Clinical depression affects over 264 million people, with over 7% of adults in the United States experiencing at least one depressive episode annually. This guide will explain everything you need to know about coping with clinical depression.
What Is Clinical Depression?
Depression comes in several forms, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal depression. After childbirth, mothers may experience postpartum depression. The DSM-IV spells out the criteria for each clinical depressive disorder, which your healthcare provider will use to aid in making the diagnosis.
When depressive disorders occur with phenomena such as paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations, mental healthcare professionals often add to the diagnosis, "with psychotic features." For example, if a patient experiences hallucinations with their major depression, they may be diagnosed with "major depression with psychotic features." If you are looking for more information about depression ADHD therapy in San Mateo CA here is the place for you.
Clinical depression can interfere with the patient's ability to perform daily tasks, and episodes are sometimes lengthy.
Causes Of Clinical Depression
Researchers aren't certain exactly what causes clinical depression. But, many believe that any of several factors can play a role. For example, major life events - a wedding, a career change, retirement, and divorce - can trigger a depressive episode. Age can play a role as the elderly are disproportionately impacted by social isolation and living alone.
Other factors believed to contribute to clinical depression include genetics, prior abuse, and even conflict. People with substance abuse disorders are more likely to experience comorbid conditions, such as clinical depression.
When compared with people who do not suffer from clinical depression, those with depression have noticeable differences in the brain. Researchers have found that the hippocampus - the part of the brain which handles functions such as memory - is sometimes smaller in patients with depression, but are not sure why.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression manifests in several ways, and its symptoms can cover a broad range. Some symptoms of depression include:
Feelings of sadness
Loss of interest in activities
Weight gain or loss
Difficulty functioning in professional and social settings
Treatment Options For Clinical Depression
While depression is treatable, statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that less than half of people who suffer from depression undergo treatment.
Treatment options vary and often include a combination of medication therapy and psychotherapy. Medications are 40% - 60% effective, with many patients experiencing at least some relief from symptoms within a couple of months of beginning medication therapy. A multi-faceted approach, or a combination of medication and psychotherapy, is most effective, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
There are also less invasive treatment options, such as light therapy. Light therapy uses a special light, which the patient is exposed to during short sessions, usually 15 to 20 minutes. Lifestyle changes, to include reducing alcohol and recreational drug intake, may also be part of a treatment plan.
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