffers from this debilitating disorder.