Even those of us who don’t have clinical depression or anxiety could use a little mood boost. Wouldn’t it be great if we could feel more calm and content by regularly consuming something as delicious and satisfying as chocolate? A new study reveals that dark chocolate with a high percentage … Read More
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.
Am I depressed? That question is posed somewhere in the world countless times each day. Even though depression is widespread and considered a serious condition, it can manifest very differently in men and women. While most statistics indicate that depression occurs twice as frequently in women as men, some experts … Read More
From time to time, we hear stories in the news of formerly good mothers "snapping" and injuring or even killing their children. These are extreme examples of people suffering from psychotic depression experiences. Obviously, this is a severe condition that requires prompt medical intervention. The first step, as always, is … Read More
As with other mental disorders, the difference between just having a bad day, or week, or month, and truly suffering from depression is the duration of symptoms and level of impairment. As such, it helps to consider different levels and how we define them. Depression Symptoms of MDD Major Depressive … Read More
Could eating fruits and vegetables be causing your depression symptoms? Well, yes – if you are eating the wrong kind. And by wrong kind I mean eating those that are conventionally grown and from the “dirty dozen” list of most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables. Medical reports have linked anxiety … Read More
Everyone feels down in the dumps sometimes. Maybe you’ve had a bad day, bad week, or a bad month. Maybe your spouse left you, you hate your job, and your best friend is moving away. These are all good reasons to feel bad. But is it possible your feelings go … Read More
Before I began working as a writer and editor for Natural Health Advisory Institute—when I was seeing patients full-time—I saw men in my office every week with classic symptoms of low testosterone. All too often, their physicians dismissed their complaints. Sometimes, my male patients would come with test results for … Read More
Many researchers believe that clinical depression is the result of an imbalance in serotonin levels. That’s why the most common pharmaceutical antidepressants (such as Prozac, Lexapro, and Celexa) are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). But a drug isn’t the only way to boost serotonin levels. In fact, there are several … Read More
Many people can lessen or even eliminate depression symptoms without taking prescription drugs. From serotonin supplements to lifestyle changes, natural serotonin boosters may be just what you need to feel better fast. Many researchers believe that depression is primarily caused by an imbalance in serotonin levels. That’s why the most … Read More
Vitamin D researchers recently published the first-ever systematic review of studies linking vitamin D deficiency and depression. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with depression in many observational studies and randomized controlled trials, but until January of 2013, no systemic review summarizing the research on vitamin D deficiency and … Read More