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Depression Treatment

What is it?

Clinical depression is one of the most common types of psychiatric disorders. It is a common, but serious illness that is characterized by extreme feelings of sadness, restlessness, worthlessness, helplessness, guilt and other symptoms. A psychiatrist can diagnose depression in a patient after routine medical examinations and mental status interviews. Clinical depression can definitely be treated with psychotherapy and medication.

In day-to-day life, you may come across certain circumstances that will upset you or make you feel unhappy, but, such feelings usually fade away in a couple of days. When a person is overwhelmed with extreme sorrow, sadness, and low mood, which begins to interfere with everyday chores and activities, it may be indicative of clinical depression.

Etiology - The Causes

Studies indicate that one out of five Americans suffer due to depression. A host of factors contribute to the onset of depression, including biological, psychological, and social factors. It is also important to note that clinical depression is not just a state of mind; it is tied to various physical changes in the brain that is triggered by chemical imbalance in the nerve signals. Common factors that contribute to clinical depression are genetics and heredity, stress and trauma, other psychological disorders, postpartum period, and different medical conditions.

Clinical Depression Symptoms - Know the Signs

Symptoms of clinical depression fall under one of the four categories, namely affective, behavioral, cognitive, or somatic symptoms. And not all patients will encounter all these symptoms. Some of the common clinical depression symptoms and signs are:  

  • Feeling guilty, hopeless, sad, worthless, and helpless
  • Feeling irritable, restless, and anxious
  • Lack of motivation and loss of interest in daily activities
  • Decreased energy levels and constantly feeling tired
  • Significant loss or gain in weight
  • Sleeplessness or excessive sleeping
  • Indecisive state of mind
  • Aches, pains, cramps, and headaches that do not respond to treatment

Adverse effects of depression may cause suicidal tendencies or lead to alcohol and drug dependence. It may also cause anxiety disorders and heart diseases. So, it is best to cure depression at an early stage, before it gets worse.


Clinical Depression Diagnosis

An effective clinical diagnosis will help the health professionals, psychiatrists, and physicians understand the level of depression. Medical evaluation, mental status interview, physical examination, and other diagnostic tests are integral part of the diagnosis. For accurate clinical depression diagnosis, professionals rely on the diagnostic criteria that are listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- Fourth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Abbreviated as the DSM or DSM-IV, this manual has more than 200 mental health conditions that help medical practitioners to arrive at the right diagnosis.

Clinical Depression Treatment - Get Help

If an individual is diagnosed with depression, he/she should immediately undergo the clinical depression treatment. A health professional such as a psychiatrist will conduct the course of treatment. The standard methods of clinical depression treatment are psychotherapy and medication.

For mild to moderate levels of depression, psychotherapy is used. The two modes of psychotherapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). While CBT helps patients to get over pessimistic thinking and living, IPT helps patients to handle and deal with problematic personal relationships.

Antidepressants are the prescribed medication for clinical depression. These antidepressants help to improve mood, sleep, appetite, and concentration by balancing the brain's neurotransmitters. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the commonly prescribed antidepressants. Despite the safe and reliable effects of medication, unfavorable side-effects may occur in certain patients. Hence extreme caution must be taken when consuming antidepressants and has to be taken only under strict medical supervision.

 Win the Battle

While treating clinical depression, changing your life style like regular exercise and healthy diet can help to reduce the symptoms and effects of depression.

If your friend or a family member has signs of depression, then it is extremely important for you to help them overcome depression. And never forget that clinical depression is treatable.