Tag: clinical depression

Depression varies in severity. For some people, the feeling of sadness is mild and relatively fleeting. Others feel depressed day after day with no reprieve. More severe depression that does not let up is referred to as clinical depression, or major depressive disorder. Nearly 7 percent of Americans have clinical depression, making it one of the most common mental health issues.

To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you need to have a depressed mood or lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, plus four or more of the following symptoms, for at least two weeks:

? Decrease or increase in appetite ? Weight loss or gain ? Trouble sleeping or getting too much sleep ? Agitation or restlessness ? A feeling of slowing down ? Fatigue or lack of energy ? Feelings of worthlessness or guilt ? Trouble thinking, concentrating, or making decisions ? Thoughts of death or suicide

Everyone experiences depression differently, but to qualify for a diagnosis of clinical depression, the symptoms must be significant enough to interfere with your day-to-day life. Clinical depression makes it more difficult to go to work or school, and interrupts your normal social activities. Some people experience sporadic episodes of clinical depression, while for others, the condition is more continuous and persistent.

Although clinical depression is a more severe form of depression, it does respond to treatments. The first step is to see a mental health professional for a diagnosis. During the evaluation, the doctor can rule out other conditions that can mimic clinical depression, including thyroid disorders or substance abuse.

Once clinical depression has been diagnosed, it can be treated with medications and talk therapy. Antidepressant drugs alter levels of brain chemicals that influence mood. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). These medicines may be paired with psychotherapy, which teaches strategies to manage depression.

Psychobiotics: Best Probiotics for Mood?

Psychobiotics: Best Probiotics for Mood?

It’s hard to believe that by altering the bacteria in your gut, you can better handle stress, improve your mood, and even treat your anxiety or depression. But an explosion of research into the fascinating world of the gut-brain connection is showing just that. We now know that you can

What Is Dopamine? Understanding the “Feel-Good Hormone”

What Is Dopamine? Understanding the “Feel-Good Hormone”

You’ve heard of it, but you still may be wondering, “What is dopamine?” Its reputation centers around its reputation as the “feel-good hormone.” Dopamine is associated with feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation, and concentration, yet there’s more to it than that.

Like serotonin, dopamine is a type of brain chemical called

You Could Have Depression But Be Unaware of It

Do you feel like you’re missing the energy, motivation, and concentration you once had? Maybe you’ve stopped doing activities that you used to enjoy and you’re spending more time alone. Or, perhaps you’ve gained weight, have trouble sleeping, or often have an upset stomach. What all of these have in

Do Antidepressants Really Work?

Do Antidepressants Really Work?

Depression is miserable and debilitating. It can rob you of your motivation, energy, and zest for life. The goal of treating depression is simple—to feel better! With more than 10 percent of the population taking antidepressants, it seems prudent to ask, “Do antidepressants really work?”

Antidepressants are the second most commonly

What Is Depression? Symptoms Tell the Story

What Is Depression? Symptoms Tell the Story

Depression is a disorder that negatively affects mood, thoughts, and behavior. It is also known as “major depressive disorder” or “clinical depression,” and for a diagnosis to be made, symptoms must have been present for at least two weeks. It is a common but serious mood disorder, but with appropriate

Is It Sadness or Depression?

Everybody has days when they’re feeling low. Sometimes you can easily identify the cause of your sadness—the loss of a loved one, a problem with personal finances or some other specific reason for tears or sorrow.

But there are other days when our sadness has no obvious trigger. And as you

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